Bell 61

Bell 61

The Bell 61 was the only tandem rotor type designed by Bell. it was developed as an anti-submarine warfare helicopter for the US Navy. First flew on March 3, 1953. Two prototypes XHSL-1 were built plus one ground test vehicle. Urgent needs made the Navy assigned 234 Bureau Numbers and signed a contract for the first 160 including 18 for the Royal Navy. Performance and production issues forced that only 50 HSL-1 were built. The HO4S (Sikorsky S-55), which the HSL-1 had been intended to replace remained in service until the introduction of the HSS-1 (S-58). Only a few were delivered to the US Navy and used for test purpose only. Proposed civil variants models D-116, D-216 and D-238 they did not go beyond the planning phase
Ambitious order book from the US Navy was scaled back by cancellation of some contracts.

Specifications 61

Engine 1 x PW R-2800 Double Wasp 2000 shp
Capacity 4
Length (m) 11.9
Height (m) 4.42
Blades 4
Rotor diam. (m) 15.7
Disc area (m2) 388.5
Weight (kgs)     Max: 12000
Speed (km/h) Cruise: 161     Max: 185
Range (km) 560
Ceiling (m)
Rate/Climb (m/min)

  List of Operators of 61

Years Model Org
1954/60 usa US Navy

  Global Distribution of 61


Construction Numbers

C/N Built as Year History
4 US 129154
15 w/o 1955 US 129165
16 w/o 1954 US 129166
19 US 129843
53 US 129877

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