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.


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 Bell 61

From Organisation with model 61
usa US Navy
    52 1954/60

Construction Numbers on database of 61 or its versions


Construction Numbers

Help Us

C/NBuilt asYearHistory
4 US 129154 : HSL-1: Evaluation machine from production batch
15 US 129165 : crashed 7 Apr 1955 near Forth Worth
16 US 129166 : 14 Dec 1954 crashed N of Bell Globe Plant, TX
19 US 129843 : HSL-1: Del USN
53 US 129877 : Del US Navy
5 C/N.

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