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  Aircraft Manufacturer
Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.
Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey - Tiltrotor Aircraft
Bell / Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft above Twentynine Palms Airport, CA - USA (TNP / KTNP)
Photo taken Nov. 03, 2011
Photo © Marcel Siegenthaler

Bell Helicopter is an American rotorcraft manufacturer headquartered in Hurst, Texas, near Fort Worth. A division of Textron, Bell manufactures military helicopter and tiltrotor products in and around Fort Worth, as well as in Amarillo, Texas, and commercial rotorcraft products in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada. Bell provides training and support services worldwide.

History

N345WN - Bell AH-1F Cobra Helicopter
Bell AH-1F Cobra Helicopter
N345WN (SN 78-23116)
A Fire Attack Helicopter For The Washington State Department of Natural Resources.
Photo taken September 14, 2007
Omak Airport, WA - USA (OMK / KOMK)
Photo © Marcel Siegenthaler
N69F - 1996 Bell 407
N69F - 1996 Bell 407 (SN 53025)
Chopper 7 - KIRO 7 Eyewitness News.
Photo taken July 13, 2007 @ Renton Muni. Airport, WA - USA (RNT / KRNT)
Photo © Marcel Siegenthaler
Bell 205A-1 Evergreen Helicopter - N4750R
1968 Bell 205A-1 N4750R (SN 30009)
Evergreen Helicopters
Photo taken July 12, 2007 @ Mc Minnville Municipal, OR - USA (MMV / KMMV)
Photo © Marcel Siegenthaler
1974 Bell 206B Jet Ranger - N4MS
1974 Bell 206B Jet Ranger
N4MS (SN 1345)
Photo taken July 13, 2007 @ Renton Muni. Airport, WA - USA (RNT / KRNT)
Photo © Marcel Siegenthaler
1981 Bell 212 N827MS
N827MS - 1981 Bell 212 (SN 31205)
Evergreen Helicopters
Photo taken July 12, 2007 @ Mc Minnville Municipal, OR - USA (MMV / KMMV)
Photo © Marcel Siegenthaler

The company was founded on July 10, 1935 as Bell Aircraft Corporation by Lawrence Dale Bell in Buffalo, New York. The company focused on designing and building of fighter aircraft. Their first fighters were the XFM-1 Airacuda, a twin-engine fighter to attack bombers, and the P-39 Airacobra. The P-59 Airacomet, the first American jet fighter, and the P-63 Kingcobra, the successor to the P-39 and the Bell X-1 were also Bell products.

In 1941, Bell hired Arthur M. Young, a talented inventor, to provide expertise for helicopter research and development. It was the foundation for what Bell hoped would be a broader economic base for his company that was not dependent on government contracts. The Bell 30 was their first full-size helicopter (1st flight December 29, 1942) and the Bell 47 became the first helicopter rated by a civil aviation authority in the world and would become a civilian and military success.

Textron purchased Bell Aerospace in 1960. Bell Aerospace was composed of three divisions of Bell Aircraft Corporation, including its helicopter division, which had become its only division still producing complete aircraft. The helicopter division was renamed to Bell Helicopter Company and in a few years, with the success of the UH-1 during the Vietnam War, it had established itself as the largest division of Textron. In January 1976, Textron changed the name of the company again to Bell Helicopter Textron.

Bell Helicopter has a close association with AgustaWestland. The partnership dates back to separate manufacturing and technology agreements with Agusta (Bell 47 and Bell 206) and as a sublicence via Agusta with Westland (Bell 47). When the two European firms merged, the partnerships were retained, with the exception of the AB139, which is now known as the AW139.

Product list

Commercial helicopters

  • Bell 47
  • Bell 204 - civilian version of UH-1
  • Bell 205 - civilian version of UH-1
  • Bell 206 - in production (as of April 2012)
  • Bell 210 - remanufactured, civilian version of UH-1H
  • Bell 212
  • Bell 214
  • Bell 214ST
  • Bell 222
  • Bell 230
  • Bell 407 - in production (as of April 2012)
  • Bell 412 - in production (as of April 2012)
  • Bell 417 - model canceled in 2007
  • Bell 427 -
  • Bell 429 - in production (as of April 2012)
  • Bell 430
  • Bell 525 Relentless - Under Development

Military helicopters

  • H-13 Sioux
  • Bell HSL
  • UH-1 Iroquois (or Huey)
  • UH-1N Twin Huey
  • Bell 533 - experimental Huey variant with auxiliary turbojets
  • AH-1 Cobra (or HueyCobra)
  • AH-1 SeaCobra/SuperCobra
  • YAH-63/Model 409 - Cobra-based competitor to the YAH-64
  • OH-58 Kiowa
  • H-1 upgrade program: UH-1Y Venom & AH-1Z Viper (or SuperCobra)
  • ARH-70/Model 445

Tiltrotors

  • V-22 Osprey - with Boeing BDS
  • Bell/Agusta BA609 - with AgustaWestland
  • TR918 Eagle Eye UAV
  • Quad TiltRotor - with Boeing BDS

Projects produced by other companies

  • AgustaWestland AW139 helicopter (formerly 50/50 as the Bell/Agusta AB139, now 100% AgustaWestland)
Last updated April 10, 2012
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Bell Helicopter".
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