Bell Helicopter A Textron Company

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  • Bell Helicopter

History
Welcome to the leading edge of vertical lift.

Founded in July, 1935 by Larry Bell as Bell Aircraft Corporation, today's Bell Helicopter continues to set the pace for the industry and expand the scope of vertical lift - but in those early days...

"The company specialized in the design and production of fighter aircraft, first the XFM-1 Airacuda, a twin-engine fighter to oppose attacking bombers, and the the famous P-39 Airacobra. The company also designed and built the first P-59 Airacomet, the first American jet fighter, and the P-63 Kingcobra, the successor to the P-39.

In 1941, just before the US entered into WWII, Larry Bell saw...a small [helicopter] model crafted by inventor and philosophy student, Arthur Middleton Young...

...In just six months, the team designed and constructed the first Bell helicopter, designing and fabricating parts as they went and solving problems with the use of mathematics, model experiments, intuition and trial-and-error. The first helicopter was officially designated the Model 30...

The fuselage was made partly of plywood beams. The original tail cone, which was made at the Buffalo factory, was of riveted magnesium. The rotor blades were a composite of fir and balsa wood, with a steel reinforcement bar down the leading edge. Ship 1 was powered by a 165-hp Franklin engine mounted vertically. It drove both the 32-ft. main rotor and the anti-torque rotor at the end of the tail boom...first flight [was] made on December 29, 1942."[1]

The rest, as they say, is history.

Now an industry leader with unmatched name recognition, Bell Helicopter was the first to obtain certification for a commercial helicopter. Over its rich history, Bell Helicopter has delivered more than 35,000 aircraft to our customers around the world.

With forward thinking in advanced concepts, Bell Helicopter invented tiltrotor aircraft. These unique aircraft lift like a helicopter, then fly like an airplane with twice the speed, three times the payload and five times the range of traditional helicopters. Aerospace and aircraft will never be the same.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, Bell Helicopter has additional plants in Amarillo, Texas and Mirabel, Canada.  We maintain key logistics supply and service centers in Europe, Canada, and Singapore as well as in the United States. As the world’s premier provider of vertical lift aircraft, Bell Helicopter continues to provide every customer with products, service and support second to none.

On a Mission.

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