Bell 30

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Bell Model 30
Bell 30 A19650240000.jpg
Bell 30 Ship 1A on display at the National Air and Space Museum
Role Experimental Helicopter
National origin United States
Manufacturer Bell Aircraft
Designer Arthur M. Young
First flight 26 June 1943[1]
Number built 3
Variants Bell 47

The Bell Model 30 was the prototype for the first commercial helicopter, and the first helicopter built by Bell Aircraft Company.[2] Designed by Arthur M. Young, the type served as a demonstration test bed for the successful Model 47.[2]

Development[edit]

Young had experimented with helicopter designs, mainly using scale models, and in 1941 he approached the Bell Aircraft Corporation in Buffalo, New York. The company agreed to build a number of full-scale prototypes, and Young moved to Buffalo. With the main Bell factories immersed in war production, and to ensure a research and development program that was sufficiently private and free of distractions, Young and his team moved to the Buffalo suburb of Gardenville (West Seneca). The first free flight was carried out on June 26, 1943,[3] only the third American helicopter to fly.[4]

The prototype registration NX41860 had an open cockpit, an enclosed fuselage for the Franklin piston engine, and a fixed three-wheel landing gear.[2] The engine drove a two-bladed main rotor and a two-bladed anti-torque tail rotor. The prototype crashed in September 1943 and was subsequently modified with several improvements, including an enclosed cabin for the pilot and passenger, who sat side by side in the cockpit.[4] With all the lessons learned, the third prototype became the basis for the production model, the Bell Model 47.[2] The Model 30 Ship 1A, Genevieve, is now on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.[5]

Variants[edit]

Data from:Bell Aircraft since 1935[6]

Ship No.1
(c/n 1) The original Bell 30, built with an open frame tubular steel framework with an open cockpit and four widely splayed undercarriage legs with skids at the ends, made from 3 in (76 mm) Aluminium alloy tubing. First flown on 29 December 1942, test flying continued until a serious crash in September 1943.
Ship No.1A
(c/n 1A) Ship No.1, re-built after the crash with a strutted tricycle undercarriage with nosewheel, and semi-enclosed cockpit, re-joined the test programme by March 1944.
Ship No.2
(c/n 2) The second aircraft was built with a new three wheeled undercarriage, semi-monocoque fuselage, new tail rotor mounting and fully enclosed cockpit for pilot and passenger.
Ship No.3
(c/n 3) The third aircraft was built with a triangular section welded tubular steel tail boom, four-wheeled undercarriage, full set of instruments, but a completely open cockpit. Performance and handling of this aircraft was found to be much better than its predecessors but the open cockpit was viewed as a major handicap. The solution to the open cockpit was the plexiglas bubble that was to become iconic on the Bell 47/H-13 production aircraft.

Survivors[edit]

Ship No.1A is on display at the National Air and Space Museum and Ship No.3 is owned by Buffalo History Museum.

Specifications[edit]

Data from [2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Capacity: 2 passengers
  • Powerplant: 1 × Franklin 6V4 flat-six piston engine, 160 hp (120 kW)
  • Main rotor diameter: 33 ft 0 in (10.06 m)
  • Main rotor area: 855.3 sq ft (79.46 m2)

Performance

See also[edit]

Related development

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Note:Aerofiles has the date as the 29 December 1942
  2. ^ a b c d e The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing. 
  3. ^ "Bell 30". kamov.net. Retrieved May 9, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "American airplanes:Bell". www.aerofiles.com. 20 April 2009. Archived from the original on 2 January 2010. Retrieved 2009-12-23. 
  5. ^ Bell Model 30 Ship 1A Genevieve - Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
  6. ^ Pelletier, Alain J. (1992). Bell Aircraft since 1935. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press for Putnam Aeronautical Books Limited. pp. 55–58. ISBN 1-55750-056--8. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing. 
  • Pelletier, Alain J. (1992). Bell Aircraft since 1935. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press for Putnam Aeronautical Books Limited. pp. 55–58. ISBN 1-55750-056--8. 
  • "American airplanes:Bell". www.aerofiles.com. 20 April 2009. Archived from the original on 2 January 2010. Retrieved 2009-12-23. 

External links[edit]