|Role||Miitary utility helicopter|
|Primary user||United States Air Force|
Design and development
During 1946, Bell Helicopter began development of a new utility helicopter, the Model 42, much larger than the Model 47, which utilized a scaled-up version of the Model 47's rotor system. Three prototypes were built, but serious rotor problems and complexity of mechanical systems precluded production. The initial Model 42 variant was civilian, but the United States Air Force ordered the development of its military variant, the Model 48. Two prototypes were ordered as the XR-12, powered by a single 540 hp (403 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1340-AN-1 radial engine and featuring seating for five. Of very similar construction to the Model 42, the Model 48 had a shorter rotor mast. A production batch of 34 helicopters was ordered, under the designation R-12A, but cancelled in 1947.
Another enlarged prototype (the XR-12B, Model 48A) with seats for eight plus two pilots and a more powerful 600 hp (447 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1340-55 engine was also ordered, followed by ten pre-series YR-12B helicopters, with a glazed nose, instead of the car-like nose of the Model 42 and XR-12. While under flight test the helicopter was redesignated the H-12, but the results were not satisfactory, as there were major problems with the main rotor due to blade weaving and poor rotor governor performance.
No production H-12 aircraft were built but the prototypes and preproduction aircraft were used for various test and development programs.
- Model 42
- Bell's initial foray into the civilian luxury helicopter market, seating five. Three prototypes were built but serious problems precluded production.
- Model 48
- Company designation for the military version of the Model 42, given the designation R-12. Two built as XR-12s and a production contract for 34 was cancelled in 1947.
- Model 48A
- The more powerful derivative of the Model 48 with a 600 hp engine and ten seats. One XR-12B/XH-12B prototype was produced and a preproduction batch of ten were also built as YR-12B/YH-12Bs
- Prototype, redesignated XH-12, two built.
- Production version, 34 on order canceled.
- Prototype with more powerful engine and increased seating, redesignated XH-12B, one built.
- As XR-12B but with R-1340-55 engines, redesignated YH-12B, ten built.
- XR-12 redesignated in 1947.
- XR-12B redesignated in 1947.
- YR-12B redesignated in 1947.
Data from Bell Aircraft since 1935
- Crew: one
- Capacity: nine
- Length: 56 ft 9 in (17.30 m)
- Height: 11 ft 3.25 in (3.4354 m)
- Gross weight: 6,286 lb (2,851 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney R-1340-55 Wasp 9-cyl. air-cooled radial piston engine, 600 hp (450 kW)
- Main rotor diameter: 47 ft 6 in (14.48 m)
- Main rotor area: 1,772 sq ft (164.6 m2)
- Maximum speed: 105 mph (169 km/h; 91 kn)
- Cruise speed: 90 mph (145 km/h; 78 kn)
- Range: 300 mi (261 nmi; 483 km)
- Service ceiling: 12,800 ft (3,900 m) service ceiling
- Absolute ceiling: 15,000 ft (4,572 m)
- Hover ceiling: 4,350 ft (1,326 m)
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Andrade, John M. U.S.Military Aircraft Designation and Serials since 1909. Leicester, UK: Midland Counties Publications, 1979. ISBN 0-904597-22-9.
- The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982–1985). London, Orbis Publishing, 1985.
- Pelletier, A.J. Bell Aircraft since 1935. London: Putnam & Company Ltd., 1992. ISBN 1-55750-056-8.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bell 48.|
- Copter Ferry Hops To The Front – Popular Science (December 1950)