Bell Helicopter

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Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.
Subsidiary
Industry Aerospace
Founded 1935; 83 years ago (1935)
Headquarters Fort Worth, Texas, US
Key people
Mitch Snyder (President & CEO)
Products
Parent Textron
Website www.bellflight.com
Footnotes / references
[1]

Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. is an American aerospace manufacturer headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. A subsidiary of Textron, Bell manufactures military rotorcraft in and around Fort Worth, as well as in Amarillo, Texas, and commercial helicopters in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada.

History[edit]

Bell Aircraft[edit]

The company was founded on July 10, 1935 as Bell Aircraft Corporation by Lawrence Dale Bell in Buffalo, New York. The company focused on the designing and building of fighter aircraft. Their first fighters were the XFM-1 Airacuda, a twin-engine fighter for attacking bombers, and the P-39 Airacobra. The P-59 Airacomet, the first American jet fighter, the P-63 Kingcobra, the successor to the P-39, and the Bell X-1 were also Bell products.[2]

The Bell 47 is displayed at the MoMA
Previous Bell logo

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 (first flight December 29, 1942) and the Bell 47 became the first helicopter in the world rated by a civil aviation authority, becoming a civilian and military success.[2]

Bell Helicopter[edit]

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 Bell Helicopter Company and in a few years, with the success of the UH-1 Huey 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.[3]

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).[4] When the two European firms merged, the partnerships were retained, with the exception of the AB139, which is now known as the AW139. As of 2014, Bell and AW cooperate on the AW609 tiltrotor.[5]

Bell intends to reduce employment by 760 in 2014 as fewer V-22s are made.[5] A rapid prototyping center called XworX assists Bell's other divisions in improving development speed.[6]

The company was rebranded as "Bell" on February 22, 2018.[7]

Product list[edit]

Bell 206B JetRanger III
Comparison of the Bell 212 (U.S. Navy HH-1N) and 412 (Mercy Air) at the Mojave Airport
Bell 412EP Griffin HT1 helicopter of the UK Defence Helicopter Flying School

Commercial helicopters[edit]

Model Intro. Until MTOW (lb/t) Notes
Bell 47 1946 1974 2,950 1.34 based on the Bell 30 prototype, piston engine
Bell 47J Ranger 1956 1967 2,950 1.34 Bell 47 executive variant
Bell 204/205 1959 1980s 9,500 4.31 Huey family civil variant, single turboshaft
Bell 206 1967 current 3,200 1.45 light single or twin turboshaft
Bell 210 late 1970s 11,200 5.1 205B
Bell 212 1968 1998 11,200 5.08 Civilian UH-1N Twin Huey
Bell 214 1972 1981 15,000 6.8 larger Huey
Bell 214ST 1982 1993 17,500 7.94 medium twin derived from the 214
Bell 222/230 1979 1995 8,400 3.81 light twin
Bell 407 1995 current 6,000 2.72 four-blade single derived from the 206L-4
Bell 412 1981 current 11,900 5.4 four-blade 212
Bell 427 2000 2010 6,550 2.97 407 derived light twin
Bell 429 GlobalRanger 2009 current 7,000 3.2 lengthened 427
Bell 430 1995 2008 9,300 4.22 222/230 stretch
Bell 525 Relentless 2018 current 20,500 9.3 in development
Bell 505 Jet Ranger X 2017 current 3,680 1.67 206 development

Established in 1986, its Mirabel, Quebec facility assembles and delivers most Bell's commercial helicopters and delivered its 5,000th helicopter on 12 December 2017.[8]

Not produced[edit]

Military helicopters[edit]

Tiltrotors[edit]

V-22 in flight

Projects produced by other companies[edit]

See also[edit]

Comparable major helicopter manufacturers include:

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About Textron: Our Businesses". October 21, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b History of Bell Helicopter Archived June 3, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.. bellhelicopter.com
  3. ^ "Our History". Bell Training Academy. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. 
  4. ^ "Westland History – Part 4". 
  5. ^ a b Oliver Johnson & Elan Head. "Bell CEO outlines European growth plan" Vertical, October 15, 2014. Accessed: October 21 ,2014.
  6. ^ "Bell's XworX studying improved rotor blades". Aviation International News. 
  7. ^ "Bell Drops 'Helicopter,' Unveils New Dragonfly Logo". 
  8. ^ Mark Huber (December 13, 2017). "Bell Canada Delivers 5,000th Civil Helicopter". AIN. 

External links[edit]