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I came across this fascinating and informative (~27 min) video while doing some additional research into 'key-chain flashlights'. . .

Birth of the Bell Helicopter

It is narrated by Bart Kelly, an engineer at Bell back in the day.

Here is the the very brief narrative/comment that introduces the video, followed by a comment posted by someone that worked in the industry back in that era (or at least had knowledge of the industry in that era). . .

Paul Faltyn

Bell Helicopter video on the Birth of the Helicopter including early scenes of the model 30 & 47 with Arthur Youg, Bart Kelly, and Test Pilot Floyd Carlson. Video provided by the Niagara Aerospace Museum.

Jean Meslier
1 year ago
Bart Kelly made many important contributions to the aircraft. The stabilizer bar was his invention.
He doesn't mention his efforts, but for many years he was the head of the engineering department. An engineer at Bell Helicopter did not need a engineering degree, all you had to do was be able to engineer. I remember one in particular had never been to college at all. This man was one of the best engineers I ever worked with.
The Franklin engines were made for the Franklin air cooled automobile. I have heard that the plant they rented had crates of these old engines stacked at one end, so they used them. Later helicopters used Continental engines.
When I first started working as an aircraft mechanic (not at Bell Aircraft), many of the military 47 models had balsa blades with aluminum skins. Then another blade made like a conventional aircraft wing, aluminum skin with internal wing struts. Inspectors sat with long borescopes, checking the insides of these blades for cracks. The composite blade was a great improvement in blade design.

In all my 40 years of working in the aircraft industry, mostly on helicopters, I never heard anyone in the industry refer to the helicopter as a "chopper," including Korean war vets.
Except for TV news people. They seem to think that calling a helicopter a chopper gives them an "in the know" aura or something. Stupid news. May be one of the reasons I haven't watched TV news for the last 20 years or so.

Ok, sorry for the rant. It's time for my meds, anyway. Hope you enjoyed the bit of history at first.
Oh, I think the guy who was thrown through the blades name was Mashman. A distinction really, I think he is the only person to have ever survived that bit of learning curve."

Enjoy!

Oh, and the test pilot that was thrown through the rotating blades happens at about 11m 15s. Ouch!


__________
"I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal labotomy."
 
Posts: 2554 | Location: Lehigh Valley, PA | Registered: March 27, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That was a great video, thanks for sharing. I did not know the history so it was very informative and interesting.



“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
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Posts: 28372 | Location: In the red hinterlands of Deep Blue VA | Registered: June 29, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Birth of the helicopter goes to Sikorsky. Based out of Stratford, CT. On the Quinniapiac River.
The grandson runs a hunting camp in Maine.
 
Posts: 1465 | Location: Southeast CT | Registered: January 18, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for posting that @Cookster. @sigforme is right about Sikorsky but with about 13000 hours of helicopter time and having owned or flown all of the Bell models and the S-76 Sikorsky and the Hughes line up I still love the Bell. I'm really Jonesing for a Bell 407 having sold off my two medium bells and the Jet Ranger.


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"We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution" - Abraham Lincoln

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Posts: 1081 | Location: Little Rock, AR | Registered: January 22, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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13000 hours in rotors?

Wow.
 
Posts: 3085 | Location: Iowa | Registered: February 24, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My brother in law works at Bell. He is currently working on structural testing for the new tilt rotor.

Back years ago he took me and my dad on a tour of the Arlington plant. It was on a weekend and not a single person there except for the guard that checked us in. It was a really neat experience. A lot of history in those buildings.
 
Posts: 6786 | Location: Raymore, Missouri | Registered: June 24, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Many years ago my Uncle was a Pilot Instructor for Bell Helicopter . He lived in Iran where Bell had a contract with the Shah's government to teach the military pilots . They got a phone call one night from their supervisor that something bad was going down and they needed to leave immediately . The Ayatollah and his peeps were starting their revolution .
 
Posts: 1705 | Location: The deep South | Registered: February 27, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Fascinating and, IMHO, a microcosm of why America became great: One guy with an idea and the knowledge, drive and opportunity to pursue it.




Be careful when following the masses. Sometimes the M is silent.
 
Posts: 12006 | Location: Downeast Maine | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I just saw a bell jet ranger on The A team.

it had 4 passengers in it ,
and an electro magnet slung underneath
(about 400 pounds)

then it came down and picked up an armored chevy van full of money and flew off

Big Grin Big Grin
Sometimes the A team cracks me up





Safety, Situational Awareness and proficiency.



Neck Ties, Hats and ammo brass, Never ,ever touch'em w/o asking first
 
Posts: 48763 | Location: Henry County , Il | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Had a basic aviation class in college, 10, 20+ something years ago. We had stick time in Cessna 150 and 170’s, part of a day in soaring gliders and a few hours in Bell 47’s. We all loved the Bell 47. Not easy but lots of FUN.
 
Posts: 1613 | Location: south central Pennsylvania | Registered: November 05, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by bendable:
I just saw a bell jet ranger on The A team.

it had 4 passengers in it ,
and an electro magnet slung underneath
(about 400 pounds)

then it came down and picked up an armored chevy van full of money and flew off

Big Grin Big Grin
Sometimes the A team cracks me up


I'm certain the A Team copied that from a 1967 Bond, James Bond movie, "You only Live Twice."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaGIb91Mi2w

Looks like a Vertol V-107.
 
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And that, kids, is why you should always wear a seatbelt.

Wow - what a cool story.



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Posts: 4392 | Location: Highland, UT | Registered: September 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I am almost sure that that was a Sikorsky , but yeah , same premise.

( with 2/3 less h.p. )





Safety, Situational Awareness and proficiency.



Neck Ties, Hats and ammo brass, Never ,ever touch'em w/o asking first
 
Posts: 48763 | Location: Henry County , Il | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That was cool, thanks for posting.

Had no idea that he did his early stuff right near here.




 
Posts: 6119 | Location: Philadelphia, Pa | Registered: September 08, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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About 21856 total time but love helicopters. Bells are like a Chevy, Parts generally available world wide. The neat thing is the Bell 407's main blades are not time limited, inspection only. The 206 Jet Ranger's blades are time limited and cost about $40k each.

The last S-76 I flew had a cracked main rotor hub, very hard to see on a preflight. But nice executive aircraft and can hover out of ground effect on one engine.


****************************************************W5SCM
"We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution" - Abraham Lincoln

"I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go" - Abraham Lincoln
 
Posts: 1081 | Location: Little Rock, AR | Registered: January 22, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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