Contractor: Bell Helicopter Company
Weight (empty): 749
kg (1,650 lbs.)
Max weight: 1294
kg (2,850 lbs.)
Max altitude: 3,200
m (10,500 ft.)
Max cruise speed at sea level: 169
km/h (105 mph)
Climb rate: 262
meters/min. (860 ft./min.)
first "telecopter", a Bell 47.
Photo courtesy of Richard Hart, copyright
National Helicopter Service.
of the Bell 47 began in the 1930s, but a decade passed
before a prototype was completed in 1945. In 1946,
the Bell 47 became the first helicopter to be approved
for civilian use. By the time production stopped
in 1973, over 6,000 Bell 47s in several different
models had been produced. Bell 47s are still used
throughought the world, and are especially popular
for training helicopter pilots.
most well-known use of Bell 47s came during the Korean
War, when the helicopters were used by the United States
Army MASH (Moble Army Surgical Hospital) to evacuate
wounded soldiers from the battlefield. Scenes of the
Bell 47 being used for medical evacuations were often
shown on the television series "M*A*S*H*.
addition to its use in saving lives, the Bell 47 was
the first helicopter in the world to transmit TV signals
when in 1958, KTLA's "telecopter" made its
debut right here in Los Angeles. The Bell 47s usefulness
to the media doesn't stop with the purely practicalthe
helicopters have also been featured as a favored mode
of transportation for movie heroes from Batman to Bond.
Science Center's Bell 47G-5
The Bell 47G-5 helicopter on display in the Air and Space
Gallery was donated to the Science Center by the citizens
of the city of Los Angeles. It flew as part of the Air
Support Division of the Los Angeles Police Department
until 1988. In that year, the LAPD replaced their piston-driven
helicopters with jet-powered ones.
A Tribute to the Model 47
This issue of the Rotor Breeze from the Bell Helicopter company outlines the history of the Bell Helicopter, complete with a timeline and some unique historic photos.
The Bell 47
Find quick stats on the Bell 47 as well as a great collection