Collection Item Summary:
Bell Model 47B
NASM No. 008645; Cat. No. 2005-0066
In 1946, the U.S. Civil Aeronautics Authority awarded the first civil helicopter certification to the Model 47. It was the first Bell helicopter type to enter production. Although initial sales failed to meet Lawrence Bell’s expectation of a post-World War II civil aviation boom, later versions saw significant service in the Korean War and other conflicts and it became a highly successful commercial model with some logging over five decades of service.
The two-seat Model 47B was the first commercial evolution of Bell’s pioneering Model 30, also designed by talented engineers Arthur Young and Bartram Kelly. This example, the 36th built, served over a period of 40 years as a factory demonstrator for Bell, newsgathering helicopter, crop duster, trainer and performed power line patrols and aerial photography missions. In 1989, Douglas Daigle purchased the helicopter, had it restored and set the world’s hovering record of fifty hours, fifty seconds. Its last flight occurred in December 2004 – over 57 years after its first flight, making it the longest flying helicopter in history.
Rotor Diameter: 10.7 m (35 ft 2 in)
Length: 7.4 m (24 ft 4 in)
Height:2.6 m (8 ft 6 in)
Weight:Empty, 720 kg (1,588 lb)
Gross, 998 kg (2,200 lb)
Top Speed:151 km/h (94 mph)
Engine:Franklin 6V4-200-C32, 200 hp
Manufacturer: Bell Aircraft Corporation, Wheatfield, N.Y., 1947
Gift of Douglas D. Daigle & Tridair Helicopters, Inc. in memory of Arthur Middleton Young