Bell Helicopter

Bell Helicopter
Industry Aerospace
Founded 1935
Headquarters Fort Worth, Texas, United States
Key people
Mitch Snyder, President & CEO
Products Helicopters, tiltrotors
Parent Textron

Bell Helicopter is an American aerospace manufacturer headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. A division of Textron, Bell manufactures military rotorcraft in and around Fort Worth, as well as in Amarillo, Texas, and commercial helicopters in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada. Bell provides training and support services worldwide.


Bell Aircraft

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

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 rated by a civil aviation authority in the world and would become a civilian and military success.[2]

Bell Helicopter

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 to Bell Helicopter Company and in a few years, with the success of the UH-1 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]

Product list

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

Military helicopters


V-22 in flight

Projects produced by other companies

See also


  1. "About Textron: Our Businesses". October 21, 2015.
  2. 1 2 History of Bell Helicopter Archived June 3, 2007, at the Wayback Machine..
  3. "Our History". Bell Training Academy.
  4. "Westland History - Part 4".
  5. 1 2 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.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bell Helicopter.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/14/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.