Bell Textron Inc. is an American aerospace manufacturer headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. A subsidiary of Textron, Bell manufactures military rotorcraft at facilities in Fort Worth, and Amarillo, Texas, as well as commercial helicopters in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada.
|Mitch Snyder (President & CEO)|
|Footnotes / references|
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.
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.
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 division's name to Bell Helicopter Textron.
Bell Helicopter had a close association with AgustaWestland. The partnership dated back to separate manufacturing and technology agreements with Agusta (Bell 47 and Bell 206) and as a sublicence via Agusta with Westland (Bell 47). When the two European firms merged, the partnerships were retained, with the exception of the AB139, which is now known as the AW139. Bell and AW cooperated also on the AW609 tiltrotor.
The company was rebranded as "Bell" on February 22, 2018.
|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||2017||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|
|Bell Nexus||2020||current||TBD||TBD||pre-production hybrid-electric propulsion system with six tilting ducted fans|
- Bell H-12
- Bell H-13 Sioux
- Bell XH-15
- Bell HSL
- Bell UH-1 Iroquois (or Huey)
- Bell UH-1N Twin Huey
- Bell YHO-4
- Bell 207 Sioux Scout – experimental attack helicopter
- Bell 533 – experimental Huey variant with increased performance
- Bell AH-1 Cobra
- Bell AH-1 SeaCobra/SuperCobra
- Bell 309 KingCobra - experimental attack helicopter
- YAH-63/Model 409 – competitor with the YAH-64 for Advanced Attack Helicopter program
- Bell OH-58 Kiowa
- H-1 upgrade program
- Bell CH-146 Griffon
- Bell ARH-70 Arapaho - cancelled armed reconnaissance helicopter
- Bell 360 Invictus - proposed armed reconnaissance helicopter
- Bell XV-3
- Bell XV-15
- Bell Pointer
- Bell V-247 Vigilant – currently in development
- Bell V-280 Valor – currently in development, first flown 2017
- V-22 Osprey – with Boeing BDS
- TR918 Eagle Eye UAV
- Quad TiltRotor – with Boeing BDS
- Bell BAT (1984 tiltrotor project for LHX programme – not built)
- Bell CTR-1900 (Tilt-rotor project only – not built)
- Bell CTR-22 (Tilt-rotor project only – not built)
- Bell CTR-750 (Tilt-rotor project only – not built)
- Bell CTR-800 (Tilt-rotor project only – not built)
- Bell D-326 (Clipper 1980 commercial tilt-rotor project – not built)
Projects produced by other companiesEdit
- AgustaWestland AW139 helicopter (formerly 50-50 as the Agusta-Bell AB139, now 100% AgustaWestland)
- AgustaWestland AW609 tiltrotor (formerly 50-50 as the Bell-Agusta BA609, now 100% AgustaWestland)
- Lockheed Martin VH-71 Kestrel
- Bell 280 (project only, twin-engined wide-body variant of the Cobra)
- Bell D-218
- Bell D-230 (Flying Jeep project – not built)
- Bell D-245
- Bell D-246
- Bell 400 TwinRanger (1984), cancelled 206-derived light twin
- Bell D-292 (1985), Light Helicopter Experimental (LHX) prototype
- Bell 417 (2006) cancelled Bell 407 growth variant
- Bell FCX-001, March 2017 concept
Bell manufacturing and support facilities are:
- Amarillo, Texas: located near Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport; assembly plant for H1, V-22 and 525
- Mirabel, Quebec, Canada: opened in 1983 and located next to Montreal-Mirabel International Airport; it produces components for Bell 429, 505 and 525 and formerly assembly plant for 505
- Lafayette, Louisiana: assembly of Bell 505 Jet Ranger X at Lafayette Regional Airport relocated from Mirabel
- "About Textron: Our Businesses". October 21, 2015.
- History of Bell Helicopter Archived June 3, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. bellhelicopter.com
- "Our History". Bell Training Academy. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007.
- "Westland History – Part 4".
- Oliver Johnson & Elan Head. "Bell CEO outlines European growth plan" Vertical, October 15, 2014. Accessed: October 21, 2014.
- "Bell's XworX studying improved rotor blades". Aviation International News.
- "Bell Drops 'Helicopter,' Unveils New Dragonfly Logo".
- Goldstein, Michael. "Bell Nexus VTOL Air Taxi Makes A Splash At 2019 Consumer Electronics Show". Forbes. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
- Mark Huber (December 13, 2017). "Bell Canada Delivers 5,000th Civil Helicopter". AIN.
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