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Bell HSL

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HSL (Bell Model 61)
Type tandem-rotor ASW helicopter
Manufacturer Bell Helicopter
Maiden flight 4 March 1953
Introduced 1957
Primary user United States Navy
Number built 54

The Bell HSL (Model 61) was an American 1950s anti-submarine warfare helicopter built by Bell Helicopter company, the only tandem rotor design by Bell.

Design and development

On 4 March 1953 the prototype Bell Model 61 first flew, it had been designed to meet a United States Navy requirement for an anti-submarine warfare helicopter. In June 1950, the Model 61 was announced as the winner of the competition, three XHS-1 evaluation aircraft were ordered. The Model 61 was had a rectangular-section fuselage structure and a four-wheel landing gear. It was powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-2800 radial engine mounted in the aft fuselage. Crew included two pilots and two sonar operators.

Service test resulted in an order for 78 aircraft designated HSL-1, with 18 intended for the Royal Navy. Subsequently, only 50 were built and none were delivered.

Operational history

The first aircraft entered service with the Helicopter Squadron HU-1 in January 1957. Limited performance meant the aircraft did not remain in service for long.


three Model 61s for evaluation.
production version, 50 built.



Specifications (HSL-1)

General characteristics

  • Crew: 4
  • Length: 29 ft 2¾in (11.96 m)
  • Rotor diameter: 51 ft 6 in (15.70 m)
  • Height: 14ft 6in (4.42 m)
  • Disc area: 4,166 ft² (387.02 m²)
  • Max takeoff weight: 26,500 lb (12020 kg)
  • Powerplant:Pratt & Whitney R-2800-5 Double Wasp radial piston, 1,900 hp (1417 kW)
  • Propellers: 2 rotor, 2 per engine
    • Propeller diameter: 51 ft 6in (15.70 m)



  • Andrade, John M. U.S.Military Aircraft Designation and Serials since 1909. Leicester, UK: Midland Counties Publications, 1979. ISBN 0-904597-22-9.
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). London, Orbis Publishing.

External links

See also

Designation sequence

Template:USN helicopters

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Bell HSL".