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Bell Helicopter

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Bell Helicopter Textron
Type subsidiary
Founded 1935
Headquarters Fort Worth, Texas, USA
ProductsHelicopters, Tiltrotors

Bell Helicopter Textron is an American helicopter and tiltrotor manufacturer headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. A division of Textron, Bell manufactures military helicopter and tiltrotor products in the United States (primarily in and around Fort Worth as well as in Amarillo, Texas) and commercial rotorcraft products in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada.


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 were also Bell products.[1]

In 1941, Bell jump-started his company's foray into helicopters when he hired Arthur M. Young,[1] 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 wasn't dependent on government contracts. Bell Aircraft Corporation had originally only produced airplanes, including the famous Bell X-1. The Bell 30 was their first full-size helicopter and the Bell Model 47 became the first helicopter rated by a civil aviation authority in the world and would become 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 aircraft producing division. 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.[2]


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) [1]. When the two European firms merged, the partnerships were retained, with the exception of the AB139, which is now known as the AW139.

Product list

Bell 206B JetRanger III
Comparison of the Bell 212 (U.S. Navy HH-1N) and 412 (Mercy Air) at the Mojave Airport

Commercial Helicopters

Military Helicopters


Projects produced by other companies


  1. 1.0 1.1 History of Bell Helicopter
  2. Our History. Bell Training Academy.

External links

cs:Bell Helicopter Textron da:Bell Helicopter Textron de:Bell Helicopters it:Bell Helicopter Textron nl:Bell Helicopter Textron no:Bell Helicopter Textron pl:Bell Helicopter Textron ru:Bell Helicopter sv:Bell Helicopter Textron zh:贝尔直升机公司 es:Bell Helicopter Textron

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