LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
LOvE THE bELL 47!
IT WAS GREAT TO see the venerable Bell 47 on the cover of Sport
Aviation. The 47 is a wonderful helicopter, and even today
there isn’t a new helicopter on the market that meets its capabilities, safety, and utility.
As an owner of a 47 and holder of an A&P, CFI, and DPE, I
feel obliged to point out a few discrepancies. First, the Bell
does have a throttle correlator that works well when it is properly adjusted and maintained. ... As far as the inertia in the
rotor system, the wooden-bladed models do have less inertia
than the metal-bladed models, but compared to popular trainers such as the Robinson and Schweizer, the 47 still has a great
deal more rotor inertia allowing considerably more leniency in
I would also disagree with Mac’s statement on the heaviness
of the collective. Having flown 12 or 14 hours a day many times
in a 47, I can say that a properly set up rotor system makes for a
reasonably light control force on the collective. So does loosening the friction all the way. I have trained many new helicopter
pilots in my 47, and it is a great machine for training. It flies like
a larger helicopter than it is, it has a large safety margin, and it
allows students to make mistakes and recover from them without the instructor taking the controls. Ditto for utility work,
crop dusting, ride hopping, corn pollinating, and a long list of
other jobs; it really is hard to beat a Bell 47.
Timothy J. newton, EAA 814040, Waterloo, Iowa
MAC MCCLELLAN’S ARTICLE ON the Model 47 and
inventor Art Young was excellent. For space
reasons he may have had to omit mention of
two very accomplished Bell Helicopter
employees who made the Model 47 and its
predecessor, the Model 30, into realities. As a
former Bell employee, I had the pleasure of
working with both men.
Harvard-trained Bart Kelley acted as
Young’s assistant during the period when
Young was merely a consultant to Bell Aircraft
in Buffalo, New York. He took up the torch as a
Bell employee when Young lost interest in the
project and went off to become a self-taught
philosopher. Kelley went on to be the project
engineer of several follow-on models, including
the AH- 1 Huey Cobra.
Floyd Carlson was the first pilot of the
Models 30 and 47, teaching himself to fly the
30 by hovering a tethered machine at successively higher altitudes until he eventually flew
it untethered. Carlson is the pilot holding his
hands above his head during hover referred to
in McClellan’s article.
Pete blount, EAA 52856, N. Richland Hills, Texas
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