HISTORY OF THE BELL 47
Built by the Bell Aircraft Corporation, the first prototype flew on December 8, 1945. This was the first helicopter to use the amazing high visibility ‘goldfish bowl’ style canopy. On March 8, 1946 the Model 47 was awarded the world’s first helicopter type certification by the US Civil Aeronautics Authority (CAA). Bell built more than 4,000 47s between 1945 and 1974. Augusta Bell of Italy license built over 1200, Kawasaki of Japan, 239 and Westland of the UK, 239.
In 1949, a Bell 47 set altitude record of 18,500 ft and speed record of 153.9 mph. In the late 1940’s a Bell 47 was used to survey a site 50 miles north of Vancouver. It took only 20 hours of aerial surveying to accomplish what would have taken five years of groundwork. In 1950, a Bell 47D-1 became the first helicopter to fly over the Alps.