Aircraft Type


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.


The museum’s helicopter, a Bell Model 47G, is falsely registered as CF-NHH, which in this case stands for "No History Helicopter".  It is different from other Bell 47s in that it was not built by Bell, or by its licensees. In 1965 the members of the AME - Aircraft Maintenance Engineer - Technology Program at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology gathered sufficient helicopter parts to build an operational machine in order to train students in the basic operation and maintenance of helicopters. The parts received were assembled into a typical Bell 47G. The aircraft never received certification or registration. Although CF-"NHH" has no flying history of its own, it was invaluable in the training of students.  It was donated to the Museum by SAIT in 1995.

The helicopter was refurbished in 2004 and was painted in the colours of an Alberta firm that flew the 47G and was actually based out of the building that now houses the Museum: Bullock Helicopters.


  • The Bell 47 was made famous by the TV show M*A*S*H wherein variants of the Bell 47 were used during the Korean conflict for combat medical evacuation.
  • It remained in production from 1945 to 1974: an amazing 29 years.


  • Rotor diameter of 11.32 metres (37ft 2in)
  • Height of 2.83 metres (9ft 4in)
  • Fuselage length of 9.63 metres (31ft 7in)
  • Maximum speed of 169 km/h (105 mph)
  • Rate of climb of 880 ft/min