The Bell 47 is a small helicopter with a two-bladed rotor. It has a single engine and first flew in end 1945. It was a very successful helicopter, used in many roles, both military as well as in civilian use. Early models varied in appearance, with open cockpits or sheet metal cabins, fabric covered or open structures, some with four-wheel landing gear. The most common model, the 47G introduced in 1953, can be recognized by the full bubble canopy, exposed welded-tube tail boom, saddle fuel tanks and skid landing gear. The later three-seat 47H had an enclosed cabin. Engines used were Franklin or Lycoming vertically-mounted piston engines of 200 to 305 HP (150 to 230 kW). Seating varied from two (early 47s and the later G-5A) to four (the J and KH-4). More than 5,600 Bell 47 helicopters were produced, also under license by Agusta in Italy, Kawasaki in Japan, and Westland in the United Kingdom.

The Bell 47 helicopter entered U.S. military service in late 1946, in a variety of versions and designations for three decades. In the Korean War, it was designated the H-13 Sioux by the U.S. Army. It has also been used as training helicopter. (In the MASH television series, the Bell 47 was used). More than 60 years later, some helicopters are still flying!


Bell 47G

This Bell 47G helicopter is on display at the Kissimmee museum, Florida. It is on display in a MASH scheme.

Photographed, January 2012 by Cees Hendriks (C) Copyright IPMS Nederland

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Bell TH-13T

This Bell 47 / OH-13 helicopter has Serial No. 67–17005. It was delivered to the Army as a TH–13T Sioux instrument trainer on June 3, 1968.  The models OH–13S and TH–13T were the last two versions of the H–13 the Army operated and were very similar to each other except in cabin width and instrumentation. This aircraft appears in a scheme as an armed scout OH–13S Sioux in service with A Troop, 1/9th CAV, 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam around early 1966.

Photographed, January 2012 by Cees Hendriks (C) Copyright IPMS Nederland

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Bell 47 G-2 "Sioux"

This Bell 47 G-2 has "58 5345" and is shown in a U.S. Army scheme and appears to be painted in olive drab. It is on display at the German Helicopter museum in Buckeburg (D).

Photographed, September 2018 by Meindert de Vreeze (C) Copyright IPMS Nederland

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Many plastic scale models have been released over the years. In the large 1/35 scale Academy/ MRC/ Revell have basically the same kit with sometimes extra parts. Esoteric has a 1/48 kit but now there is a far better Italeri kit. "Tail boom" conversion had a version with a tailboom and different fuselage. In 1/72 the best kit is from Italeri, the Pavla kit having nice details but a "flat" tubular structure.

This walk around page was first published January 2012 by M. de Vreeze