Latest Update July 2014

Hello Everyone:

Book sales have been steady the last few months. The special book price of $75.00 is now over. The book now costs $89.95 each.

One can now pay via PayPal if you so wish. Send me an email at or and I will send you an email back with a invoice showing book cost plus shipping.

I can accept bank to bank wire transfering of funds in Canadian or USA funds plus a $18.00 service charge. Please contact me and I will provide the banking wiring instructions.

Please be advised I have sent a number of books to the Aviation Megastore/Luchtvaart Hobby Shop in the Netherlands. The books arrived on July 7, 2014. You can contact them at where it should it be easier for overseas customers to purchase the Bell 47 Book.

There have been a number of reviews recently done on The Bell 47 Helicopter Story.

Elfan ap Rees, Helicopter International publisher in England reviewed the Bell 47 Book in the spring of 2014.

The Bell 47 Helicopter Story by Robert Petite and Jeffrey Evans. Published by Graphic Publishers. Price $ 89.95 (US & Canada).

Every now and again a book lands on our desk that you just know has been put together by real enthusiasts for their subject, with no regard for making their fortune but just wanting to tell the story with as much detail and accuracy as is possible. This massive and weighty 731 page tome is exactly that.

Copiously illustrated with over a 1,000 photographs and diagrams of every Bell 47 ever built or proposed, many of which have never been published before, this love story records the very beginning of the Model 47 development before working its way through all the many official (and some unofficial) variants designed and produced to date. The authors have researched their subject meticulously over many years, with contributions from former Bell employees, old newsletters and magazines and many other sources. A total of 29 comprehensive chapters cover each Bell Model from the experimental Model 30 through to the modern-day Scott's , Bell SB47, followed several by appendices including a serial number production summary, specifications and manufacturing numbers and a military designation referance chart. Frankly a simple review like this cannot do the book justice. It is one that you will dip into time and time again, especially if you have a regard for this long-living helicopter. Go on - spoil yourself and order a copy.

Following is an unedited book review completed by Marty J. Pociask, curator for the HAI (Helicopter Association International), HFI (Helicopter Foundation International) for the HAI Rotor magazine expected out in the summer of 2014.

Rotorcraft aviation insiders and Twirly Bird members Robert S. "Bob" Petite and Jeffrey C. Evans teamed up to write and produce The Bell 47 Helicopter Story: Birth of the Commercial and Military Helicopter Industry the most complete and concise history of the Bell 47. This aircraft was certified for civilian use on March 8, 1946 - launching in the process the commercial industry.

The Bell 47 Helicopter Story was 20 years in the making and the result of intense, dedicated research on the part of Petite and Evans. This book contains everything you wanted to know about the helicopter that created an industry, starting with the relationship between Arthur Young and Lawrence Bell. The authors document the history of the aircraft through each and every model change until the type certificate was sold to Scott's Helicopter Services in early 2010.

Petite and Evans tell a fantastic story, with more than thousand photos illustrating a bygone era in helicopter development. If you look closely, you can see the future in those early Bell 47 designs - the fore and aft cockpit arrangement that became the Bell AH-1 Cobra, rigid and multi-bladed rotor systems, and the addition of wings to supplement lift. Each experiment added to the knowledge base of vertical aviation and led to such innovations as hoist operations, working on floats, and agricultural spray application.

Whether it was actually flying the Bell 47 - does anyone else remember the kick-starter on the E model?  - or seeing it in operation through the years, every helicopter enthusiast can feel a connection with this aircraft, an essential part of our industry's history. The Bell 47 Helicopter Story can be ordered through the website

I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It covers every detail of the aircraft's development and history, including the history of the Bell Aircraft Corporation, its early Bell employees, concepts and designs, prototypes and models, and the helicopter's commercial and military production, to name just a few topics covered. But I warn you, it is quite capyivating. Once you start reading and viewing the many amazing photos that complement the outstanding writing, you won't be able to put it down.

Michael Benolkin, publisher of the internet site Cybermodeler Online, did a book review recently for the many plastic modelers in the model hobby industry.

Many folks believe that helicopters didn't come into being until after World War 2 but that isn't correct. Igor Sikorsky flew his first prototype in 1939, but Hanna Reich demonstrated helicopter flight much earlier with the Fa 61 flown inside the Deutschlandhalle in Berlin, Germany (I've attended a concert in the Deutschlandhalle and the thought of thatflight forty years earlier is still impressive.) While a few types did serve during the war, their utility was still limited by technology of the day.

When Larry Bell left Martin Aircraft to form his own aircraft company in the mid-1930s, he gathered a talented team which designed interesting aircraft from the P-39 Airacobra and America's first jet aircraft, the (less-than-successful) P-59 Airacomet to the first aircraft tobreak the sound barrier in 1947, the X-1. One of those engineers was Arthur Young who was developing his own prototype model helicopter and he led a special group to create the Model 30, Bell's first protoype one of Young's designs.

Depending when you grew up, the iconic helicopter of my generation was the Bell 47. The signature bubble cockpit enclosure and erector-set tail boom is what many of us associate with the helicopter. Watching the early TV series "Whirlybirds" as well as years MASH did we see the Bell 47 in action each week (never mind seeing them at any airport every day.) Ironically, most folk of the "younger generation" think of the UH-1 Huey as that iconic helicopter realizing that the Model 204 was derived from the earlier Model 47 turbine helicopter designs just like the AH-1 Cobra layout came from one of the early two-place attack helicopter designs based on a modified Bell 47 airframe.

The authors have painstakenly assembled years of research to create this informative title. Much of the history of the Bell 47 had simply disappeared over the years, but by accessing a number of historical resources as well as folks involved with the deveopment and operation of aircraft, the authors were not only able to construct an in-depth history, they were able to find hundreds of images that have never been published before.

Coverage in this huge volume involves 29 chapters plus specifications and production summaries.

This is one of the most comprehensive research titles I've seen in print that captures a rare look at the commercial and military applications of this iconic aircraft while providing a good and entertaining read in doing so. If you are even remotely interested in rotary-wing aviation and its history, this title is a must-have for your library.

Very highly recommended. My sincere thanks to Helicopter Heritage Canada for this review sample!

Buy the Bell 47 book before they are all gone.

Bob Petite