Summers Over


Summer is over and it is the start of Fall. Sales of the Bell 47 Book continue to sell favorably on a monthly basis. The book will be on sale up to the end of the year. For those in Canada and the USA one can still purchase the Bell 47 Book for only $89.95 including postage from the website. The Bell 47 Book can be purchased overseas in The Netherlands at the Aviation Mega Store. Copies of the book are available at the Vertical Flight Society and the Niagara Aerospace Museum in the USA as an option. In Canada the Bell 47 Book is available at the "Aviator's Bookshelf" in Vancouver, B.C. too.

Bill Cox in California just purchased a second copy of The Bell 47 Helicopter Story. Cox gave his original copy to an enthusiastic young boy very interested in the Bell Model 47. He said "You did a great job on all the history of the many models of the Bell Model 47 helicopter. Even my Bell 47, N932B, made it into the book. I am trying my best to honor the history of the Bell 47. I am keeping my Bell 47 in top shape and still continue to fly it today in 2021. Thank you again."

It is amazing still that there is so much interest in the very first commercial helicopter in all the world today in the 21st Century. The very first Bell Model 47 took to the air way back in December 1945.

The very first commercial Bell 47B-3 helicopter CF-FJA registered in Canada flown by Al Soutar is shown above carrying out agricultural dusting in southern Ontario, Canada operated by the Photographic Survey Company. Photo credit is Charlie Parkin, the second pilot trained by Al Soutar.

This month's feature story tells the beginning of using helicopters in the oil and gas industry back in 1947 in the swamps of southern Louisiana in the USA. New helicopter operator, Helicopter Air Transport out of Camden, New Jersey were trying to find jobs for their Bell 47B and Sikorsky S-51 helicopters, Sales manager Peter Wright believed the early new helicopter could benefit the oil companies and help them save money utilizing this new means of transport in the wet lands over conventional swamp buggies being presently used. He suggested using the small Bell Model 47B on floats to carry out gravity meter surveys and transporting personnel.

A Fabick Bell 47D helicopter was first used in Canada back in 1948 near Chard, Alberta on a geophysical survey. Two Bell 47D helicopters were used again near Chard in 1949 from Fabick Helicopters. Associated Helicopters was the first company formed in Edmonton, Alberta in 1950 with one Bell 47D helicopter.

Enjoy the (HAT) Helicopter Air Transport story.

Also this month, attached below is a short video on Spartan Air Services, an early Canadian company that started in 1950 of slides complied by J.B. Armstrong, the son of Neil Armstrong a Spartan pilot and geologist in 1954/1955, on early surveys in Northern Canada. My thanks to Mr. J.B. Armstrong in documenting Canadian helicopter history and allowing me to share the video clip..

Download the HAT Story

Click here to watch a video (Bell 47 Spartan Air Services Geological Survey 1954 / 1955)