Bell 47 D-1 is a light helicopter from the United States.
Bell 47, the world’s first civilian helicopter, came into use in 1946. Various different versions of this model were manufactured over a period of almost 30 years. The Bell-47D was equipped with the characteristic plexi-glass dome. Bell 47’s were most commonly used for ambulance flights, and for rescue and observation missions.
Bell 47 in Norway
In September 1952, when the Airforce was establishing a helicopter rescue service, Norway signed a contract with the Bell Aircraft Corp. for the delivery of 6 Bell 47 D-1. To begin with, the rescue service was organized in helicopter sections at the airports of Rygge, Sola, Ørlandet and Bodø. Several more helicopters were subsequently acquired, and up until 1971, the Airforce had a total of 14 Bell 47 helicopters.
Bell 47 at the museum
The helicopter on display in the museum is a 47 D- 1, one of the first six helicopters which arrived April 1953. This helicopter was used by the RNoAF until 1968. It was then sold to A/S Flytransport at Hamar, and entered on the civilian register. Operationally this helicopter was used until 1977. As a result of a trade, the helicopter again became military, now on the hands of the Norwegian Museum of Defence. It is today displayed in its civilian markings.