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Bell XH-15

The Bell XH-15, also known as the Bell Model 54, was an American two-seat utility helicopter that was developed and manufactured by Bell Helicopter.

It was specifically created to fulfil the need for a liaison and utility helicopter for both the United States Army and the United States Air Force.

The Model 54 was a traditional four-seat helicopter with a pod-and-boom design, equipped with fixed tricycle landing gear.

It was powered by a single 275 hp Continental XO-470-5 piston engine located in the rear cabin, which drove a single two-bladed rotor.

In February 1946, the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) placed an order for three units under the designation XR-15.

The first flight took place in March 1948, now designated as XH-15.

Unfortunately, no further orders were received after evaluation by the United States Air Force (USAF), leading to the project’s conclusion in 1950.

Variants

XR-15

Military designation for three Model 54s ordered for evaluation.

XH-15

XR-15 redesignated before delivery.

Specifications

Crew

One

Capacity

Three

Length

27 ft 10 in (8.49 m)

Height

8 ft 10 in (2.68 m)

Max take-off weight

2,795 lb (1,268 kg)

Powerplant

1 × Continental XO-470-5 piston engine,

475 hp (354 kW)

Main rotor diameter

37 ft 4 in (11.38 m)

Performance

Maximum speed

110 mph (170 km/h, 92 kn)

Range

200 mi (320 km, 170 nmi)

Service ceiling

20,000 ft (6,100 m)

Sources

bellflight.com

Airmobile: The Helicopter War in Vietnam-J Mesko.

Vietnam: The War in the Air-J Francillon.

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