The machine was built by Arthur Young  to experiment with coaxial configurations, with flapping rotors in close proximity with each other.

The Bell Model 49 was designed as a follow on to the Bell Model 30 Ship 3 and the Bell Model 47 to determine the feasibility of utilizing a co-axial rotor system to eliminate the tail rotor system and to provide more power to the main rotor system.

The concept for this project was started in late 1945 with test models designed by Arthur Young as a proof of concept, and the prototype first flew in the fall of 1946.

Young proposed the concept to Mr. Bell seeking additional funding, but was told he could only use spare components from the Model 30 and 47 as Bell was focused on getting the Model 47 and YR-13 helicopters exposed to the public and military to boost sales.

Utilizing spare components and limited resources, a tubular frame was designed to mount the Franklin Engine horizontal as opposed to the vertical mount as used on the model 30 and 47. The transmission was highly modified to drive the co-axial rotor system the later proved unreliable due to gear failures and overheating.

Initial flight testing proved successful in ground handling, hovering and forward speed attaining 70 mph in forward flight.

" Arthur Young stated with a torque corrected by a torque, it was much more precise in hover than a tail-rotor machine. It was just like standing on the floor, you could move it an inch or half of inch or whatever you wanted. "

There is no record of exactly how many flights were made or the numbers of hours logged due to the failure of the transmission gears causing delays. Young proved his concept and was happy with the results of his unusual prototype.

As there was no budget to expand testing or a redesign of the transmission, the Model 49 was placed in storage. In October of 1947 Arthur Young felt his work was complete and resigned from Bell and returned to his home in Paloi, PA., to pursue other interests.

When Bell Helicopter moved to Texas in 1951, the Model 30 Ship 1A, Model 42, Model 49, and Model 54 (XH-15) were sent by train to the new facility and placed in storage.

Years later the helicopters were scrapped with the exception of the Model 30-1A that is now on display at the NASM Dulles Facility.


Data on design, manufacture and status

Design authority: Bell Aircraft Corporation

Primary manufacturer: Bell Aircraft Corporation

Parent type: No type defined

Aircraft status: No longer flying


Primary flight and mechanical characteristics

VTOL type: Helicopter

Lift devices: 2 in Coaxial configuration

Crew required: 1 in Single seater arrangement

Landing gear: Wheels (non-retractable)

Key Characteristics

Data on key physical features

Aircraft Details

Data on aircraft configuration, weights, flight performance and equipment

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