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Bell 47J Ranger

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Range  413 km
Cruise speed  130 km/h
Unit cost  65,000–65,000 USD
Manufacturer  Bell Helicopter
Length  9.87 m
Weight  785 kg
Engine type  Lycoming O-435
Bell 47J Ranger Helicopter Bell 47J Ranger Specifications A photo

Whirlybirds joey rhodes the bell 47j ranger takeoff

The Bell 47J Ranger is an American two-bladed, single engine, light helicopter that was manufactured by Bell Helicopter. It was an executive variant based on the highly successful Bell 47 and was the first helicopter to carry a United States president.


Bell 47J Ranger Helicopter Bell 47J Ranger Specifications A photo

Design and development

Bell 47J Ranger 47J

The 47J was a four-seat variant of the earlier three-seat Bell 47H. The 47H was a deluxe variant of the 47G with a fully clad fuselage and an enclosed cabin. The 47H proved to be too small, so Bell developed the 47J. The 47J was a single pilot aircraft with the pilot seat and controls centered in the front of the cabin, and positioned close to the 180° view unobstructed Lexan "bubble" windscreen. A single bench seat at the rear of the cabin spanned its entire width and allowed for a passenger capacity limited by weight to typically 3 or 4 adults.

Operational history

Bell 47J Ranger Helicopter Bell 47J Ranger Specifications A photo

In March 1957 two Bell 47Js were bought by the United States Air Force as presidential transport and designated H-13J. On 13 July 1957 a H-13J was the first helicopter used by a United States president when it carried Dwight D. Eisenhower from the White House. In March 1962 the two helicopters were moved from presidential duties but were used as VIP transports for the next five years until retired in July 1967.

Bell 47J Ranger Helicopter Bell 47J Ranger Specifications A photo

Two Bell 47J-2s were used during the 1966 film production of Paradise, Hawaiian Style starring Elvis Presley. Throughout the film Presley's character, Rick Richards, was flying a Bell 47J-2 over the Hawaiian Islands.


Bell 47J Ranger httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
47J Ranger
Production variant powered by a 220hp Lycoming VO-435-A1B engine., 135 built.
47J-1 Ranger
Military VIP variant as the H-13J, two built.
47J-2 Ranger
Production variant with a 240hp Lycoming VO-540-B1B engine, powered controls and metal blades., 104 built.
47J-2A Ranger
Production variant with a 260hp Lycoming VO-540-B1B3 engine and a collective boost system, 75 built.
Italian built variant by Agusta-Bell.
High-altitude variant of the 47J-3
Training variant for the United States Navy, see HTL-7.
United States Navy variant with a 260hp VO-435-B1B, 28 built became UH-13P in 1962.
Two HUL-1s used by the United States Coast Guard, became UH-13Q in 1962.
Variant of the HUL-1 with a 250shp YT-62-A-3 turboshaft engine, two built became UH-13R in 1962.
Proposed turboshaft-powered variant, not built.
Model 47K training version of the HUL-1 with a modified two-seat cockpit and a 240hp Lycoming O-435-6 engine, 18 built, later designated TH-13N in 1962.
Two Bell 47J-1 Ranger aircraft utilizing the 179 kW Lycoming VO-435-21 engine acquired for VIP transport of the U.S. President by the U.S. Air Force. Originally designated as H-13J until 1962.
United States Navy variant for use aboard ice-breaking ships, Originally designated as the Navy HUL-1.
The HTL-7 re-designated in 1962.
The HUL-1G re-designated in 1962.
The HUL-1M re-designated in 1962.


  • Argentine Coast Guard
  •  Colombia
  • Colombian Air Force
  •  Greece
  • Hellenic Air Force
  •  Iceland
  • Icelandic Coast Guard
  •  Italy
  • Italian Air Force
  • Carabinieri
  • Italian Navy
  •  Spain
  • Spanish Air Force
  •  United States
  • United States Air Force
  • United States Coast Guard
  • United States Navy
  • Aircraft on display

  • The first UH-13J, which first carried a U.S. President, is on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Washington Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Virginia.
  • The second UH-13J is on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio in the Museum's Presidential Gallery.
  • Specifications (Bell 47J-2A)

    Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1965–66

    General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Capacity: 3 passengers
  • Length: 32 ft 5 in (9.87 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 3 in (2.83 m)
  • Empty weight: 1,833 lb (831 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 2,950 lb (1,338 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Lycoming VO-540-B1B vertically mounted air-cooled flat-six, 260 hp (190 kW)
  • Main rotor diameter: 37 ft 2 in (11.33 m)
  • Main rotor area: 1,085 sq ft (100.8 m2)
  • Performance

  • Maximum speed: 105 mph (169 km/h; 91 kn) at sea level
  • Cruise speed: 91 mph (146 km/h; 79 kn)
  • Range: 258 mi (224 nmi; 415 km) (no reserves)
  • Service ceiling: 11,000 ft (3,400 m)
  • Rate of climb: 870 ft/min (4.4 m/s)
  • References

    Bell 47J Ranger Wikipedia

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