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Bell H-13 Sioux

First Flight

8 December 1945 (Bell 47 prototype)


Vietnam Hangar

Dimensions & Capacity

Crew: 1 – 1 Passenger / 2 Stretchers
Length: 31 ft 7 in (9.63 m)
Height: 9 ft 8 in (2.95 m)
Max Take Off Weight: 2,952 lb (1,339 kg)


Speed: 105 mph (169 km/h, 91 kn)
Service Ceiling: 16,100 ft (4,900 m)
Range: 273 mi (439 km, 237 nmi)


Flying Aircraft


Guns: Twin machine guns

Loan Status

This aircraft is owned by the Valiant Air Command

The Bell H-13 Sioux is a single-engine single-rotor light helicopter built by Bell Helicopter. Westland Aircraft manufactured the Sioux under license for the British military as the Sioux AH.1 and HT.2. In 1947, the United States Army Air Forces (later the United States Air Force) ordered the improved Bell Model 47A. Most were designated YR-13 and three winterized versions were designated YR-13A. The United States Army first ordered Bell 47s in 1948 under the designation H-13. These would later receive the name Sioux. Initially, the United States Navy procured several Bell 47s, designated HTL-1, between 1947 and 1958. The United States Coast Guard evaluated this model and procured two HTL-1s for multi-mission support in the New York Harbor. The most common U.S. Navy version of the 47 was designated the HTL-4, and dispenses with the fabric covering on the tail boom. The U.S. Coast Guard procured three HTL-5s in 1952 (similar to the HTL-4 but powered by a Franklin O-335-5 engine) and used these until 1960. The Coast Guard procured two of Bell’s Model 47G and designated them HUL-1G in 1959.

The H-13 was used as an observation helicopter early in the Vietnam War, before being replaced by the Hughes OH-6 Cayuse in 1966. The Bell 47 was ordered by the British Army as the Sioux to meet specification H.240, with licensed production by Westland Helicopters. In order to comply with the terms of its license agreement with Sikorsky Aircraft, which prevented it building a U.S. competitor’s aircraft, Westland licensed the Model 47 from Agusta, who had purchased a license from Bell. The first contract was for 200 helicopters. The first 50 helicopters of the contract were built by Agusta at Gallarate in Italy followed by 150 built by Westland at Yeovil. The first Westland Sioux made its maiden flight on 9 March 1965.

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