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Bell 201 / XH-13F

One Bell Model 47G was fitted experimentally with a Turbomeca Artouste turbine built under license by Continental as the Model 200-T51T-3; it delivered 425shp. As the XH-13F, it was built at the beginning of 1955 to test some components for the Bell 204.

Bell's first turbine helicopter, the XH-13F, took to the sky on October 20, 1954, with test pilot Bill Quinlan at the controls. Project engineer for this joint Army/USAF research program was J. R. "Bob" Duppstadt.

A French 280-shp Turbomeca Artouste I turboshaft engine powered the XH-13F. It weighed so little that it had to be mounted behind the helicopter's fuel tanks and rotor mast for weight-and-balance reasons. The light weight of turbines made them ideal for helicopters, whose performance had long been constrained by the low power-to-weight ratios of piston engines. Turbine power also promised greater reliability and lower maintenance costs. Their drawbacks were higher fuel consumption and a significantly higher purchase price. The latter would limit civil market sales far more than those to the military. Putting a premium on performance and having public funds at their disposal, the world's armed services wholeheartedly embraced turbine power.

Pleased with the prototype during its Phase I (factory) testing, Quinlan called the XH-13F the "smoothest Model 47 ever built". At the start of April 1955, the prototype was handed over to usaf Major Jones P. Seigler and First Lieutenant Donald A. Wooley. The two officers, attached to Edwards Air Force Base in California, conducted the Phase II test program at Fort Worth to ensure good coordination with Bell.

J.P.Spencer "Whirlybirds: A History of the U.S. Helicopter Pioneers", 1998

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