Bell XH-40

  Base model:H-40
  Designation System:U.S. Air Force
  Designation Period:1948-Present
  Basic role:Helicopter

Not Yet Available

Known serial numbers
55-4459 / 55-4461

Examples of this type may be found at
United States Army Aviation MuseumOzarkAlabama


Recent comments by our visitors
 David Hatcher
 Enterprise, AL
To Ken Boothe, S.Ayers, and Milo Taylor. Since you were all at Bell during the XH40/ HU1 days I would like to talk to any of you about your recollections. dahat001 at Hotmail com David Hatcher (CW4 ret 8500 hrs UH1BCDHM, IP)
05/05/2012 @ 04:11 [ref: 56762]
 Ken Boothe
 Mansfield, TX
The competition Leo Norman refers to for Cobra #1 209J was in 1965 not 1960
12/31/2011 @ 10:35 [ref: 51764]
 S. Ayers
 , WA
I have a picture of the XH-40 but the number precedes the number on the one in the photo I think. It looks older also.
the name of it on the door is "Desert Lil" # 54450 it has a #2 on the tail
can anyone help me with a possible date or any other info?
10/06/2010 @ 16:16 [ref: 31134]
 Milo Taylor
 , GA
To Leo Norman
Your comments on an earlier post brought back fond memories of days at Bell. I worked for several of the men who you mentioned. When you were mentioning the early
XH-40s I think you forgot the one retained at Bell for many years as an experimental test bed. Various concepts were tried on it. I liked the stubby wings that unloaded the rotor so it could gain higher airspeeds. That was 40 years ago so I can't relate more of the configerationa.
You got me to wondering what happened to Carl and Bill Diel (?) From Customer Support. Worked for Bill in Service Dept. And Tom McManus from engineering. Tom and I worked for Jim Gean on an Engineering test project in Vietnam.
Where is Doman Cannon these days. A fine pilot. I think you were present when the mongoose got out of the box in the test pilots lounge in both Globe and then at Hurst. A lot of good laughs were had by all after they got over their fright. Fall of 66, maybe early 67.
12/09/2009 @ 20:49 [ref: 25408]
 David Hatcher
 Enterprise, AL
To Leo Norman, Richardson TX
What happened to #2 and 3?
Please call me. My son and I want to hear more about the XH40/HU-1. 334 796 3940 or my office 334 255 9510 David Hatcher 3860 Rucker Blvd #83 Enterprise 36330
09/22/2009 @ 11:08 [ref: 25141]
 Leo Norman
 Richardson, TX
A "major" mistake during the engineering design Weights Group monitoring was made that caused the A/C Longitudinal CG to be "almost left in the hangar", but came out too near the tail rotor. Much "plate ballast" had to be bolted to the floor to cause the landing gear to be as level as possible for 1st flt. safety as is visible in the "First Flight" photos!
This mistake is what caused the HUEY to be as utilitarian as it became! Twelve inches was added to the Door Post area for the YH-40's/UH-1's/A's/B's/C's...ad infinitum. This twelve inches greatly enhanced the user utility of the A/C. This is exceptionally visible in the 1st flt photos by seeing how "skinny" the door posts are & comparing them with ANY subsequent HUEY photos! The Group Weights Chief, Bill Fernihough, almost lost his job from this "mistake" that really made the HUEY what it still is today!
02/27/2009 @ 04:18 [ref: 23826]
 Leo Norman
 Richardson, TX
The comment about "First Flight" was correct. The Pilot In Command is Floyd Carlson Bell First & Chief Pilot with E. J. Smith Bell Chief Experimental Pilot in the copilot seat. The Man on the ground with hands on hips in the near background is Mort Leib, Senior Flight Test Engineer over XH-40's. When the pilots first released from the ground to the first hover, the machine took an uncommanded slight "jump" into the air. After completing the first flight (hovering & "inside the fence" accels & decells, etc.)the first landing was attempted. On ground contact the helicopter made uncommanded short, sharp hops into the air @ the landing gear natural frequency. This was the first PIO ever encountered in the HUEY line! The problem was the control tubes/bellcranks between the pilot collective & swashplate were designed/installed in such a condition that the landing gear low frequency "bounce" was causing uncommanded collective input oscillations. They attempted many landings/techniques & were properly concerned about potentially destructive inputs! Finally, Floyd tightened his seat belt/shoulder harness, took control & told E.J. to "tighten down, I'm going to land this machine". He put it in about a two foot hover, rolled the throttle off & dropped it down sharply with a hovering autorotation. It crow hopped slightly on contact, but stuck! Jack Buyers Chief Project Engineer, Jim Gean Dynamics & Cal Burke, Bob Pascher's Fixed Controls engineer quickly had a controls reversal design/parts/ install That solved THAT problem!
Many People have made inputs as to where the name "HUEY" originated. It came from the Army Crews @ Ft. Rucker. The XH-40's (3 helicopters), YH-40's (6 helicopters), & first 11 production delivery Helicopters were designated HU-1's on their US Air Force Design,Development, & delivery Contracts. This can be confirmed by looking @ any of the early delivery A/C MAA Plates. Therefore, the first unit A/C were HU-1's at Ft. Rucker. Before any machines were delivered, the "Smiling Jack" comic strip showed a cartoon version with French SS-11 missles on protruding posts on each side of the fuselage. It was only natural that HU-1 became HUEY @ Ft. Rucker & to the rest of the world. A/C #11 went to Edwards Air Force Base for evaluation. It was far enough from "unit delivery" configuration that it was kept @ EAFB for many years & was turned over to the USAATA @ EAFB when the Army created it's own Design,Development, Test & Evaluation, And Acquisition System. It was still
there when I took A/C #4 to EAFB in the fall of 1960
(as a YH-40, redesignated as HU-1)& modified as first AUH-1B & later modified into the research HPH A/C now on display in front of Test Agency @ Ft. Eustis, VA. It was still there when I took Cobra #1, N290J, To EAFB in the fall of 1960 to compete against the Jolly Green Giant with Igor, Sr. as consultant & the last HU-2K for the interim AAFFSS gunship contract. Notice both the other A/C are from Connecticut, therefore, the competition! Lots of fun things went on during that competition!
02/26/2009 @ 22:29 [ref: 23825]
 David Hatcher
 Dothan, AL
The US Army funded the development of the XH40, primarly as a aeromedical and a utility helicopter. The width of the fuselage had to accomadate the standard litter used by the Army Medical Corp. It was not until latter the "Huey" was mounted with armament as a "gunship".

Three experimental XH40s were procured in 1955,Army serial 55-4459,60,and 61 (Bell serials 1,2,3) followed by six prototype YH40s Army serial 56-6723,24,25,26,27,and 28 (Bell serials 4,5,6,7,8,and 9)in 1956.

The first XH40 55-4459 survives in non display storage at the Army Aviation Museum, Fort Rucker, Alabama.

12/01/2006 @ 10:44 [ref: 14887]

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