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Classic Wings Magazine WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific Luftwaffe Resource Center
When Hollywood Ruled The Skies - Volumes 1 through 4 by Bruce Oriss


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 1:25 am 
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Does anyone know who supplied the Bell 47's for the tv series MASH in the -70's and -80's? A friend of mine is just restoring one (a civvy one) for his own enjoyment now that he's retired (he put himself through med school flying one commercially in the bush in the summers, years ago.)

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:29 am 
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Tells you a bit about it in this video
https://youtu.be/AnHmEs3TOq4


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 11:09 am 
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That's an interesting video - thank you. I'll pass the link on to him.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 11:19 am 
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Hi Dan get your friend to contact Dave James at Helicopter services in Wayne Michigan, he knows every thing about Bell 47,s, he has about 13...lol he help with getting parts for our restoration in Halifax for the museum.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 11:21 am 
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That’s before here is after


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:10 pm 
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I'll pass it on. Thanks!!

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 6:44 pm 
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In 1990 I got my first Bell 47 ride at at Zemlock helicopter at Chino.
Following training in Maryland, I went back in 2000 after I retired for a week of brush-up flying.
At that time, he said he knew the guys that did the filming for the Film and TV series. It wasn't him or any of his 47D1s (H-13D/E) but he knew the guy and had photos from the filming.

If Zemlock is still in business, ask them.

BTW...what model of 47 does your friend have?
To be authentic, it needs to be a D, not a later G ...it's a pet peeve there are many wrong ones out there...even model companies (Revell for one) don't know the difference. The differences include cabin, tailboom, fuel tanks, skids (some variants) and stabilizer. In other words, pretty much the entire airframe. :)

A lot of otherwise knowledgeable airplane guys think Bells are like Model Ts or VW Beatles...that "they're all alike" (hint...VWs and Ts aren't all alike either).


Several months back I happened across an online ad offering a Bell said to have been used in the TV series opening. It was restored in military colors.
But the guy was asking big (silly) money for it...something like $1.2 million or something.
A lot of money for a early '47...especially when you consider it as seen only in the opening and not used in a recurring role, like the machine used in Airwolf or Magnum P.I. (Magnum of course used several different 500s...all playing the same helicopter "character").

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:25 am 
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I went through primary flight school from June 69 to October 69 (Ft. Wolters) in the Bell OH 13 E & G models.They were fun, easy,and very forgiving to fly.In November 69 at Ft. Rucker our instrument training was in the Bell TH-13T ( Bell 47G3 B1).I wish I could afford one now.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2020 8:54 pm 
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I would have thought by '69, primary training was in TH-55s. They were supposed to be considerably less expensive to operate than Bells, and less forgiving due to their smaller, narrower blades. My hour (so I'm no expert) in a Hughes (actually a later model Schweizer) showed it to be more like a Robinson R-22 than the stable Bell.

Did some classes have Bells instead of Hughes'?
Or were the TH-55s at Ft. Rucker?

A nearby community college has a TH-13T in their aviation school. It's still in the Army Orange paint scheme. I would imagine some of those will eventually come on the market.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:36 am 
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In June of 69 they still were using OH-13s,Hiller UH-12s,and TH-55s.When I left in October 69 they were parking the OH-13s with the rotor heads off.Our class,70-1,might have been the last class to fly them, but I am not positive about that.The Hillers were still flying too, but I don't know for how long.The last picture I took in October was of a Hiller.I still have my laminated cards they gave us for preflight, run up, and take off and landing.The TH-55s were at Wolters,but over by themselves at Mineral Wells.The Bells and Hillers were on Wolters.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 11:15 am 
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Wow, still using Hiller H-23s as trainers that late!
I have a book that mentions Hillers were the primary trainer throughout the '50s...the "D" model had an improved transmission with an extended TBO that allowed the Army to use fewer airframes for training at Wolters.

It would be interesting to learn what differences there were in pilots trained in Bells (and I'd assume Hillers were similar) vs. the Hughes.
Did one do a better job preparing pilots for the UH-1 than the other?

The last time I saw military OH-23s was in the early '70s, they seemed to be assigned to a lot of Army Guard units. Perhaps the Guard got them because the regular Army was still using Bell H-13E-G-Hs for training (and keeping in mind the TH-13T was only used for training, I'm not away of any that went to the Guard).

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 1:12 pm 
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lucky52 wrote:
In June of 69 they still were using OH-13s,Hiller UH-12s,and TH-55s.When I left in October 69 they were parking the OH-13s with the rotor heads off.Our class,70-1,might have been the last class to fly them, but I am not positive about that.The Hillers were still flying too, but I don't know for how long.The last picture I took in October was of a Hiller.I still have my laminated cards they gave us for preflight, run up, and take off and landing.The TH-55s were at Wolters,but over by themselves at Mineral Wells.The Bells and Hillers were on Wolters.


There's a company in the old engine shop at Wolters that restores Hillers.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 8:45 pm 
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From what little I remember, the guys flying the TH-55s thought they were squirrely, the Hiller guys thought the Hillers were sluggish ( because the controls went through those paddle wigs on top of the rotor head).I think the OH-13 was somewhere in the middle.I never flew the Hillers or Hughes.I'm pretty sure the training syllabus was the same for all aircraft.After Wolters every one went on to instruments in the TH-13T and then on to Hueys.I have a bunch of pictures but I haven't got that picture posting thing down.


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