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Bell Model 533 (High Performance Helicopter)

United States (1962)
Picture of Bell Model 533 (High Performance Helicopter) Experimental / Research Helicopter

One Bell Model 533 was built for the United States Army to research high-speed rotor flight.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Bell Model 533 (High Performance Helicopter) Experimental / Research Helicopter.  Entry last updated on 12/13/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The classic Bell Huey helicopter went on to become the workhorse of the West throughout the Cold War period (1947-1991) and many offshoots of this successful design continue in service today (2017). Back when the Huey product was still in its relative infancy, the company teamed with the United States Army to test the limits of high-speed rotorcraft through a combination powerplant arrangement. An early-model Huey was outfitted with wing mainplanes and fuselage-mounted jet engines for added propulsion to become the Bell Model 533 - also known as the "High Performance Helicopter".

Bell Helicopter satisfied the U.S. Army requirement for the project and the two teamed up to bring the Model 533 to fruition in August of 1961. The developmental YH-40-BF helicopter, one of the six pre-series Hueys to be built, was selected as the primary specimen for the project. Beyond streamlining the helicopter's fuselage for aerodynamic efficiency (including modifying the rotor blades) there would be notable additions to its base design including the installation of wing mainplanes (eventually swept back) and turbojet engines, the latter to provide auxiliary forward thrust to help increase overall speeds. Internally, several changes also occurred in the way the helicopter was constructed and assembled to further strengthen the already versatile design for the rigors of high-speed flying.
The revised Huey aircraft then took to the skies for the first time (though sans its jet powerplants) on August 10th, 1962. In October of 1963, testing with the turbojet engines in place was begun and the aircraft managed speeds of 214 miles per hour. The U.S. Army and Bell completed their commitment to the project in April of 1964 but Bell continued with the Model 533 for a time longer - introducing the J69-T-29 turbojet engines of 1,700lb thrust to bring the helicopter to speeds of 236 miles per hour and, later, speeds of 250 miles per hour. Before the end, the aircraft was outfitted with Pratt & Whitney JT12A-3 engines of 3,300lb thrust output (each) to which point, in April of 1969, the aircraft flew at its maximum tested speed of 316 miles per hour.

Only this single Model 533 was ever constructed for the program and it was given to the United States Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate to be displayed outside at Fort Eustis, Virginia.






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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (316mph).

    Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
Aviation Era
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Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
1
1


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


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National Flag Graphic
Origin: United States
Year: 1962
Type: Experimental / Research Helicopter
Manufacturer(s): Bell Helicopter - USA
Production: 1
Status: Retired, Out-of-Service
Global Operators:
United States (retired)
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Bell Model 533 HPH model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
2


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
57.09 ft


Meters
17.4 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
49.21 ft


Meters
15 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
14.44 ft


Meters
4.4 m

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Turboshaft engine driving a two-bladed main rotor and two-bladed tail rotor.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
316 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
508 kph


Knots
274 kts

Armament - Hardpoints (0):

None.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• Model 533 - Base Project Designation