Aircraft History

Bell 47 (HTL-4 / HTL-6)

Bell 47 (HTL-4 / HTL-6)On 1 September 1951 three Bell HTL-4's were delivered to HMCS Shearwater and assigned to Helicopter Utility Squadron 21, HU 21. The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) had a requirement for helicopters for the newly commissioned ice breaker HMCS Labrador for ice reconnaissance and light utility support and transport. Two HTL's were embarked on HMCS Labrador during her east to west historic transit of the North-West Passage from July to September 1954. Each aircraft flew four to five trips per day enabling the ship's scientific team to survey 45 miles of arctic coastline in four days compared to ten miles in 18 days using previous methods.

Later the RCN took an additional five HTL-6's on strength which were used to train fixed-wing pilots who were to fly the larger HO4S helicopter in addition to aerial photography, air rescue, air transport, ship support, spotting for torpedo firing and other utility roles. Normally the HTL's landing gear consisted of skids, however, for arctic cruises the skids were replaced with pontoons.

Type: Training and general utility helicopter

Rotor Diameter:
11.32 m (37 ft 1.5 in)

13.3 m (43 ft 7.5 in)

2.84 m (9 ft 3.75 in)

Max. Speed:
137 kph (85 mph)

Service Ceiling:
3200 m (10, 500 ft)

412 km (256 mi)

Max. Weight:
1293 kg (2850 lb)

Empty Weight:
786 kg (1732 lb)

Power Plant:
One 198 kW (265 hp) Avco Lycoming VO-435-B1A flat six piston engine