Bell 47 Finds New Home at the CAF Bayou State Escadrille
HAMMOND, LA (September 7, 2022) - Members of the Bayou State Escadrille, a young Unit located north of New Orleans, traveled to San Marcos, Texas, to pick up their recently assigned Bell 47G4A helicopter. This Bell 47 is a single-rotor single-engine light helicopter and has the livery of a MASH (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital) helicopter.
Bayou State Escadrille members are thrilled with the assignment of the aircraft which will be based at Hammond Northshore Regional Airport in Hammond, Louisiana. Several Unit members are helicopter pilots and mechanics, so this is a great fit for their location. The addition of the aircraft means they will have a project to rally around and will likely draw in new members from the community.
The CAF’s Bell 47 was donated to the organization in 2017. It’s unique to the fleet in that it is the CAF’s only flying helicopter and unlike most aircraft in the CAF’s fleet, is not a World War II-era aircraft. Including the Bell 47 in the fleet gives the CAF an opportunity to broaden the story of American military aviation, even extend into the Vietnam War era, because many of that generation’s helicopter pilots were trained in the type.
The CAF’s example is a Bell 47G-4A featuring a 310 horsepower Lycoming VO-540 was constructed in 1969 for the civilian market. It was operated extensively by a flight school until it was generously donated by a CAF Colonel. Due to its bubble canopy, the Bell 47 offers great all-around visibility, making it an ideal aircraft for sightseeing and living history flights.