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ground. On June 26, 1943, Floyd Carlson flew the first Bell Model 30, known as Ship1 or Genevieve, untethered for the first time. The flight took place in the meadow behind the converted Chrysler dealership and made the Model 30 the third successful North American helicopter. Carlson noted that there were some severe vibrations as the speed of the aircraft approached 25 knots. Although an aerodynamic analysis by Bell engineers showed that the vibrations would decrease as aircraft speed increased, Arthur Young halted further test flights until a solution to the vibrations could be developed. Despite not being an engineer or even a high school graduate, it was Carlson who devised the solution to the vibrations. He pro- posed a brace that was attached at the root of the rotor blades to stiffen them in the chordwise direction. This brace would later be known as the “Swedish Yoke” in honor of Carlson’s Swedish ancestry (Young, 2004). Within weeks the “Swedish Yoke” was installed on the Model 30 and Carlson was flying at speeds over 70 miles per hour.


By the middle of 1943, flight testing had outgrown the field behind the converted car dealership and was taking place at a grass airfield not far away. In prepa- ration for performing test flights at altitude, the Gardenville team decided that it was necessary to con- duct autorotations. Although Arthur Young had demonstrated the feasibility of autorotating a helicop- ter with his helicopter models, a power-off landing had not been attempted in the Model 30. In September of 1943, Floyd Carlson made the first autorotation in the Model 30. His first several attempts were successful, but they had too much for- ward airspeed at touchdown. On a subsequent autoro- tation, he attempted to decrease the forward airspeed by flaring the helicopter. The aft landing gear struck the ground first, causing the failure of a bolt which attached the bottom of the tail boom to the fuselage. The tail boom then separated from the fuselage and was pushed up into the main rotor (Spenser, 1998). The helicopter eventually ended up on its side, split in half with the rotor blades destroyed. Luckily, Carlson was not seriously injured in what would be the only major crash of his long helicopter career. He was soon back at the controls of a helicopter, continuing his test flight duties in the second Bell Model 30, known as Ship 2. The original Model 30 was rebuilt after the autorotation crash and became known as Ship 1A. As the success of the helicopter program increased, Larry Bell decided to start showcasing the helicopter and its unique abilities. On May 10, 1944, Floyd Carlson flew Ship 2 inside the Buffalo Armory to demonstrate its


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