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did as one of the first true global ambassadors of the helicopter. Mashman’s abilities as a helicopter demonstration pilot and rotary-wing advocate were unequaled. His work in the United States, South America and Europe helped propel the helicopter onto the world stage and expand helicopter operations. Mashman combined an extraordinary piloting ability, conviction in the heli- copter’s capabilities, and the poise and determination of the most polished salesman to introduce the helicopter to people and help them see its useful- ness. Even after retirement, he remained active in the helicopter industry, pro- moting helicopter safety and helping develop the next generation of helicop- ter pilots. His contributions to the helicopter industry are so extensive that he is undoubtedly a true Rotorcraft Pioneer. abcd


Brown, D. A. (1995). The Bell Helicopter Textron Story, Changing the Way the World Flies. Arlington, TX: Aerofax Incorporated.

Haddaway, G. E. (1977, January) A visit with “Mr. Helicopter”. Flight, 15-18. Padfield, R. R. (1992). To Fly Like a Bird. Potomac, MD: Phillips Publishing.

Above: Joe Mashman is shown in the cockpit of a Bell AH-1 HueyCobra Gunship in 1968. Mashman did extensive demonstrations of the Cobra for the U.S. and foreign militaries, helping to make the Cobra the first successful large scale helicopter gunship model. Photo: Courtesy of the Mashman Aviation History File

had become very capable and reliable aircraft with an important place in civil and military aviation. Not many people could have said that they saw the helicopter develop from its early beginnings in the 1940s to the machine that it had become by the 1990s. Only a select few could have said that they helped shape this transformation. Joe Mashman was one of these few. His work as a test pilot and demonstration pilot over an almost 40 year career with Bell Helicopter helped make Bell a world leader in helicopter develop- ment and manufacturing. A position Bell still holds today. While his contri- butions to Bell were substantial, they are only a small part of the work that he

Spenser, J. P. (1998). Whirlybirds: A History of the U.S. Helicopter Pioneers. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press

LT Brad McNally is a 2001graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy. After serving two tours in Coast Guard Naval Engineering he attended Naval Flight Training in Pensacola, Florida. He was previously station at the Coast Guard Air Station in Atlantic City, NJ

where he was an aircraft commander in the MH-65C Dolphin helicopter. He currently resides in

West Lafayette, IN with his wife Monica and son Brett where he is assigned as a graduate student at Purdue University pursuing a Masters Degree in Aeronautical Engineering.

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