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delivered to the Army.


When Fort Wolters was deactivated in 1973, all Army helicopter pilot training transferred to Fort Rucker. Additionally, training of Army helicopter pilots at Hunter  Today, Fort Rucker continues to train Army pilots in the Bell TH-67.


AIR FORCE


The Army Air Forces (eventually becoming the U.S. Air Force in 1947) and the Army have a similar history. As mentioned earlier, beginning in 1947, all combined training of military helicopter pilots took place in San Marcos. Then from 1949 to 1951, helicopter pilot training was moved to Waco Air Force Base, and then moved back to San Marcos. Although Army helicopter pilots were trained in the Bell H-13, Air Force helicopter pilots were  H-13. In 1956, the Air Force discontinued training Army helicopter pilots and moved the Air Force Helicopter School to Randolph AFB in San Antonio.


The Air Force introduced the Bell UH-1F as their primary helicopter training aircraft in 1967. Once an Air Force helicopter pilot  were introduced to their next rotorcraft         CH-3C. In 1970, Air Force helicopter pilots began to receive training from Army and contract instructor pilots at Fort Wolters. Next, they transitioned into the Bell UH-1 at Ft. Rucker, and then proceeded to Sheppard AFB for Phase III combat crew training in UH-1F and CH-3C helicopters.


In 1971, all Air Force primary rotorcraft pilot training was moved to Fort Rucker. Today, the Air Force continues to train at Fort Rucker, with all primary helicopter pilot training conducted in the Bell TH-1.


          background) as the U.S. Navy’s replacement trainer of the iconic TH-57


NAVY


In 1946, the Navy was looking for a suitable training helicopter. Bell was       in 1947. Helicopter Utility Squadron 1 (HU-1) was commissioned in 1948, with HU-2 commissioned only one year later. As with other services, initial helicopter pilot training was completed by the Air Force in San Marcos until 1950. The Navy, recognizing their use of the helicopter to be unique, decided to establish their own helicopter pilot school.


In December 1950, the Navy established Helicopter Training Unit One (HTU- 1) at Naval Air Station Ellyson Field in Pensacola, Florida. The Navy had nearly 60 helicopters on hand for training Navy and Marine helicopter pilots by 1951. Training was conducted in the Bell HTL (H- 13, including the HTL-1 thru HTL-7 series) with a total of 183 aircraft delivered by 1959. The Bell H-13 remained in service as the primary basic training helicopter at Ellyson Field until 1969.


The Navy then went looking for a new training helicopter and again Bell had the       206A) in 1969. The TH-57A Sea Ranger was ideal for primary training. To date, the Navy currently operates 117 Bell TH-57B/C aircraft as their primary basic training aircraft. Of the current TH-57s, nearly 85        hours, however they remain dependable to the Navy’s training command. When the TH-57 was introduced, its ease of operation and advanced design were instrumental in preparing Navy pilots for sophisticated operational helicopters 


For nearly 70 years, Bell has provided the Navy with helicopters that have supported training thousands of naval and marine pilots. As the Navy begins their search for a new training helicopter, Bell has answered the call with the Bell 407 GX. In the same vein as the TH-57, the Bell 407GX is a technologically advanced aircraft with all of the systems found in more advanced 


40


August 2015


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