N4250A is a helicopter which was originally constructed as a Bell H13E as evidenced by its data plate. In April of 1960, it was converted to a model 47-D1 and its original data plate was stamped documenting the conversion. There were no records prior to this point thus, this aircraft, serial number 421, must have been in the possession of Bell Aircraft or the United States Government. The differences between the two model designations are negligible. April 27, 1960 a civilian, Standard Airworthiness Certificate was issued by the FAA and the New York City Police began operating the helicopter as N4250A. After serving in that capacity for a number of years the helicopter was passed through several subsequent individuals and corporations. At some point, an additional Airworthiness Certificate was issued in the Utility category referencing “agriculture” which probably means it was used as a crop duster for a time.
I purchased the aircraft in November of 2009 from the Pennsylvania area. It had a little less than 13,000 hours on it. Critical components of the aircraft had mid-time to post mid time-life. Despite the “fist” size holes in the bubble, the numerous leaks, lots of peeling paint and bent sheet metal, we flew the aircraft for several years. The 2012 1200 hour overhaul turned into a museum quality restoration representing a unique example of aviation history.
|Registration Number||Date of Manufacture|
|Test Bed for Helicopter Gunship|
|Bell H-13E Helicopter Gunship|
|Overall length:||Empty weight:|
|Gross weight:||Fuel capacity:|
|2350 Lbs||29 Gal. 100LL|
|Oil capacity||Engine type:|
|10 Qts.||Franklin 6V335A|
|Propeller type:||Max Speed|
|Rate of Climb||Cruise Speed|
|Service Ceiling||Number of Crew|
|2 Browning M37C 30.06 Cal.|
|Number Built||Number Surviving|
The shifting goal of a 1200 hour major overhaul to a complete disassembly and rebuild to a “like new” helicopter meant a geometric increase in work. It also meant a nationwide hunt for new parts and the need to send out some of the major components to be rebuilt to new standards. Several components which haven’t been made in many years and could not be found in a like new condition were handmade to duplicate new components not available. Some features of the original model were upgrades for the sake of regulatory requirements, safety, and comfort of flight. The restoration took over 5000 man hours over thirty months and all work was done in accordance to Bell Maintenance and Overhaul Manual, the Franklin Overhaul Manual, FAR 43 and AC 43.13. This helicopter flies regularly and is extremely smooth in flight with no vibration. Its controls are light and responsive and a pleasure to fly. It is hard to believe that N4250A approximately 60 years old.
The weapon system we chose was one of the very first production models developed for the H-13E. It was designated as the M1 system. There were no examples of this system found to physically exist. To replicate the system there were several major obstacles. Acquiring historically correct guns, feed systems and building historically correct, gun mounts, ammunition storage, operator controls both pneumatic and electrical
Printable QR Codes for: Reid Hays’ H13E Sioux Warrior :
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