Saturday, December 19, 2015

A tour of Bell Helicopter

Today our son took us to his workplace.  He is a quality control inspector for Bell Helicopter.  They are very particular about visitors.  Approvals had to be made, temporary ID's had to be issued and we had to have an escort with us at all times.  We couldn't take any pictures, which was a bummer because it was really interesting.  We saw different stages of them building the V22, the new V280, an Apache helicopter and a Huey.  The V22 is the one that looks like an airplane but takes off like a helicopter.  The engines rotate.  The were doing test flights on two of those, an apache and a Huey.  I can't imagine how scary that must be to take a plane up for the first time.  Will it fly?  LOL  Well, it better!
It really was an interesting morning seeing the way they put these big machines together.  They just keep getting bigger and bigger.  The propellers don't look that big until you are standing right next to them.  It amazes me how they fold up.  I really wish I could have taken pictures for you but I didn't feel like getting arrested for espionage.
                                                             This is  a picture of a V22.
This is the new V280.  The experimental aircraft that we saw wasn't complete.  In fact, it was just the fuselage.  They were installing all of the wiring, hydraulics and other stuff.  LOL  They were building the engines and propellers, but they weren't compete.  A lot of the work done on this aircraft was being done behind blinds.  They don't want Boeing seeing what they are doing.  Boeing makes the fuselage, so there are Boeing employees in the Bell plant at times.  it all sounds very "James Bond" secretive doesn't it?
I got these pictures off of Bell's web site.  I should be ok.  LOL
Later, I hope  LOL