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Bell 47 aka H-13 dimensions

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Does anyone have data on the dimensions of the Bell 47/H-13. I am specifically looking for the cabin dimensions. The total length height and rotor width are easy to find, but not the cabin dimension. I have the Italeri OH-13S kit that I want to build as a TH-13T. I have seen that the TH-13T cabin was 8" wider then the -13S, but not an absolute number and I have no idea how accurate the Italeri kit is.





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The Bell 47 is one of my favorites, and I've been researching it for a very long time. As best I can determine, the wide cabin has a width of 5ft. 'Jane's All the Worlds Aircraft for 68-69', and Pelletier's  'Bell Aircraft Since 1935' both mention the 47G-3B1/2 having the cabin "widened by 8 inches to 5ft". In 1/48, 5ft is 31.75mm, and the Italeri kit measures 35mm. Probably close enough to be accurate for the TH-13T derived from the B1/2.

My biggest issue is the width of the tail boom. I think it's about 6mm too wide. Where the tailboom joins the center structure, the width should be 27 inches. In 1/48th that's 14mm, the Italeri kit is 20mm. 

Don't know why they did that, but they incorporated the extra 6mm width into the engine, which makes it look wider than it should.

The kit still makes up into a very nice model, and will represent the TH-13 very well. 

Hope this was helpful.


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Just curious as I have always wanted to build a civilian Bell 47, took a ride in one about 15 years ago at an airshow. What needs to be altered to make a civilian version out of Italeri's 1/72 kit. Thanks jon

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I always identified the civilian models by the two "egg" shaped fuel tanks.  At least one model kit has the earlier "rectangular" tank behind the rotor mast.  Otherwise as Steven says - just paint and plusher interior.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes , most Bell 47s have two sticks and pedals. They are easily removable so no big deal. They only time you don't see them is on a ride machine or sprayer.


I did my helicopter  training in a H-13E (Bell 47D-1) converted to a civil G. So I do know what I'm talking about!


Each of the three kit makes (MRC, Revell, Italeri) makes a different version. So depending on what you are trying to model will determine which kit to use...if you want to be correct.


As previously mentioned, in the 47 family, there are at least three different widths of D and G cabins...55, 63 and 60 (in the G-4).

And there three types of fuel tanks...flat/oval one piece, two curved, two tall curved.

Plus two lengths of tail booms and rotors. (35 1 1/2 and 37 1 1/2)...easily discernable by the added length in the engine bay tubing. The short fuselage types have a straight vertical bar immediately aft of the engine. The longer fuselage versions have it at angle.


Also, Two types of skids.  Straight top and curved.

Different instrument panels on later models, especially the TH-13T instrument trainers.

Plus the cabin arches. No arches on the Ds, but there are in the Gs. I asked the late Ned Gilliand, a Bell test pilot and a Bell 47 expert and historian on why the G model added them and he did not know. He guessed it could be to prevent spent shell casings from entering the cabin on armed military models. 

Also, my 47 parts manual shows them as separate parts...so it is possible that they could have been added to D's or left off Gs. Not that I have ever seen them.


I have said for years, the Bell is like the Volkswagen beetle or Model T Ford...to the uninitiated they all look alike, but there are huge differences.


Italeri has been very guilty of pawning off its model as generic when it isn't. I think they recently put Korean War on the box.

a kit company would never offer a F-86D as a Korean War F, but helicopters often don't get the same level of attention.


Revell's is a mid-50s model Bell 47G-2/ H-13H, since it's release, they have been passing it off as a MASH-era ship when it is about five years too new. Plus they put the wrong skids (curved) on it for ambulance use...but they are correct for a '13H.

If you want to build a generic civil ship in 1/35, it is the kit to use. I need to build one in "Whirlybirds" TV series markings. But even then, you would have to correct the skids and get rid of the huge Army radio.


-For a correct MASH ship, you must use the MRC kit.

-For a nice Bell 47G, you use the MRC kit (with its finer tail boom, engine and rotors details) with the  unique Revell "G" cabin, fuel tanks and back stabilizer.

-The Italeri kit is correct for the OH-13S and civil (mid-60s-on) 47G-3B and the late '60s economy model G-5. It is too narrow for the G-3B-2 and both versions of the G-4  and G-5A. But as mentioned, it is only 8 inches, so not that noticeable in 1/35.

But remember you just can't just simply widen the cabin...then the bubble won't fit.

And now is a good time to mention that not only did the bubbles come in different widths, some later ones were far more full/blown when she from the side. In other words, the front was more rounded or stuck out further forward. Some of that could have been the result of replacement bubbles made by different firms.I


Finally, the Revell has the correct later Lycoming engine while the MRC has the earlier Franklin unit. Again, few would notice, I would wager even picky IPMS contest judged would not notice.


At far as THE best Bell 47 book, all 731 pages of it...(it even has a chart detailing the different cabin widths and dimensions of each model), get

THE BELL 47 HELICOPTER STORY by Petite and Evans.

Graphic publushers, 2013.I

Lots of photos of each model.

The other two books are fine, just not as complete.


Now to answer your question...

The OH-13S has a 55" cabin, the TH-13T has a 63" .

Edited by JohnEB
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