The Bell Model 47 helicopter was the world’s first commercial helicopter, certified on March 8, 1946. Join us as we welcome retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Paul Fardink, who will speak on Floyd Carlson’s amazing career as Bell’s chief test pilot for the then-new Bell helicopters that revolutionized the helicopter industry.
Years after selecting Floyd Carlson as test pilot for the Gardenville Helicopter Project, Larry Bell, the President of Bell Aircraft, would state, “I think it was one of the most important choices in our history. The helicopter and an able pilot learned to fly together. Floyd probably became the world’s best helicopter pilot, certainly the best test pilot, and he soon attained more flying hours than any other helicopter pilot in the world.”
11:00 – 1:00 Kids’ scavenger hunt (Each child will receive a small memento for participating in the scavenger hunt)
1:00 Col Fardink’s presentation on Bell Chief Test Pilot, Floyd Carlson
Paul Fardink is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel who enjoys researching and writing about Army Aviation and Helicopter History. He has written numerous articles for VERTIFLITE Magazine, Army Aviation Magazine, ON Point: Journal of Army History, United States Army Aviation Digest, and the Army RD&A Bulletin. Rated as a Senior Army Aviator in both helicopters and fixed wing aircraft, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York and later a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Paul is a member of the Vertical Flight Society’s (VFS) History Committee and has been a frequent presenter at past Forums. He is a recipient of the Society’s John J. Schneider Historical Achievement Award in recognition of distinguished achievements in encouraging appreciation of, and enhancing access to, the history and legacy of vertical flight aircraft. He has also been recognized by the Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA) with their lifetime achievement award with induction into the Honorable Order of St. Michael at the Gold Level.
Normal museum admission rates apply.
Members are always free.