Bell Aircraft Corp
Bell Aerosystems
Bell Aerospace Corp

 

Larry Bell had been born in Indiana in 1894, but his family moved to California when he was 13. In 1912, he went to work for aviation pioneer Glenn L. Martin, rising to the vice-president position of the Martin firm by 1920. Martin wasn't the easiest person to work for and Bell knew he'd never get into a partnership position with the company, so Bell quit in 1925. He couldn't find steady work for three years, but then he landed a job at Consolidated Aircraft in Buffalo, New York, rising to become general manager.
 
When Consolidated moved its operations to California, Bell decided to stay in Buffalo along with a cadre of like-minded individuals, forming Bell Aircraft in 1935. Later Bell would admit that naming the company after himself wasn't a good idea, since it made it more difficult to delegate authority and learned that "when your name's out front, you have to do a lot of things that are a terrible bore."
 
The first product built by Bell was an innovative machine, designed by a team under Bell chief engineer Robert Woods, named the "Airacuda".

 

Original company of 1935, Bell Aircraft Corporation, responsible for P-39 Aircobra and P-63 Kingcobra of Second World War. Built first U.S. turbojet, the P-59 Aircomet fighter/trainer. Built the rocket-powered Bell X-1, in which USAF pilot Charles Yeager was the first to exceed the speed of sound, on October 14,1947. Subsequent X- 1A flown at 2,655km/h in 1953.

Company subsequently known as Bell Aerosystems, then on July 5,1960 became Bell Aerospace Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., which had acquired the former Bell Aircraft Corporation.

Responsible for:
Bell Model D2127 tilting-duct research aircraft
Two lunar Landing Research Vehicles (LLRV) for NASA to train astronauts to land safely on the moon
Automatic Carrier Landing System (ACLS), used on U.S. Navy aircraft carriers; and was involved with an air-cushion landing system that was expected to enable military transports to land and take off from practically any surface.

Terminated aircraft production.