Arthur Young. Bell-47D1 Helicopter. 1945
Narrator: Are you surprised to see a real helicopter inside a museum?! Well, in addition to all the other kinds of art here, the Museum collects design objects. You know, all the stuff you use every day in your life – toys, electronics, furniture, clothing, even houses! They’re all things that had to be designed.
Let’s look at the front of the helicopter first. Do you notice the big see–through bubble in front? That’s the cabin, where the pilot sits.
Other helicopters have cabins made of several metal sections pieced together, and a much smaller plastic windshield. But this cool design is very practical because it’s made out of just one piece of plastic. This way the pilot can see outside from almost every angle.
Now, take a look at that long green tail. You might have to move around to see it. The open spaces between the metal spokes keep this hovercraft really lightweight, which is good for flying.
This helicopter had a lot of important jobs in its day. It was used to spray insect repellent on farmer’s fields, which is kind of funny, because it looks a bit like an insect, doesn’t it?! In fact, though its real name is the Bell–47D1, its nickname is The Dragonfly! It was also used as an ambulance to transport injured soldiers during the Korean War and to deliver mail and packages to remote areas of the world.
Arthur Young, the man who created this helicopter, was not only a designer he was a poet and artist, too!
There are a lot of other amazing objects in the Architecture and Design Galleries just around the corner, so fly on in and check them out. I’m sure you’ll want to hover around a while!