Robert J. Ruotolo with Board Member Tim Whetstone
in Front of the Bell Museum's New Arthur Young Display
Despite weather that would not allow pilots to fly in for the event, guest speaker, Robert Ruotolo a native from New York City, was able to generate enough enthusiasm to make it worth while for those who did drive to the museum. Robert's talk was about his time spent with Arthur Young and the origins of the Bell 47 helicopter. Robert was 23 at the time when Arthur went over his helicopter rotor design and discussed his model invention with Robert. Young's invention got the interest of Larry Bell back in 1941 which led to the development of three prototype aircraft and the production of the Bell 47, becoming the world's first commercial helicopter in 1946. The heavy rain and thunder of the morning gradually led to an improved afternoon which allowed for the American Huey 369 to give helicopter rides. Robert, along with Bell Museum board members and others in attendance, finally got the opportunity for a flight in the Bell Huey. Pictures taken from this year’s "Rotors" event can be viewed in our Image Gallery.