CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) – At the corner of Union and Losson Roads in Cheektowaga, the first three Bell Helicopters were designed, built, and flown back in the early 1940s. Today, a plaque put in to commemorate that. The plaque was unveiled today, at the site which the aviation pioneers at Bell Aircraft knew as “Gardenville.”
“This is the exact location where Bell developed their Model 30 prototype, which was put into production as the Model 47.” explained Mike Hirschberg, the executive director of American Helicopter Society International, “And the Model 47, Bell produced over 6,000 aircraft over the next 30 years, including the iconic M*A*S*H helicopter that served and saved so many lives during the Korean War.”
This location was formally the Union Garage, but during World War 2, Bell Aircraft leased the garage and launched the Bell Model 47. The building where all the helicopters were designed and built today now stands as a Rite-Aid, but thanks to this plaque, the history of this hallowed ground will be remembered.