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Home of the Lawrence D. Bell Aircraft Museum

Latest Bell Aircraft Museum News:

Rotors Over Mentone 2023 (Oct 2023) It was a great day for "Rotors" this past September. Special attractions were the Bell TH-13T which was flown in by the American Huey 369 organization and return of the Bell Model 47J Ranger "Lucy" flown in by Flyin' Brian Walsh. John Walker of American Huey 369 was the guest speaker for the event. In addition, Chuck Surack of Surack Enterprises stopped in flying his turbine helicopter from Sweet Helicopters. Photos taken of the helicopters and some of the volunteers and guests who attended this year's event have been uploaded to the Image Gallery for viewing.

Previous Bell Aircraft Museum News:

Rotors 'n Ribs Again Returns to Goshen Airport (Jul 2023) Rotors 'n Ribs returned this year to the Goshen Municipal Airport on July 7th as its own late afternoon and evening event for helicopter enthusiasts. The event was opened to the general public at 6 PM. The fly-in for helicopters began at 3 PM with invited guest attending the rib's meal at 5 PM. Presentations immediately followed beginning with opening remarks from Randy Sharkey (Sweet Helicopters) welcoming everybody. Speakers were from HAI, Concorde Batteries, and Airbus. Helicopters on displays were from Bell, Enstrom, Airbus, Leonardo and Guimball (courtesy of Sweet Aviation). The event drew thousands of people from the general area including from Michigan and Ohio. The event featured Huey helicopter rides, the hovering of multiple helicopters over a field at one time, evening multi-drone displays, good food from vendors, and once again outstanding fireworks. Photos of helicopters taken at Rotors 'n Ribs, including the hovering event and drone event will be placed in the Image Gallery for viewing.

Rotors 'n Ribs Returns to Goshen Airport (Jul-Aug 2022) Rotors 'n Ribs returned this year to the Goshen Municipal Airport on July 9th as part of the afternoon activity at the America's Freedom Fest Airshow. The fly-in for helicopters began at 12 pm with a mid-afternoon presentation from Red Bull's aerobatics helicopter pilot. Exhibitors from Enstrom, Airbus, Bell, Leonardo and Guimball were in attendance offering at least one helicopter on display at each of their booths. The event drew thousands of people from around the northern Indiana area. The event featured daring aerial acts (helicopter and fixed wing), great food, and an outstanding fireworks display. Photos of helicopters taken at Rotors 'n Ribs and demonstrated at America's Freedom Fest Airshow can be found in the Image Gallery for viewing.

Spring is almost here! (Mar 2022) With warmer temperatures on the way, make plans to come and visit the museum. Evening Bingo is now held twice a month on Thursdays.

A Down and then Up Summer (Sep 2020) With COVID-19, the season started with cancellations of the Memorial Day Tribute Program, Mentone Egg Festival, and Thursday Night Bingo. Also, there was the uncertainty of Rotors. In addition, we were saddened with the passing of Ron Barker. Ron was always a willing worker for the Museum and we will miss him very much. On the up side, the Bell Aircraft Museum welcomed new board members Alice Keirn and David Smythe. They immediately jumped into action and helped with the Rotors Over Mentone Event which had been voted as "a go" at the Board Meeting in July. Despite the morning issues with the weather, Sep 12th for Rotors turned out to be pretty nice day after all with fairly decent attendance. Board Member Linda Cochran was able to do a nice job filling in as program guest speaker. Gary Cleveland who offered helicopter rides in a Robinson R44 kept busy nearly all day. John Walker and his American Huey 369 crew returned again this year for membership rides and kept busy with the Bell UH-1H as well in the afternoon. Photos taken from the "Rotors Over Mentone 2020" event can be found in the Image Gallery for viewing.

Coronavirus Canceling Events (Apr 2020) Because of the contagiousness and spread of COVID-19 the past couple months, the Museum has had to cancel Thursday Evening Bingo Events in March and April. The Mentone Egg Festival has been cancelled for this year, meaning the Museum will not be doing the food tent scheduled for June 5th. Currently, our next scheduled Thursday Evening Bingo Event and Memorial Day Program for May are to be determined. If conditions improve and restrictions lifted, we hope to hold these activities.

Happy New Year! (Jan 2020) American Huey 369 will again be returning this year for the Museum's Annual "Rotors Over Mentone" Fly-In. Check back periodically for more details. Evening bingo is back this month. Come join us!

Happy Holidays! (Dec 2019) December is once again upon us and so is the annual Christmas Open House Craft Show! Please stop by at the Mentone Fire Station and help support the museum. Board members and volunteers from the Bell Museum wish you and your family a very happy holiday season!

Rotors Over Mentone (Sep 2019) It was a beautiful day at the 10th Annual "Rotors Over Mentone" Fly-In. We had a total of seven helicopters show up for "Rotors", including two helicopters that were on hand for rides. We thank all the helicopters pilots/operators who brought their aircraft in to Mentone for the event. Thank you to our guests Neil Stickney and Tom Wallin who shared their experiences during the program. Special thanks to all of those who attended and to the many who had volunteered to make the event so successful. It was great to have John Walker and his American Huey 369 crew back again this year along with Gary Cleveland who offered rides in an Enstrom 280FX. Photos taken from the "Rotors Over Mentone 2019" event can be found in the Image Gallery for viewing.

Bell Museum Begins Summer Schedule (Jun 2019) The Bell Museum began its summer schedule with the hosting the annual Memorial Day Service on May 26th. Because of the possibility of rain, the service was moved to the Baptist Church. The Sunday afternoon event was well attended by the community. Following on May 31st, museum members participated in Mentone Egg Festival, offering $5 meals at their food tent. Bingo at the Museum will continue through July, taking a small break in preparation for "Rotors Over Mentone" event and to continue work on the kitchen. The summer schedule also means you can stop by the museum on Sundays afternoons without an appointment.

Bell Museum Welcomes New Board Members (Apr 2019) With the passing of Lois Miller and announcement that Jessica Richardson was stepping down to spend more time with her flight students, prompted the Lawrence D. Bell Aircraft Museum to look for new board members. On Feb 26th, the museum board motioned and accepted two new board members, David and Brenda Anweiler.

The Anweiler have been married since 1987. They have six children and three grandchildren. They reside in Mentone. This coming October will mark their 12th year in town. David says, “We love Mentone, wished we’d moved there years before we did! We simply enjoy its small town.” Along with their daughters Maddie and Elyza (aka Pete and Freddy), they have helped and continue to support their book store, Pages Aplenty. Last November, along with Rita Simpson, they opened a store It’s Whimsicality which is located right in the heart of downtown. David says, “It’s Whimsicality is full of home décor, and curiosities…truly you never know just what treasures you might find there. We even support the local artists as well.” He adds, “We think Mentone has so much to offer. We promote our little town as much as possible. In fact, we tell people you can find just about anything you might need, and then some!”

Happy New Year! (Jan 2019) Mark your calendars - Annual "Rotors Over Mentone" Fly-In on September 14th. American Huey 369 will again be offering membership rides. Check back periodically for more details.

Happy Holidays! (Dec 2018) Board Members and Volunteers from the Bell Museum wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Rotors Over Mentone (Aug 2018) Despite a rainy morning, this past Saturday's 9th Annual "Rotors Over Mentone" Fly-In was still a success. Thanks to speaker Phil Marshall, John Walker and his American Huey 369 crew, Oldies 101.1, and Chopper 101 for offering helicopter rides. Also thanks to the TV High School
Band, and all the volunteers who came out to help! Photos taken from "Rotors Over Mentone" event will be uploaded and placed in the Image Gallery for viewing.

Rotors Over Mentone (Jun 2018)The Lawrence D. Bell Aircraft Museum plans to holds its 9th Annual "Rotors Over Mentone" Fly-In Event on Saturday, Aug 25th. Food and drink will be offered.

Rotors Over Mentone (Aug 2017) On Aug 26th, the Lawrence D. Bell Aircraft Museum held its 8th annual "Rotors Over Mentone" Fly-In in Mentone, IN. Weather was fantastic and the event was well attended. We thank those who brought their helicopters in for the event. Special thanks to speaker Phil Marshall who did an outstanding job, program participates, and John Walker and his American Huey 369 crew for making it a success. Photos from this year's "Rotors Over Mentone" event can be found in the Image Gallery.

Phil Marshall to Speak at Bell Aircraft Museum's "Rotors Over Mentone" Event (Jun 2017) - On Jun 27th, the Museum Board met with discussions centering around the upcoming "Rotors Over Mentone" event in August. Guest speaker will be Phil Marshall, who is the author of “Flying Unarmed Medevac Helicopters in Vietnam.” Phil is from the Dayton, OH area. He had spoke recently at the Huffman Prairie Aviation Historical Society on May 1st in Dayton, OH. His presentation will be about his experiences in Vietnam. In 2012, he wrote a book, the “Vietnam Diary”. The book was published with detailed entries and photographs documenting his experiences from July 2-November 14, 1969. We are happy that Phil can be part of the event this year. We look forward to the American Huey 369 and Goshen Helicopter Inc. coming out again this year to offer helicopter rides to the general public. Photos from previous year fly-ins can be found in the Image Gallery.

Bell Museum in Final Planning Stages for Spring-Summer Events (Mar 2017) - With the successful trial run of "Bingo at the Bell Museum" the past three months, museum board members have decided to continue the monthly bingo night at least through November. The museum's fund raising event will continue to be held every third Thursday night of the month. In addition, a special bingo afternoon event will take place on Jun 3rd, in conjunction with Mentone's Egg Festival Saturday. The LDB Aircraft Museum is also currently working on their annual Memorial Day Program planned for May 28th which recognizes and honors our deceased veterans. With Goshen's Rotors'n Ribs event not returning until Summer of 2018, its our hope that the weather for this year's Rotors Over Mentone (the area's only helicopter fly-in event) will cooperate!

Bingo at the Bell Museum (Feb 2017) - On Jan 19, board members of the Lawrence D. Bell Aircraft Museum hosted their first fund raising event of the year - Bingo at the Museum. The event drew more people than expected and generally went very well. Subsequent bingo events are being planned for the year.

Museum Members Attend 5th Annual Rotors'n Ribs Event (Jul 2016) - On Jul 15-16, board members and volunteers of the Lawrence D. Bell Aircraft Museum attended the fifth annual Rotors'n Ribs Fly-In Event at Goshen Municipal Airport in Goshen, IN. Weather for the event was just great. Randy Sharkey of Indiana Helicopters reported an estimated crowd of 5,000 over the two-day event, including at least 135 pilots and a total of 60 helicopters, of which 38 helicopters flew in on Saturday. The airshow featured performances by the Sky Soldiers, the original Batcopter and Batmobile, and the 36,000 horsepower Shockwave Jet Truck which raced a Bell Cobra attack helicopter at over 325 mph. Sponsored by Indiana Helicopters, HeliMotion and the Helicopter Association International (HAI), the event has become America's largest helicopter airshow. Representatives and aircraft from Airbus Helicopters, Bell Helicopter Textron, and Enstrom Helicopter Corp were on hand as well as members from the Bell 47 Helicopter Association who brought in their Bell 47s (which included the Batcopter). Museum volunteer members had the opportunity to listen to HAI President Matt Zuccarro speak on helicopter safety, chat with Enstrom Corp's representative who brought in an Enstrom 480B turbine, as well as talk to show attendees who stopped by our tent. Photos taken at the event are provided in the Image Library.

Gearing up for "Rotors Over Mentone" (Jun 2016) - On Jun 28, the Museum Board met with discussions centering around the upcoming "Rotors Over Mentone" event in August. For this year, the museum will be honoring the aeronautical accomplishments of Arthur Young, inventor of the Bell 47. Guest speaker will be Mr. Robert J. Ruotolo, who had the opportunity to spend a day with Arthur Young and plans to share about Young and his famous invention. Steve Rogers is currently heading up the event. Photos taken at last year's event are provided in the Image Gallery.

HAI HELI-EXPO Affiliate Meeting (Mar 2016) - On Mar 2, JA Luke was given the opportunity to talk about the LDB Aircraft Museum to HAI Affiliate members and attendees following Joey Rhodes' presentation of the Bell 47 and the Bell 47 Helicopter Association (B47HA). Mr. Luke, a volunteer of the LDB Aircraft museum, gave a brief overview of the Museum, its Bell helicopter statics displays and Larry Bell memorabilia, and the upcoming "Rotors Over Mentone" Event schedule for this August. Photos taken at the meeting are provided in the Image Gallery.

Rotors Over Mentone (Sep 2015) - On Sep 12, the Lawrence D. Bell Aircraft Museum held its sixth annual Rotors Over Mentone Fly-In in Mentone, IN. Although starting off a little cold in the morning and windy at times in the afternoon, attendance was good at the museum on Saturday with hundreds attending. A number of local sponsors participated with many volunteers helping out. In honor of the Museum's 40th Anniversary, a number of former and current board members were recognized along with their families. The event's theme this year was in recognition to women and their service to our country. Guest speakers were former Air Force sergeant Rae Ann Panther of Bunker Hill, IN who served in tours of Korea, Vietnam, and Italy working law enforcement from Oct 74 to Mar 81, and Eugenia Fulkerson from Warsaw, IN who served in Vietnam as one of the American Red Cross “Donut Dollies” in the late 1960s. Other women who attended the event and were recognized were Sally Nichols of Warsaw, who served in the Navy (1945-1946); Lenora Stump of Warsaw, who served in the Army (1955-1957); Rhonda Rife, who served in the Army; PFC 1st Class Jennifer Felzien, who is currently serving as a combat medic in Army National Guard in Ohio; and Marjorie Rogers who worked in a defense plant (1962-1964), where she wired B-52 bomber sticks. A half dozen helicopters were present for the event, including two local EMS aircraft and a classic Bell 47 helicopter which came in from Michigan. Helicopter rides were provided by American Huey 369 and by Sweet Aviation LLC of Fort Wayne using their Enstrom F-28F. Photos from the event are provided in the Image Gallery.

Museum Members Attend Rotors'n Ribs Event (Jun 2015) - On Jun 26-27, board members and volunteers of the Lawrence D. Bell Aircraft Museum attended the fourth annual Rotors'n Ribs Fly-In Event at Goshen Municipal Airport in Goshen, IN. Despite the rainy weather, the airport was still visited with a large crowd of aviation enthusiasts, pilots, and families. Sponsored by Indiana Helicopters, HeliMotion, Helicopter Association International (HAI), and others (including Bell Helicopter, Enstrom Corp, Airbus Helicopters, and AgustaWestland Helicopters), the event has become America's largest helicopter airshow. Although the LDB Aircraft Museum was not allowed to put up their tent because of the weather conditions, its members still had the opportunity to converse with HAI President Matt Zuccarro, chat with local businesses and industry representatives from Bell Helicopter and Enstrom Corp, and enjoy Tony's world famous BBQ ribs. Photos taken at the event are provided in the Image Library.

Memorial Day Tribute Program Held in Mentone (May 2015) - On May 24th, The Lawrence D. Bell Aircraft Museum and the Mentone Chamber of Commerce joined together in proving the community a special Memorial Day program on Sunday, May 24th at the Mentone Cemetery in Mentone, IN. The purpose of the program was to honor the deceased veterans in the area who had served. The roll call of deceased veterans was read by Dr. Orville McFadden with the placing of the wreath by Ms. Connie Schlag and members of the American Legion Post #49. The flag presentation was provided by the Boy Scouts. Guest Speaker for the program was Radioman Chief (Retired) Ron Barker who currently serves on the Bell Aircraft Museum Board. Rev. Amber Karkosky-Litten from the Mentone United Methodist Church provided the invocation and benediction for the program. A reception immediately followed at the Bell Museum for participants who had taken part in the program. Photos taken at the program can be found in the Image Gallery.

Bell Museum Welcomes New Board Members (Jan 2015) - The Museum's board of directors added four new board members. The new members are Mr. Brian Iddles, Ms. Beth Landis, Ms. Heidi Orr and Mr. Chan Tucker. The four community members were asked last year by the Bell Aircraft Museum if they would be willing to serve on the museum’s board of directors. The museum board motioned and officially accepted them as new board members on Oct 29th. The museum board welcomes their participation as we continue to present our museum to the community and surrounding area. The museum board currently consists of fifteen members, who are interested and willing to help carry out the goal of preserving the history of Mentone’s native aviation giant, Lawrence D. Bell.

The Bell Aircraft Museum is made up of memorabilia from Larry Bell and artifacts from the Bell Aircraft Corp which were willed to the town of Mentone upon his death in 1956. A building was constructed to house the Bell collection in 1976. An aircraft hangar was added in 2006. The museum is current home to three Bell helicopter aircraft as well as Larry Bell’s personal collection of items. The objective of the museum is to preserve and make people aware of Bell’s contribution to aviation history and present to the public an interesting display of artifacts before and during World War II, the Korean conflict, and the period immediately following.