Home of the Lawrence D. Bell Aircraft Museum
Latest Bell Aircraft Museum News:
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!
Previous Bell Aircraft Museum News:
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.