Bell Training Academy opens Floyd Carlson Airfield

On July 9, the Bell Training Academy (BTA) opened the Floyd Carlson Airfield located on the corner of Trinity Boulevard and Greenbelt Road to give BTA pilots and customers quick and easy access to training fields.

Floyd Carlson took his first flight in Bell aircraft on June 2, 1942, in a Bell P-39D Airacobra. Bell Photo
Floyd Carlson, chief test pilot, Bell Aircraft, hovers the world’s first civil-certified helicopter, NC1H, Serial Number One. Bell Photo

The airfield offers a raised landing platform and runways for training critical normal and emergency procedures, including full touchdown autorotations – a world-recognized differentiator of Bell’s customer training experience. What better way to start a new chapter in our flight school’s history than to dedicate the field to our very first training pilot, Bell said.

Every company begins with a pioneer, who takes smart risks to further the advance of science and technology in hopes of changing the world. While Lawrence D. Bell led the new frontier into vertical lift technology, his journey to make the impossible possible required many partners. One of these partners, a true pioneer, was Floyd Carlson, chief helicopter test pilot of Bell.

Carlson took his first flight in Bell aircraft on June 2, 1942, in a Bell P-39D Airacobra. Since then, he performed the first flight of every Bell helicopter designed and built, up to his retirement.


Going on to become the most experienced and renowned helicopter pilot in the world at the time, Carlson amassed a total of 3,628 flight hours of which 1,313 hours were in experimental and production helicopters. His mastery of vertical flight led to the CAA certification of the Bell Model 47, the world’s first commercial helicopter. And the rest, as they say, is Bell history.

Today, our world-renowned academy is eager for new pioneers, from training pilots to customers, to experience the thrill of flying Bell in a new location dedicated to a true aviation innovator, said Bell. We welcome all guests to come and experience the new airfield by registering for the BTA’s various learning opportunities.

4 thoughts on “Bell Training Academy opens Floyd Carlson Airfield

  1. My grandfather would be proud! I know I am proud of him and all his accomplishments in aviation. Certainly a very proud day for the Carlson family.

    David Carlson and the Carlson family.

  2. Dad would be happy to be remembered. Bell was his life and therefore a big part of our family’s life. As a teenager I spent a lot of time at the Hurst plant as well as at the Arlington airport. Good memories.

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