|Continental Copters "El Tomcat"|
In 1959, Continental Copters Inc. of Fort Worth, Texas, developed and produced a specialised single-seat agricultural aircraft based on the Bell Model 47G-2. Known as the El Tomcat Mk.II, this aircraft flew for the first time in April 1959 and received an FAA supplementary type certificate soon afterwards. An improved variant, the El Tomcat Mk.III, made its maiden flight in April 1965 and subsequent variants were progressively introduced: El Tomcat Mk.IIIA in January 1966, El Tomcat Mk.IIIB and El Tomcat Mk.IIIC first flown in May 1968. The Tomcat Mk.III is powered either by a 200hp Franklin 6V4-200-C32, a 210hp 6V-335-A or a 235hp 6V-350-A engine. It weighs empty 540kg and 1105kg loaded. The El Tomcat Mk.V was first flown in June 1968. It is powered by a 220hp Lycoming VO-435-B1A (empty weight 620kg and maximum weight 1105kg).
A.J.Pelletier "Bell Aircraft since 1935", 1992
Each version of the "El Tomcat" is basically a Bell Model 47G-2 helicopter which has been converted into a specialised single-seat agricultural helicopter. Payload is increased by deletion of unnecessary structure and equipment. The Mk.III prototype first flew in April 1965 and was an improved version of the Mk.II. A small number of Mk.III were followed by Mk.IIIA with Franklin 6V4-200, 6V-335 or 6V-350 engines. The Mk.IIIB of 1967 had a still lower and repositioned windscreen, modified glassfibre nose, lower cabin roof and a 6V-350 engine. The Mk.IIIC of 1968 was an improved version with a 200-235hp 6V4-200-C32, 6V-335-A or 6V-350A engine. The Mk.V entered production in 1968 with a 220hp Lycoming VO-435-B1A engine, followed by the improved Mk.V-A with a 260hp VO-435-A1F engine and a folding jump-seat to permit carriage of a flagman to distant work sites. The latest version is the 265hp VO-435-BlA-engined Mk.V-B.
M.Taylor "Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation", 1989