MENTONE — The annual “Rotors Over Mentone” fly-in will begin at 10 a.m. and the museum’s program at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27. The Bell Aircraft Museum is located at 210 South Oak Street, Mentone.
Helicopter rides will be offered by American Huey 369 (with membership) and by Goshen Helicopter for a nominal fee. There will be a raffle for a free ride on the 369. Tickets are $5 each and will be sold from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 27. Individuals must be present to win. All proceeds will go to the museum. Food and drink will be available all day at the concession tent. Admission and parking are free.
During this event, the Bell Aircraft Museum will be honoring the aeronautical accomplishments of Arthur M. Young, inventor of the Bell 47 Helicopter. The museum will be playing the full length film, “The Birth of Bell Helicopter and several documentaries on and by Arthur Young with interviews by Arthur Bloch. This year makes the 70th anniversary of the commercial Bell Model 47. On Mar. 8, 1946, the Model 47 (NC 1H) was awarded the first commercial license by the US Civil Aeronautics Administration (now the FAA) to a helicopter manufacture which was the Bell Aircraft Corp of Buffalo, N.Y.
The guest speaker will be Robert J. Ruotolo who had the opportunity to spend time and talk with Young prior to Young’s passing in 1995. Ruotolo is a writer, commercial photographer and cinematographer. He specializes in aerial and transportation systems photography. His work captures the beauty of both the natural and manmade wonders of the world. Robert has been involved with photography professionally since the early 1990s. He has worked within the many fields of photography including aviation, architecture, culinary, fashion and portraiture.
Ruotolo is also an aviation enthusiast, perpetual student pilot and advocate of aviation preservation. HIs first love and passion is for helicopters. He began his interest in aviation at an early age. He had planned on a career with the U.S. Army hoping to fly the Bell UH-1H Huey and Bell AH-1S/F Cobra helicopters. Following a series of unfortunate events that precluded his military career from happening, he became involved in helicopter restoration with the USS INTREPID. He also became an aviation consultant. One of his goals is to restore a UH-1 and display it at airships and open a museum in the Northeastern United States.
In addition, Ruotolo has been involved in positions as a musician, computer technician, graphic designer, commercial baker, a chef and a few few additional things between. Rotor is a native New Yorker and presently resides in New York City.