Aviationweb déjà vu                 Luchtvaart déjà vu helicopters gallery


(Agusta) Bell 206B
Bell 206L LongRanger
Bell 407
D-HOBA Bell 206B3 JetRanger III c/n 4160 - Wiking Helikopter Service "Girlils" - Flugplatz Ganderkesee in Germany - 6 August 1997 Flugplatz Ganderkesee (EDWQ)

The Bell 206B JetRanger III is a 5-seat light utility helicopter powered by a single Rolls Royce Allison 250-C20J turbine engine. In 1961, twelve companies submitted proposals to meet U.S.Army requirements for a four-seat turbine-powered light observation helicopter. After evaluation, three designs were selected and 5 of each: the Bell OH-4A; the Hiller OH-5 and the Hughes OH-6, were ordered for trials by the U.S.Army Aviation Board. The prototype of this Model 206 made its first flight on 8 December 1962. However the Bell OH-4A didn't win the competition, the helicopter was a success as the Bell 206 Jet Ranger. The prototype of this five-seat commercial model, the Bell 206A JetRanger N8590F, flew on 10 January 1966. Bell received FAA certification for the helicopter on 20 October 1966, and deliveries of the Model 206A powered by a 317 shp Allison C18A engine, started in January 1967. In the early 1970s, production switched to the Model 206B JetRanger II with a 400 shp 250-C20 turboshaft. Next to this commercial success the Jet Ranger entered after all also the military scene: the Bell 206 Jet Ranger was ordered in 1962 by the US Navy as the TH-57 Sea Ranger. Due to the higher unit price and significant deliver delays on the original winner of the 1961 U.S.Army competition for a light observation helicopter, the Hughes OH-6, the U.S. Army reopened in 1968 the light observation helicopter (LOH) bidding. This time Bell was the winner and an initial order for 2200 OH-58A Kiowa, a military version of the Model 206A followed. Deliveries of the OH-58A helicopters began in May 1969. The Model 206 was built under license by Agusta in Italy as the AB.206 Jet Ranger. More than 4800 206Bs and 1700 206Ls have been produced since the introduction of the 206A JetRanger on 13 January 1967, when the first two production aircraft were delivered to customers. Since, Bell has delivered five different generations of the commercial 206 with its 206A/B JetRangers and 206L/L1/L3/L4 LongRangers. Production of the Bell 206B3 JetRanger ended in 2011; production of the Bell 206L4 LongRanger IV ended in June 2017. At the end, the Bell 206 aircraft were produced at Bell Helicopter's facility in Mirabel, Canada. The ICAO Aircraft Type Designator for the Bell 206B helicopters is B06.

The 1991-built Bell 206B JetRanger III s/n 4160 was registered C-GADQ with Bell Helicopter before it was exported to Germany. However in Germany registration D-HOBE was reserved, the Bell 206B JetRanger III entered the German register as D-HOBA with Wiking Helikopter Service GmbH, Wilhelmshaven, in May 1991. In service with Wiking, JetRanger III D-HOBA was christened "Girlils". Registration D-HOBA was cancelled in October 1997, and on 20 November 1997, the Bell 206B3 was registered N18EA in the USA with Edwards and Associates Inc., Bristol, Tennessee, a company specializing in helicopter sales, completions, maintenance and aftermarket accessories. On 10 December 1998, the JetRanger was registered G-BXPN in the UK with R and M International Ltd., Dereham. On 22 January 1998, the helicopter was re-registered G-ONYX and registered with D.C. Burgoyne and A.J. Burgoyne t/a Burgoyne Group, Hereford. First on 13 March 1998, registration N18EA was cancelled as exported to the UK. On 18 October 2000, Bell 206B JetRanger III G-ONYX was registered with N.C. Wheelright, Alcester, and on 21 April 2004, the next registered owner became Kenrye Developments Ltd., Dundalk, Republic of Ireland. On 11 September 2009, registration G-ONYX was cancelled by CAA after CofA expired on 30 July 2008.

page last updated: 15-07-2017
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

  aeroplanes index   helicopters index   EC120 - H120 productionlist   Micro Light Aeroplanes   European Airfields