The Bell 206 Jet Ranger is a single-engine five-seat light utility helicopter produced by the US-American manufacturer Bell Helicopter Company. The helicopter is capable of transporting up to 4 passengers.
History and Features
Introduced in 1971, the Bell 206B Jet Ranger II has the same airframe as the Bell 206A but has a higher powered engine and increase in gross weight to 3,200 lb.This versatile 5-seat light helicopter is a good performer and in addition to being a good passenger transport is used for turbine helicopter training.
The basic shape and design of the JetRanger remained unchanged since 1967, but Bell introduced the 206B JetRanger II in 1971. In 1977, the 206B-3 JetRanger III was introduced with its modified tail rotor and more powerful engine. The JetRanger is popular with news media for traffic and news reporting. The LongRanger is commonly used as an air ambulance and as a corporate transport.
In 1993, the U.S. Army chose the Bell 206B-3 as the winner of the New Training Helicopter competition, to serve as its primary training helicopter, the TH-67 Creek. The number of TH-67s being divested by the Army is too small to impact civilian markets.
In 2008, Bell Helicopter announced plans to end production of the Bell 206B-3 version after current order commitments were fulfilled in 2010. Bell intends for the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X to replace the 206 five-seat versions from around 2015 and compete with the Robinson R66.
Aircraft of similar role, configuration and era are: Eurocopter AS350 Ecureuil, Eurocopter EC130, MD Helicopters MD 500, HAL Dhruv, PZL SW-4, Robinson R66.