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Encyclopedia - Bell 206 Jetranger / Longranger

The Bell 206 Jetranger is the most successful helicopter ever produced, with more than 7,300 having been built when production ceased in 2010.

The United States Navy issued a request for proposals to 25 aircraft manufacturers for a new Light Observation Helicopter (LOH). Bell was one of the respondents, and delivered the YOH-4 in 1962 for the testing and evaluation phase. Bell's proposal lost out to the Hughes OH-6, but this was not the end of the road for the YOH-4.

Bell redesigned the YOH-4 by making it more streamlined, and increasing the cabin volume. Redesignated the Bell B206A Jetranger, it was powered by an Allison C18A turboshaft engine producing 235kW (317shp). The first flight was on 10 January 1966, and production commenced in 1967 and was an immediate success. Subsequently, in 1968 the B206A was accepted by the US Army and entered service as the OH-58 Kiowa.

The B206B3 was a five-seat version of the Jetranger, and the Bell 206L4 Longranger, was an extended version with two extra rearward-facing seats. In 1990 Bell also introduced the Twinranger, but only saw limited success with this variant.

Gallery Images

Bell 206B Jetranger III


Number Of Engines : One
Powerplant type : Allison 250-C20B turboshaft
Max Power Rating : 313kW (420shp) flat-rated to 236kW (317shp)


Length, Rotors Turning : 11.82m (38ft 9.5in)
Height : 2.91m (9ft 6.5in)
Main Rotor Diameter : 10.16m (33ft 4in)
Main Rotor Disc Area : 81.1m2 (837sq ft)


Empty Weight : 730kg (1,610lb)
Max Take-off Weight : 1,451kg (3,200lb)


Cruising Speed : 117kt (216km/h; 134mph) @ 5,000ft (1,525m)
Maximum Range : 328nm (608km; 378mi)
Service Ceiling : 13,500ft (4,115m)

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