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(Agusta) Bell 206B
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OO-VBA Bell 206B3 JetRanger III c/n 4535 - van Hessen - Antwerp Airport in Belgium - 13 November 2015 Luchthaven Antwerpen

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. Bell 206 aircraft are currently produced at Bell Helicopter's facility in Mirabel, Canada. Production of the Bell 206B3 JetRanger ended in 2011. The Bell 206L4 LongRanger IV remained in production. The ICAO Aircraft Type Designator for the Bell 206B helicopters is B06.

The 2000-built Bell 206B JetRanger III c/n 4535 first flew with the Bell Helicopter Company' test-registration C-GAJR. Early 2000, registration N2418P was reserved for the helicopter but ntu. On 13 June 2011, the reservation for registration N2418P was cancelled. On 27 March 2000 the Bell 206B JetRanger III was registered C-GGDQ with Textron Canada Ltd., Mirambel, Quebec. On 20 April 2000, the Bell 206B JetRanger III was registered OO-VBA in Belgium with van Hessen, Boortmeerbeek. On 27 June 2000, registration C-GGDQ was cancelled as exported to Belgium. Bell 206B JetRanger III OO-VBA was seen at Antwerp Airport on 13 November 2015.

page last updated: 18-11-2015
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands
 

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