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(Agusta) Bell 206B
Bell 407
D-HOPP Bell 206A JetRanger c/n 42 - Flugplatz Diepholz-Dümmerland in Germany - 12 May 2019 D-MVCS at ETND

The Bell 206A JetRanger is a 5-seat light utility helicopter powered by a single Rolls Royce Allison 250-C20 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.

In 1967, Bell 206A JetRanger s/n 42 was registered N9B with Bell Helicopters in the USA. The same year, the 1967-built Bell 206A JetRanger was exported to Germany and registered D-HEAS with Axel Springer u. Sohn, Hamburg. In 1979, registration D-HEAS was cancelled and the Bell 206A was registered OE-DXM in Austria with Haas Helicopter Flugdienst, Bad Voslau. In August 2006, registration OE-DXM was cancelled and the JetRanger returned to Germany, where it was registered D-HOPP with LGM Luftfahrt. From 2007 to 2018, when the helicopter was sold, the D-HOPP was used by Intro GmbH. Today, JetRanger D-HOPP is operated by Rotorflug GmbH. On 12 May 2019, during the 2019 Fly-in at Flugplatz Diepholz-Dümmerland (ETND), Bell 206A JetRanger D-HOPP was seen being used for sightseeing flights. Diepholz-Dümmerland airfield is one of the operational bases from which Rotorflug GmbH flies.

page last updated: 18-05-2019
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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