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(Agusta) Bell 206B
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D-HORG Agusta Bell AB206B JetRanger II c/n 8375 - Rotoflug / RWE - Airport Lelystad in Holland - 29 April 2008 more at Airport Lelystad

The Agusta-Bell AB.206B2 JetRanger II 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. 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 with Wake Category used to classify aircraft types for the AB206B helicopters is B06.

On 29 January 1974, Agusta-Bell 206B Jet Ranger s/n 8375 was registered G-BBXN with CSE Aviation Ltd. On 9 February 1974, AB206B JetRanger G-BBXN arrived on delivery at Southampton from Milan via Le Touquet, together with AB206B JetRanger c/n 8378 G-BBXM of Ben Turner and Sons (Helicopters) Ltd. Both 1974-built JetRangers left for Southampton Docks on 10 February, en route Panama via USA. After the registration G-BBXN was cancelled, the helicopter was registered HP-634 in Panama. The JetRanger returned to the UK and the registration G-BBXN was restored. The Agusta-Bell 206B JetRanger was sold in Germany and registered D-HORG. After the helicopter was modified, the registered type changed to Agusta-Bell 206B2 JetRanger II. The aircraft is operated by Rotorflug GmbH, Friedrichsdorf heliport.

page last updated: 03-02-2012
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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