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(Agusta) Bell 206B
Bell 407
D-HJET Bell 206B JetRanger III c/n 3777 - ROTORFLUG - Koblenz-Winningen airfield in Germany - 15 May 2023 Flugplatz Koblenz-Winningen (EDRK)

The Bell 206B 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.

The 1983=built Bell 206B JetRanger III s/n 3777 was registered N3181G in the USA. On 17 August 1988, registration N3181G was cancelled as exported to Switzerland. On 12 September 1988, the helicopter was registered HB-XSB with Tui Air. On 7 May 1990, the HB-XSB was registered with Valu Holding. On 28 January 1991, the JetRanger III was registered with Heli-TV. On 15 September 1997, registration HB-XSB was cancelled as exported to Germany and registered D-HJET with SSS Helicopter as owner and Air Lloyd Deutsche Helicopter Flugservice as operator. in 2000, the D-HJET was registered with LGM Luftfahrt, Mannheim. On 7 January 2008, Bell 206B JetRanger III D-HJET was substantial damaged in a fatal crash at Zuzenhausen. During 2008, the remains of the helicopter were sold to Rotorflug. The JetRanger III was rebuilt with parts of JetRanger III s/n 3665 (ex SU-BOX: the former D-HRFB of Rotorflug)) and seen at Kirchdorf am Inn Airfield on 13 August 2009, operated by Rotorflug, part of the Rotorflug-Blue Helicopter Alliance, Friedrichsdorf Heliport. Since, Bell 206B JetRanger III D-HJET is operated by Rotorflug. On 1 October 2020, Rotorflug was taken over by Heli Transair and operates as Rotorflug with Heli Transair as sole shareholder.
On 15 May 2023, Bell 206B JetRanger III D-HJET was seen at Flugplatz Koblenz-Winningen (EDRK)in service with Rotorflug.

page last updated: 16-06-2023
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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