Bell 206 JetRanger
The Bell 206 JetRanger was initially designed to compete in a US Army light observation helicopter [LOH] competition. Bell lost that competition but the 206 was commercially successful. Modified for the commercial market, the aircraft has proved to be widely successful with a large production run (including under licence by Augusta) and several derivatives. The prototype first flew in January 1966 and the commercial Model 206A began delivery early in 1967. The uprated Model 206B Jetranger II went into production in 1971, and the Model 206C Jetranger III (with modified tail rotor and uprated powerplant) in 1977. In 1974 Bell flew the prototype Model 206L Longranger with a further uprated engine, bigger rotor, more fuel capacity, and a 0.63m fuselage extension allowing 7 people to be carried. This has also been modified as the Model 206L-2 Longranger II, and in 1981 a military variant, the Model206L-3 Texasranger. Initially, a 317 horse power unit was fitted but progressive variants have now increased to 650 hp.
The Bell 206 Jet Ranger light helicopter has accommodation for two pilots plus three passengers. The world's most popular series of single-engine helicopters earned its fame the hard way: 7,300 JetRangers produced in civilian and military missions worldwide logging over 38 million flight hours. The 206's history of reliability - best safety record among all single-engine aircraft - its mission flexibility and low operating and maintenance costs have long made the JetRanger a favorite of the energy industry.
A small news or traffic helicopter (typically a Bell Jet Ranger) costs from $700K to $1.2M.
The Bell 206 JetRanger is undoubtedly the most well-known of all rotorcraft. This light utility turbine powered aircraft has proven itself repeatedly in aerial cinematography. It's extremely versatile, relatively inexpensive to rent, practically all commercial camera mounts have been designed for it and, in one version or another, is probably the most readily obtainable helicopter worldwide. The safety and reliability record of the JetRanger is considered to be the standard of the industry.
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