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Thoughts on the Bell 206 JetRanger family

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Thoughts on the Bell 206 JetRanger family

Old 2nd Mar 2012, 13:39
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Thoughts on the Bell 206 JetRanger family

I am working on a feature for Rotorhub magazine about the Bell Model 206 family - although not the 206L series. We will look at that later.

I wondered if members might be willing to share their thoughts and reflections on the JetRanger's design, performance, capabilities, upgrades and history. It would be great to hear from you either by PM or through: tony.o(at)shephardmedia.com
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Old 2nd Mar 2012, 14:01
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Angel Top of the World

Dependable, Predictable(?), Robust, Reliable, Resilient, Uncomfortable, Workhorse, not for everyone to fly as she can be a handful & tricky if pushed .
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Old 2nd Mar 2012, 14:16
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Few, if any faults with the type in general. Tail rotor can be an issue in high DA situations. It should be remembered that it was the first really successful commercial turbine helicopter, and one that grew the industry to where it is today.
Bell's reputation for product support is probably one of the major keys to it's success.
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Old 2nd Mar 2012, 14:30
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I dare say that since its inception and first flight almost 50 years ago that no single air vehicle has touched more pilots than the Jet Ranger. It continues to today as one of the linchpins in the world of helicopters. At this time, I do not see a more capable replacement on the horizon.
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Old 2nd Mar 2012, 16:54
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Would it be okay if dropped one or two of you a line with some more questions?
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Old 2nd Mar 2012, 19:43
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I love them, I feel safe in them, I have trusted my life to them many times, if well maintained and you use your intellect while flying, your they will get the job done and bring you back home.

Excellent autorotation characteristics, plenty of feedback, visual, audible, vibration to the pilot as to how it's flying it will rarely bite you unexpectedly . . . if tracked by a good mechanic, they can be really smooth, excellent visibility, plenty of parts and qualified repair facilities.

They can be a little difficult to start if hot . . . . but that is the engine, not the Bell, they are not very comfortable for a tall pilot, tail rotor authority is limited which means you have to watch your wind and get to know the signs that it's bout to run out.

I love them, I would love to own a Jet Ranger!!
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Old 2nd Mar 2012, 21:29
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Got about 7,000 hrs on the type, and never really had a problem with them.

However, ventilation is a bit poor, the seats are usually backbreakers, but a better workhorse is hard to find.
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Old 2nd Mar 2012, 22:20
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First helicopter i ever flew in and i was smitten - my first love. I did not spend a lot of time in them as a pilot - only a few hundred hours, but they were some of the hours that i most enjoyed and that taught me the most about helicopters.

The 206 is a good, solid, honest, predictable lady and whilst her French counterpart has her beaten in many areas i will never love her the same way! If you took liberties with her then she would slap your face but she would not kick you in the balls unless you really deserved it.

As things stand, it's not likely that i will fly a Jet-box again and that saddens me.

OH
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 04:07
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Jetranger

I've never understood the common reference to the Jetranger as a Jetbox.

It seems a little derogotary and surely, from the majority of opinions, doesn't deserve it.

In my humble opinion it has the most attractive lines of ANY helicopter produced to date. A long way from resembling a box. It's design is timeless - demonstrated by the early 70s adverts where it appears alongside a modern car of the day [which would now be laughed at]. Can anybody post the advert?

R44 replacing the Jetranger? Not in my book. My passengers will always be happier paying a little more for a more robust, reliable helicopter and confidence inspiring design. Long live the Bell Jetranger!
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 09:12
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Have one criticism, I may be mistaken, but I think it is the only turbine model which does not (as standard) have a heated demisting system. This has killed several good pilots, and very nearly myself. In spite of the evidence, and recommendations following accidents, this has still not been addressed as a standard feature.
Otherwise, a lot of fun, and a good solid workhorse.
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 09:55
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Angel Jetranger - the legend before its time & now

Namaste Beach Bunny

I concur on the HEATER demister, it has also almost killed me above 10,000' as the shield fogged then iced over on the inside....ffff it was well, I'm still here.

Yep that's my only major criticism, no - heater??

The Jetbox came from the boxy (uncomfortable) seats & the interior space not coping with boxes as cargo?

Happy landings

VF
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 09:55
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Great- simple and reliable, best for autorotations.

Only, sometimes, need some respect in "hot & high environment" (to put some reserve in your pocket)...and evth. will be nice!

Legendary helicopter.
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 10:14
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Flipping gorgeous!!!!!

Inside and out.
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 10:56
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Outofwhack wrote: It's design is timeless - demonstrated by the early 70s adverts where it appears alongside a modern car of the day [which would now be laughed at]. Can anybody post the advert?
To the best of my knowledge, Bell never commissioned an ad which specifically paired the 206 alongside an automobile. Most of the initial ads were in black and white and the most prominent (certainly in the early 70's) was one of a group of businessmen carrying trench coats and briefcases walking towards a 206 on shorts.

In Britain however, (mid-70's) that great British engineering company Leyland did commission an ad to promote their Triumph 'Spitfire' sports car and which featured Bristow's G-BAUN (formerly owned by Ben Turner).

Are there any 'Bristownians' who could shed some light as to why BAUN might be wearing 'RESCUE' titles?


Bristow's G-BAUN in the bonnie Highlands participating in Triumph's Spitfire ad c.1977
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 12:49
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Savoia: At the time of the Triumph Spitfire photo-shoot, G-BAUN was based in Inverness for ad-hoc charter work. I believe the location in the photo was the Lake District, not Scotland. I remember the pilot, Paul Gliddon (that's him second from the right) saying what a great time he had with the models (and I'm not talking about the cars) and the photo-crew whilst he was away for the two or three day task. The 'Rescue' decal was a piece of 'artistic licence' requested by the photographer.
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 13:52
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The photo I refer to had something like an Austin Maxi or something similar to a mobile sideboard cabinet. It probably wasn't a Bell promotion.


Perhaps one day, like Cessna starting to build an updated 172, Bell might restart the production line and put some nice glass in there and improve the seats. Please Bell, please!
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 14:41
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SJ: Sounds as though everything was in order for BAUN's photo-shoot! Thanks for clarifying the location.

Among civilian helicopters I find it hard to think of a more nostalgic helicopter; for while the 47 pioneered many forms of operation it was through the 206 that this experience was shared globally, performed in style and with impressive reliability.

But, as much as I love the little lady, I have to say that I think she has had her day. Bell's team would have known about the plans for the Colibri (and was it at that time they were contemplating the next generation Ranger .. JRX or something, I don't recall?). Either way they decided to let the 206 go.

I shall always remember her fondly .. 'jump seats', bleeping caution warning, sloppy controls and all!
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Old 4th Mar 2012, 04:14
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I have sent you a mail to your Shephard address.
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Old 4th Mar 2012, 13:02
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First aircraft (helicopter or fixed wing) I ever flew in. What a ride for a young kid, with all that visibility and the sounds and the speed. Have been around them for the last 35 years in one way or another. Good honest, no surprise machine, with the best support in the industry

Still has lots of good years in her
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Old 4th Mar 2012, 14:03
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Many thanks for all the comments, will be getting back to a few of you by PM!
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