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1st Flight Bell 206 Prototype Dec 8 1962

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1st Flight Bell 206 Prototype Dec 8 1962

Old 8th Dec 2018, 22:13
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1st Flight Bell 206 Prototype Dec 8 1962

Now I know where the 505 gets its looks from...
http://www.thisdayinaviation.com/8-december-1962/




8 December 1962: At the Bell Helicopter Company plant at Hurst, Texas, the first Model D-250, N73999 (YHO-4-BF 62-4202) made its first flight.

The United States military had requested proposals from 25 aircraft manufacturers for a Light Observation Helicopter (LOH) to be powered by a gas turbine engine. Eventually, helicopters proposed by three companies were selected for flight testing. These were the Bell YHO-4, the Fairchild Hiller FH-1100, designated as YHO-5, and the Hughes Aircraft Company Model 369, designated YHO-6.




In 1962, U.S. military aircraft designations were standardized between services, and the three helicopters were redesignated YOH-4, YOH-5 and YOH-6. Bell Helicopter had also changed its internal company designation for their proposal from D-250 to Model 206. All three were powered by an Allison T63-A-5 turboshaft engine rated at 250 shaft horsepower (Allison 250-C18).





After the fly-off, the Hughes OH-6A Cayuse was selected for production. With the LOH classification, the OH-6 earned the nickname “Loach.” Modern variants of the OH-6, now the AH-6 and MH-6 “Little Bird,” remain in service with United States special operations forces.

Bell Helicopter tried to market their Model 206 as a light civil aircraft, but its utilitarian appearance made it a hard sell. The helicopter was redesigned as the Model 206A and given the name JetRanger. This became one of the most successful aircraft ever built and it remained in production until 2011.




As the Vietnam War escalated, the need for helicopters increased. Hughes Aircraft had limited production capacity so the U.S. Army ordered a version of the redesigned Bell YOH-4 as the OH-58A Kiowa (Bell Model 206A-1). Though similar in appearance to the civil Bell 206A JetRanger, the OH-58A has significant differences and few parts are interchangeable between models. The Kiowa’s main rotor blades and tail boom are longer than the JetRanger’s. The rotor system turns at a slower r.p.m. Landing skids are mounted differently. The OH-58A has a lower maximum gross weight. There are internal differences as well, for example, the main transmission of the OH-58A has only three planetary gears while the 206B uses four, giving it a greater torque capacity.

The OH-58 Kiowa was continuously upgraded to the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, with advanced targeting and communications capabilities. The D model uses a composite four-bladed “soft-in-plane” main rotor. Military variants of the civil Bell 206B-3 JetRanger III have been used as training helicopters for the U.S. Navy (TH-57 Sea Ranger) and U.S. Army (TH-67 Creek). The U.S. Army has now retired all of its OH-58s. The final flight of an OH-58D Kiowa Warrior took place in September 2017.




The YOH-4A prototype is in storage at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum, Fort Rucker, Alabama. Because of an error is assigning serial numbers, this aircraft carries a manufacturer’s data plate with the military serial number 62-4201, however, the correct serial number, 62-4202, is painted on the airframe exterior.


Last edited by Senior Pilot; 9th Dec 2018 at 01:11. Reason: Add quote and images
wrench1 is offline  
Old 8th Dec 2018, 23:01
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They shoulda kept those doors - great for tourism or aerial inspection work.
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Old 8th Dec 2018, 23:08
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The early versions of the 206 and OH=58A were not exactly over powered.

The Kiowa in the summer at sea level full of fuel was good for two pilots and a verbal message....with un-boosted Tail Rotor Pedals which took some getting used to after flying the 206 which had boosted pedals.

The Kiowa was fun with all doors off in the warm weather.

Bush flying with the 206 in the mountains of Iran in the Summer was valuable learning especially when swapping back and forth between them and the Alouette III.
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Old 9th Dec 2018, 00:31
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
The early versions of the 206 and OH=58A were not exactly over powered.

The Kiowa in the summer at sea level full of fuel was good for two pilots and a verbal message....with un-boosted Tail Rotor Pedals which took some getting used to after flying the 206 which had boosted pedals.

The Kiowa was fun with all doors off in the warm weather.

Bush flying with the 206 in the mountains of Iran in the Summer was valuable learning especially when swapping back and forth between them and the Alouette III.
Tell us more about 206 vs Alouette III please.
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Old 9th Dec 2018, 02:12
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Anyone able to explain why the differences between the 206 and 58? Flown them both.
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Old 9th Dec 2018, 03:50
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Spinwing noted US Army design requirements.....


OH-58A/206 Differences
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Old 9th Dec 2018, 06:02
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Sassy, "after flying the 206 which had boosted pedals."

Very rare to find a 206 with boosted pedals. Usually only 3 servos in the machine, 2 for cyclic, one for collective. I did once fly a boosted JetFranger, and it was a little weird at first.
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Old 9th Dec 2018, 08:11
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Did they preserve any of the early prototypes?
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Old 9th Dec 2018, 11:46
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I am thinking the US Army Aviation Museum at Fort Rucker, Alabama may have one in their Collection but not on displayl

I seem to recall having seen one there at one time many years ago when the Museum was first starting and many Types were stored in the open at various locations near the Daleville Gate.


You might have to scroll to find the article "Three for the Money" when you open this link. It was a US Army Digest Article discussing the LOH Competition.

I found the issues being discussed to very similar to those of today as the Army tries to figure out what kind of Aviation assets it needs.

History does repeat itself!

https://books.google.com/books?id=7zxEAQAAIAAJ&pg=RA3-PA50&lpg=RA3-PA50&dq=LOH+Competition,+prototypes&source=bl&ots=nqvMFOYUiP &sig=Wwjk3tqWEUu_S_g-HEjdLmEXOi0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiu8rbu4ZLfAhUKUa0KHRsQA9kQ 6AEwAnoECAgQAQ#v=onepage&q=LOH%20Competition%2C%20prototypes &f=false

This Link takes you to the Army Report re the LOH Competition.

I found some of the Reviews of the various aircraft to be quite interesting now that we have the advantage of looking back over time.

The Hughes 369 was said to have "marginal authoritative landing capability"..... have done one of them for real in the 500D version of the 369....and it was anything but marginal!

https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a030581.pdf
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Old 11th Dec 2018, 08:09
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I used to fly 3 with boosted pedals all ex Farranti Helicopters, that's so they could fit SAS!
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Old 11th Dec 2018, 09:42
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I flew fully IFR B206, autopilot and glass screens, but balance was up to us. No pedal boost, no force trim on pedals, no nuffink.
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Old 11th Dec 2018, 12:34
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if you look close enough to the pictures, you can see several designs incorporated into the 505.

I all honestly, this looks better and it would be a hoot to go for a ride in one.
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Old 13th Dec 2018, 05:52
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I think the A models had boosted pedals, that might have been what Sas was flying.
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Old 13th Dec 2018, 11:38
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Yes....the 206A had boosted Tail Rotor Pedals.

Yes....the OH-58A did not have boosted Tail Rotor Pedals.
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Old 13th Dec 2018, 16:19
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I think only first 397 off production line had boosted pedals I think from memory
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