Later this year Bell Helicopter will deliver its last JetRanger, a 206B3. According to a company spokeswoman, Bell decided “to stop production on the 206B JetRanger in the first quarter in response to shifting market demands.” Bell will continue to manufacture the stretched version of the helicopter, the LongRanger 206L4.
Bell Helicopter has begun converting OH-58A Kiowa cabins into OH-58D Kiowa Warrior cabins, the company announced here at Farnborough. The aim of the program is to replace OH-58Ds that have been damaged beyond repair.
Bell OH-58C, Quitman, Ark., Nov. 16, 2008–The helicopter, registered to and operated by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, was substantially damaged and its passenger killed when it landed hard in a field at night. Operating under Part 91, the helicopter took off from Heber Springs Municipal Airport around 11:30 p.m. and was flying in support of ground units attempting to apprehend people hunting deer illegally at night.
Bell OH-58C, Quitman, Ark., Nov. 16, 2008–A passenger in the OH-58C was killed but the commercial pilot uninjured when the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission helicopter landed hard in a field. The night surveillance flight supported ground personnel searching for “spot-lighters” illegally hunting deer at night. The pilot, who was wearing night vision goggles, was hovering at 150 feet agl when the low rotor rpm light came on.
Deliveries of the Eurocopter UH-72A (EC 145) Lakota to the U.S. Army are gathering pace since the first helicopter entered into service in November 2006. Last month the first operational unit received its first aircraft, and the second unit began accepting aircraft a few days ago.
Helicopter rebuilding firm Overseas Aircraft Support (Static Display No. 37 and 38) and Wings & Rotors Museum, on Friday formed a partnership to fly three UH-1 Hueys and an OH-58 Kiowa 5,000 miles across the U.S., culminating in a flight to the Vietnam Wall in Washington, D.C., this Memorial Day (May 26).
The U.S. Army Flight School at Fort Rucker, Ala., accepted two OH-58D operational flight trainers (OFT) early this month from L-3 Communications’ Link Simulation division in Arlington, Texas, which is exhibiting its line of flight-training devices at Heli-Expo Booth No. 2647.
Earlier this year, Bell Helicopter celebrated the 40th anniversary of its popular single-turbine light helicopter, the JetRanger. The Bell JetRanger is the most ubiquitous turbine single-engine civilian helicopter in the world.
Since the dramatic cancellation of the stealthy Comanche attack helicopter in 2004, U.S. Army aviation has used the released funds to embark on a major rejuvenation by modernizing and augmenting the existing AH-64, UH-60 and CH-47 fleets, as well as procuring two new types.
Bell OH-58A, St. Augustine, Fla., June 29, 2005–The compressor section of the Bell’s engine failed for undetermined reasons, the NTSB said, causing the loss of engine power during initial climb.