The final Bell 206L4 LongRanger rolled off the assembly line at Mirabel, Quebec, at the end of last month. S/N 52496 was part of a last production batch that largely went to one customer—U.S.-based helicopter EMS service Air Evac, which currently operates a fleet of more than 130 LongRangers.
Bell has manufactured more than 3,800 LongRangers since production started in 1975. The stretched variant of the 206B JetRanger could accommodate seven occupants and was a favorite of offshore, air ambulance and law enforcement users. Bell shuttered JetRanger production in 2010 with the last model of that aircraft—the 206B3. Besides its longer cabin, the LongRanger features a more powerful Rolls-Royce 250-C30P engine; new cowlings, engine deck and mountings; a redesigned firewall; and increased tail rotor thrust.
The 206L has a useful load of 2,119 pounds, maximum range of 325 nm and 109-knot cruising speed. A Bell spokesman told AIN that the company intends to continue to support its out-of-production models. Although the LongRanger is now out of production, Bell will continue to produce its dynamic components, which are used in the new Model 505 Jet Ranger X.