Bell 206 Jet Ranger

The model

Brand: ESCI
Number: 4061
Scale: 1:48
Released: 1980 | Initial release – new tool
Type: Full kit

The real helicopter

Type Light liaison, reconnaissance and training helicopter
Manufacturing Country USA
Dimensions Rotor span: 10.16 m, Length: 9.5 m, Height: 2.91 m
Performance Max. speed: 207 kph, Ceiling: 6,100 kph, Range: 582 km
Weight Empty: 638 kg ,Max. weight: 1,361 kg
Engine Allison 250 engine rated at 317 hp

General Description

A helicopter used for transport, observation and instruction. The Israeli Air Force has been using several dozen light Jet Ranger (Saifan) helicopters since 1971. The Jet Rangers were at first used side by side with the Alouette IIs, and replaced them over time. The Jet Ranger is one of the world’s most widely used light helicopters, whether in civilian, military or police roles.

The Six Day War proved the importance of light helicopters for carrying top officers to and from the battlefield, for liaison and for medevac. The War of Attrition saw the need for light helicopters grow further: they were employed in patrols along the borders and for chasing after terrorist infiltrators in the Jordan Valley. The Alouettes had been the IAF’s helicopter of choice for these missions, but there simply were not enough of them. The IAF considered several light helicopters as options, including the Hughes OH-6A, the German Bo-105, the Fairchild Hiller FH-1100, besides the Bell-206 Jet Ranger. The Ranger was chosen for its higher speed, longer range and greater comfort. The US Army’s decision to purchase it as a patrol helicopter, and its successful entry into the civilian market in Israel in 1970, made the choice even more certain. The first Jet Rangers reached the IAF in July of 1971. After the Yom Kippur War, with the enlargement of the US military aid to Israel, many additional Saifan Bell-206s were purchased. In May of 1984, the IAF purchased several units of the longer version of the Bell-206 – the ‘Long Ranger’ – nicknamed Saifanit in the IAF. The Saifanit carries more passengers and can handle a heavier cargo. The Bell-206s took part in operations in the Yom Kippur War and the Peace for the Galilee campaign. They were employed in transporting commanders, observation and patrol.

Source IAF

In the history of aviation, it is not rare that you find examples of air­ craft which, after an unfortunate de but”as militaryaircraftand up by giving rise to a successful line in commercial aviation. 

This is just what happened to Bell with their model 206 which is now one of the most widely used light helicopters in the world. 

ln 1960 the United States company was in the final stages of competition with Hughes and Hiller for the Technical Specification153 tender from the DoD (Department of Defense) for an LOH. Such were the specifications that in reality they were much more stringent than just for a Light Observation Helicopter which the initials LOH stood for. What they in fact wanted, was not just an aircraft capable of carrying out the role of a reconnaissance and artillery spotter, but one which could be used also for rapid liaison, troopcarrying, evacuation of the wounded and light attacks on unfortified positions. 

The performance of the Jetranger, as the helicopter was called, was considerable enough to reawaken the interest of the U.S. Army, which after a new series of assessments, ordered a good 2.200 models in 1968, the greatest commission ever recorded in the West for an aircraft of that category. With the initials OH-58A (Observation Helicop­ ter) it saw service at once with the American army coming to be more popularly called Kiowa (after the Red Indian tribe). 

Together with other helicopters of different kinds, it had its baptism of fire in Vietnam, opening up a new set of uses for the chopper: thear­ maments, which were optional, were made up of the fire-arm system XM27 composed of one 7.62 mm Miniguo, capable of firing 2000 to 4000 rounds a minute. 

To describe all the uses of this successful aircraft would by nearly im­possible given the extent of its use throughout the world. 

1n Italy for example, where they are made and distributed under lic­ence by Agusta, we find models used by the army, the “Alpini“, who carry out mountain rescue operations, by the Police, the Carabinieri, the Fire Brigade and by various civil operators who use them for business or carrying tourists.