- 01 Aug 2022
- Mike Chase
- Helicopter Comparisons
Introduced by Bell Helicopters in 1971, the 206B Jet Ranger II has the same airframe as the Bell 206A but has a higher-powered 400 shp Allison 250-C20 turbine and a 200 lb increase in gross weight to 3,200 lb. This versatile 5-seat light helicopter is a good performer and in addition to being a good passenger transport is used for turbine helicopter training.
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The Bell 206B-3 JetRanger III costs between $0.40m for a 1985 model and $0.90m for a 2009 model, according to Aircraft Bluebook’s Spring 2023 data. These values represent the average retail price for the respective model year. The value of a specific serial number could be above or below the average for its model year, however, depending on a range of factors that will be unique to the aircraft – including time and condition of the airframe and engine, damage history, and the quality of its logbooks, for example.
Competing with the Bell 206B-3 on the single-engine turbine helicopter market is the Eurocopter EC-120B Colibri, which was produced between the mid-1990s until 2017. Powered by a single Safran Arrius 2F engine, it can also carry four passengers and a pilot, and has a range of 383nm.
The Bell 206B-3 JetRanger III’s longevity and success can be attributed, at least in part, to its versatility with the aircraft capable of fulfilling a range of missions, including VIP/corporate transport. It also offers increased power over earlier aircraft in the line, along with a boosted capacity.
The Bell 206L LongRanger is a stretched variant, carrying five passengers, versus the four carried by the 206B-3. The LongRanger has been produced in various iterations, with the current Bell 407 derived from this line.
Bell 206B-3 Helicopter Overview
By Gerrard Cowan - Editor, Aircraft Reviews
The Bell 206B-3 JetRanger III was one of the most popular variants of the Bell 206 single-engine turbine helicopter series – a family that was a major market success for Bell Helicopter over several decades.
Specifically, the 206B-3 can hold four passengers with one crew member. There were 2,482 Bell 206B-3 JetRanger III platforms produced between 1997 and 2010, according to JETNET data. The majority of these aircraft remain in operation around the world today, and they continue to be popular on the pre-owned market.
What features does the Bell 206B-3 offer?
The Bell 206B-3 is powered by a single Allison 250-C20B turboshaft engine. Offering a range of about 370nm, the maximum take-off weight of the Bell 206B-3 (3,200lbs) was increased when compared with its predecessor.
What came before and after the Bell 206B-3?
As already noted, the Bell 206 family has been a success story for Bell over the years, with thousands of platforms produced since the 1960s. The 206B-3 JetRanger III followed the 206B JetRanger II, which itself had been upgraded from the 206A through the introduction of a new Allison 250-C20 engine.
There have been a range of variants since then, including different iterations of the 206L ‘LongRanger’ design (more details below). A twin-engine variant, the Bell206LT TwinRanger, is also available.
Today, the range is represented by the Bell 407, which is derived from the 206L and has been produced since the mid-1990s. The most modern version, the Bell 407GXi, features a Rolls-Royce 250-C47E/4 turboshaft engine with dual digital full authority digital engine control (FADEC), and has a range of 337nm at its long-range cruise speed.
Read Mike Chase's Helicopter Comparison: Bell 206B-3JetRanger III vs Airbus EC 120B
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