The Bell 206 is a family of two-bladed, single or twin-engine helicopters, manufactured by Bell Helicopter at its Mirabel, Quebec plant. The Bell 206 started life as a loser. Designed to meet a US Army requirement for a light observation helicopter, Bell lost the bid to the Hughes OH-6. So Bell went back to the drawing board, modifying the aircraft for civilian use. They fitted their new helicopter with a bigger fuselage, producing the more streamlined shape that so many people know and love. This meant it could carry 4-5 people in comfort, and their baggage too. A new concept in passenger flying was born, and from then on, the helicopter was a winner in the civilian world.
For most people, the Bell 206 Jet Ranger represents their first introduction to helicopter flying. Anyone who flies as a passenger, whether for sightseeing, business use or a photographic flight, will be most likely to find themselves in this type of rotary aircraft. It is also used to a large extent by the military and in business.