As the Bell 505 gets certified and starts flying with customers, it is thus appropriate to mark the final closure of the Bell 206 series production lines. Bell have recently confirmed to HeliHub.com
that 2017 is indeed the last year of production for the seven seat 206L4 LongRanger IV. The five seat Bell 206B JetRanger line closed back in 2010.
Only four months ago we noted
that 88% of the 206L4 production over the last two years was for one customer – Air Evac Lifeteam –
If you look at the last six years, Bell have built 69 Bell 206L4 LongRanger 4 helicopters – serial numbers 52423 to 52491 – and 49 were for Air Evac Lifeteam, 71% of the total.
But it begs the question as to what Bell might offer in the future for a 6-7 seat single turbine. Is a Bell 505L LongRanger X a possibility? We are sure Bell would not want to leave that market to the AW119Kx and the EC130 (and perhaps the MD6XX being shown in concept form by MD Helicopters at Heli-Expo this week).