About 7,500 Bell 206 variants have been produced, approximately 4,500 of which are still flying today, being employed in such varied functions as law enforcement, flight training, corporate transport, utility and military missions.

The Bell 206 was initially built to suit a United States Army contract for a light observation helicopter, but Bell's design was not selected and the company opted to modify the 206 for the civilian market.

The longer version of the JetRanger, the seven-seat 206L LongRanger, entered the market in the mid-1970s and is still in production today.

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