Bell OH-58A Kiowa

A picture of the Bell OH-58A Kiowa

The design history of the OH-58A Kiowa begins in 1961 with Bell’s submission for an Army request for a new light scout helicopter.  Bell’s design did not win that contract which went to the Hughes OH-6.  Bell designers felt that the basic idea for the helicopter was sound and that it could be adapted for civilian use.  The redesign needed resulted in a five passenger, turbine-powered aircraft designated the Model 206A and called the Jet Ranger.  Flight testing began in late 1965 and deliveries of production machines began in 1967.  By the end of 1968, over 300 had been built.  The success of the Jet Ranger and the rising cost of the OH-6 led the U.S. Army to order more than 2,000 Jet Rangers in 1968.  Re-designated as the OH-58A, the helicopters served extensively in Vietnam.  The Jet Ranger and its military variants are some of the most popular helicopters ever produced.

Diameter of Main Rotor

35 ft 4 in.

Fuselage Length

31 ft 2 in.


9 ft 6 in.


3,000 lbs (loaded)

Maximum Speed

150 MPH

Service Ceiling

19,000 ft


299 miles


One Allison T63-A-700 turboshaft with 317 shaft horsepower


2 pilots, 3 passengers


Ohio Army National Guard


Serial Number

Pima Air & Space Museum

Creating unlimited horizons in aerospace education through the preservation and presentation of the history of flight.

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