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
Ohio Army National Guard
Pima Air & Space Museum
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