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Bell 206 JetRanger

The first Bell 206 helicopter in a Bond film was an Agusta Bell 206B JetRanger that brings James Bond (disguised as Sir Hilary Bray) to the Piz Gloria mountain top hideout of Blofeld in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1967).
The first Bell 206 helicopter in a Bond film was an Agusta Bell 206B JetRanger that brings James Bond (disguised as Sir Hilary Bray) to the Piz Gloria mountain top hideout of Blofeld in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1967).
photo © Eon Productions, Danjaq, United Artists
photo © Eon Productions, Danjaq, United Artists
James Bond (disguised as Sir Hilary Bray) gets in the Agusta Bell 206B JetRanger that will bring him to the Piz Gloria mountain top hideout of Blofeld in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
photo © Eon Productions, Danjaq, United Artists

photo © Eon Productions, Danjaq, United Artists
In Diamonds Are Forever, Willard Whyte and Felix Leiter are flying in Whyte's private Bell 206 JetRanger helicopter.
photo © Eon Productions, Danjaq, United Artists

photo © Eon Productions, Danjaq, United Artists
When James Bond (Roger Moore) and Solitaire (Jane Seymour) discover the poppy fields in Live And Let Die (1973) they are being chased by a Bell 206A JetRanger,
photo © Eon Productions, Danjaq, United Artists

photo © Eon Productions, Danjaq, United Artists
The Bell 206A JetRanger helicopter in Live And Let Die was provided by the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF).
photo © Eon Productions, Danjaq, United Artists

photo © Eon Productions, Danjaq, United Artists
In The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Stromberg sends off Professor Markovitz and Dr. Bechmann in a Bell 206 JetRanger
photo © Eon Productions, Danjaq, United Artists

photo © Eon Productions, Danjaq, United Artists
Also in The Spy Who Loved Me, Naomi (Caroline Munro) chases James Bond and Amasova in a Bell 206 JetRanger.
photo © Eon Productions, Danjaq, United Artists

photo © Eon Productions, Danjaq, United Artists
James Bond (Roger Moore) is picked up by Corinne Dufour (Corinne Cléry) in a 'Drax Airlines' Bell 206B JetRanger helicopter, in Moonraker (1979).
photo © Eon Productions, Danjaq, United Artists

photo © Eon Productions, Danjaq, United Artists
The Bell 206 helicopter lands in front of Château Vaux-le-Vicomte in Moonraker.
photo © Eon Productions, Danjaq, United Artists

photo © Eon Productions, Danjaq, United Artists
An Agusta Bell 206B JetRanger helicopter picks up James Bond (Roger Moore) in the pre-title sequence of For Your Eyes Only (1981)
photo © Eon Productions, Danjaq, United Artists

photo © Warner Bros
In Never Say Never Again (1983) Maximillian Largo flies himself to his yacht the Flying Saucer in a Bell 206 JetRanger. Only the door of the helicopter can be seen, but the paint colors on that door show that this was probably a Bell 206 from the Alan Mann Helicopters fleet.
photo © Warner Bros

The Bell 206 JetRanger is one of the most popular helicopters ever produced and can be seen in 7 James Bond films.

The Bell 206 is a family of two-bladed, single- and twin-engined helicopters, manufactured by Bell Helicopter in Fort Worth, Texas, and later in Mirabel, Quebec. The Agusta Bell 206 is the same model but built in Italy.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service

The first Bell 206 helicopter in a Bond film was an Agusta Bell 206B JetRanger that brings James Bond (disguised as Sir Hilary Bray) to the Piz Gloria mountain top hideout of Blofeld in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969). This is three years after the Bell 206 model received FAA certification, so it was quite a new type of helicopter at the time of filming. The Agusta Bell 206B in the film has registration number HB-XCF, and serial 8013. The helicopter was owned at the time by Heliswiss. HB-XCF currently is not operated anymore after a crash in 1977.

In the same film, Bond and his allies launch an attack on Piz Gloria in three Agusta Bell AB-204 transport helicopters.

Diamonds Are Forever

In Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Willard Whyte leads a squadron of marine helicopters to launch an attack on Blofeld's hideout at an oil rig. Willard Whyte and Felix Leiter are flying in Whyte's private helicopter, a Bell 206 JetRanger. The helicopter doesn't show any registration details.

Live And Let Die

When James Bond (Roger Moore) and Solitaire (Jane Seymour) discover the poppy fields in Live And Let Die they are being chased by a Bell 206A JetRanger. The helicopter was provided by the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), and the green/yellow colours of the nation's flag can be seen on the aircraft. The registration of the aircraft is JDFH-3, but only the characters "FH-3" can be seen on the bottom. JDFH-3 was written off not long after the film, on 25 February 1973.

The Spy Who Loved Me

In The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), two Bell 206 JetRangers owned by Karl Stromberg are used in classic scenes. First, Stromberg sends off Professor Markovitz and Dr. Bechmann in a Bell 206 JetRanger, only to blow up the helicopter remotely, killing the two scientists and the pilot.

Later in the film, Stromberg's assistant/pilot Naomi (Caroline Munro) chases James Bond and Amasova in a Bell 206 JetRanger, but Bond and Amasova escape underwater when his Lotus Esprit converts into a submarine. The helicopter is destroyed when Bond fires a missile from the Lotus.

No registration number of this helicopter is known. A replica of the helicopter was on display during the Bondstars "The Spy Who Loved me" Reunion at Pinewood Studios on 19 October 2008 (if anyone has photos of this helicopter at the event, please email them to me so I can add it to this article).

The Stromberg Bell 206 helicopter was released as a die-cast scale model in several sizes by different companies, including Corgi. Find Stromberg 007 helicopter scale models on eBay.

Moonraker

In Moonraker (1979), James Bond (Roger Moore) is picked up by Corinne Dufour (Corinne Cléry), personal pilot to villain Hugo Drax, in a 'Drax Airlines' Bell 206B JetRanger helicopter. She gives 007 a tour of the Drax Industries estate and drops him off in front of Drax's French château in California (which in reality is Château Vaux-le-Vicomte near Paris).

The Bell 206B JetRanger used in the scenes filmed in the USA has registration number N59642 - just visible at the bottom of the helicopter when it first takes off. The same helicopter was also used in the 1977 classic Close Ecounters of the Third Kind as one of the army helicopters in the film.

The scenes where the Drax helicopter flies and lands in front of the Château was probably another Bell 206B JetRanger.

A similar (but not the original) Bell 206 in 'Drax Airlines' colours was on display during a Moonrakar event organised by the French Bond Club at Château Vaux-le-Vicomte in October 2018 (read more or see the photos/video).

DieCast Scale models of the Moonraker Bell 206 can be found on eBay.

For Your Eyes Only

An Agusta Bell 206B JetRanger helicopter plays an important part in the pre-title sequence of For Your Eyes Only (1981). First the helicopter picks up James Bond (Roger Moore) at a graveyard where he was just paying respect to his wife Tracy. The helicopter is taken over via remote control by a man in a wheelchair (we can assume this is Blofeld although he is not named). Bond regains control over the helicopter just in time and disposes off the villain using the helicopter's landing skids.

The Agusta Bell 206B JetRanger with registration number G-BAKS has the words Universal Exports (the fictional import-export company which acts as a cover for MI6) printed on the side. The helicopter is fitted with Philips speakers through which the sadistic voice of Blofeld sounds.

The helicopter doesn't exist anymore: G-BAKS crashed in 1997 and was written off.

Never Say Never Again

In the 'unofficial' Bond film Never Say Never Again (1983) Maximillian Largo flies himself to his yacht The Flying Saucer (real yacht name Kingdom 5KR) in a Bell 206 JetRanger. Only the door of the helicopter can be seen, but the paint colors on that door show that this was probably a Bell 206 from the Alan Mann Helicopters fleet (source), a UK helicopter operator owned by racing driver and entrepreneur Alan Mann. Alan Mann Racing (AMR) was involved in film and TV work. The company built the original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang vehicles for the film of the same name (which is based on Ian Fleming's 1964 novel). AMR also prepared the white Ford Mustang Convertible (source) for the James Bond film Goldfinger.

Related links and products

There are only diecast scale models of the Moonraker and The Spy Who Loved Me Bell 206 helicopters.

Bell 206 JetRanger Spy Who Loved Me Stromberg 007

Find Moonraker Bell 206 JetRanger models on eBay

Find The Spy Who Loved Me helicopter model on eBay

Aircraft Spotter Film Television Companion

The Aircraft-Spotter's Film and Television Companion, by Simon D. Beck, is an amazingly detailed and extensive reference guide to airplanes and helicopters in films and tv series. It features a special James Bond section.
Available on Amazon

Other Bell helicopters in Bond films

In Thunderball, Bond and Leiter use a Bell 47J-2A Ranger helicopter to search for the Vulcan. Bell Huey helicopters can be spotted in On Her Majesty’s Secret ServiceDiamonds Are Forever and The Living Daylights.

Product Code: 
au061

Orlebar Brown

Comments

Thanks for a really informative article. I really liked it that you went to the trouble to research what happened to the aircraft used in each film (where possible). It didn’t appear onscreen but I think that one was also used in “The Man With The Golden Gun”. I’m fairly certain that in the documentary on the making of the film, Roger Moore provided an anecdote supported by photographs from the time that whilst the cast and crew had to travel to Phuket by boat, “Cubby” Broccoli and Harry Saltzman would get onboard a helicopter and wave to them as they passed overhead!!

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