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1960, the U.S. Army requested a Light Observation Helicopter (LOH).
Bell developed the HO-4 for this requirement but lost out to
the Hughes HO-6 (later OH-6).
The HO-4 served as the prototype for the Model
206 JetRanger that first flew in 1966. When the Hughes had
problems delivering the OH-6, the Army re-opened the
competition. This time Bell won with a militarized version of
the JetRanger receiving the designation OH-58 Kiowa.
The Model 206 is still in production with well
over 7,000 having been produced.