The latest aircraft in the Local Legend series for Microsoft Flight Simulator is the Bell 47J Ranger helicopter.
Renowned for its versatility and reliability, the 2-seat Bell 47A performed its maiden flight in December 1945 and was introduced into service the following year. The 47A was the first helicopter to be certified for civilian use in the US and soon became widely adopted for a variety of applications.
In 1954, Bell introduced the Bell 47G, a powerful 4-seat general utility version followed by the Bell47H. Bell launched the 47J Ranger, a 4-seat version of the 47H in 1956. Larger than its predecessor and fitted with a more powerful 260hp Lycoming VO-540-B1B piston engine, it proved a great success with a range of 260 miles and a cruise speed of 91mph. The Ranger also featured in several of popular films, including the James Bond film Thunderball.
The Bell 47J was equipped with a single-pilot cockpit and a bubble canopy with a 180-degree unobstructed field of view while a roomy cabin seated up to three passengers.
The 47J Ranger proved to be one of the most successful members of the Bell 47 family, with 361 examples coming off the production line. The helicopter was used worldwide for commercial and military applications such as passenger and cargo operations, air ambulance services, commuter flights and aerial surveying. The US Air Force purchased two 47Js, designated UH-13J Sioux, in 1957 for use as the first presidential transport helicopters in US history.
Developed by iniBuilds, the Bell 47J Ranger for Microsoft Flight Simulator features a detailed interior and exterior model with PBR (Physically Based Rendering) effects, reflective canopy and animations such as doors, pilot and rotor hub.
The cockpit sports authentic 3D instruments with modern equipment, such as a transponder and GPS navigation. It also comes with two undercarriage types: conventional skids and floats, each with seven liveries. It is available on the in-sim Marketplace for $14.99 (approx £11.80).