Object StatementHelicopter, full-size, Bell 206B Jetranger III VH-DIK, Serial No. 3653, 'Dick Smith Australian Explorer', survival equipment and super8 film footage, various materials, made by Bell Helicopters Textron, Fort Worth, Texas, United States of America, June 1982, flown around the world by Dick Smith, United States of America / Australia, 1982-1983
Physical DescriptionHelicopter, full-size, Bell 206B Jetranger III VH-DIK, Serial No. 3653, 'Dick Smith Australian Explorer', survival equipment and super8 film footage, made by Bell Helicopters Textron, Fort Worth, Texas, USA, June 1982, flown around the world by Dick Smith, United States of America / Australia, 1982-1983
'Dick Smith Australian Explorer' is a Bell 206B Jetranger III helicopter which comprises an aluminium honeycomb sandwich and aluminium construction. It is powered by an Allison gas turbine and can carry five adults. It is painted white with blue and red striping and features a blue kangaroo on the side. This is the livery featured on Dick Smith's later North Pole flights. The helicopter was fitted out for the flight with the latest equipment including the VLF Omega navigation system to allow precise navigation to any point on earth.
In order to allow filming during the solo flight, the helicopter was especially modified. A sophisticated Collins auto pilot was fitted together with special camera mounts and four camera windows were installed. The filming was done on a small super 8 Chinon camera mounted beside Dick on a simple tripod-head fixed to the helicopter. The sound from his intercom went onto the soundtrack on the film. The camera, as well as a tape recorder mounted on a map cabinet, could be operated manually or from switches on the control column.
An extra long-range fuel tank extended the range from the normal 400 nautical miles to over 700 with reserves. Other special installations included a map cabinet, life raft with survival gear including an emergency locator beacon (EPIRB), 'bear paws' and a heater, added for the flight to the North Pole. Other safety equipment was a special Arctic survival suit, which Dick wore during the North Atlantic crossing and North Pacific sectors. Despite its use in the record-breaking flights, the helicopter was subsequently maintained in pristine condition.
Manufacturer: Bell Helicopter Textron, Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.A.
Model: 206B Jetranger III
Serial No: 3653
Date built: June 1982
Engine: Allison free-turbine 250-C20J
Engine power: 313 kW (420 shp)
Service ceiling: 6 096 m (20 000 ft)
Maximum speed: 250 km/h (155 mph)
Gross weight: 1 452 kg (3 201 lb)
Accommodation: pilot plus 4 adults
Navigation, radio and radar equipment:
Collins Radio 7 Navigation Equipment
Collins Auto Pilot
Collins LRN 70 VLF/Omega
King Radar Altimeter
FM Marine VHF
Survival equipment includes life vest, cap, life radt, reflective canopy, bivvy bag, sleeping bag, love note, camera, CB radio, compass, headset, radio, Video cameras, fire extinguisher, cassette recorder, navigation computer, plotter, ski bear paw, battery.
Film footage includes twenty-four rolls of super8 film footage with cases.