Beagle B.206

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Beagle B.206 / Basset
Beagle B-206 Series 1 Basset AN2261902.jpg
Role Light Transport
Manufacturer Beagle Aircraft Limited
First flight 15 August 1961
Introduction 1965
Primary user Royal Air Force
Produced 1964–1969
Number built 80

The Beagle B.206 is a 1960s British seven-seat twin-engined liaison and communication aircraft built by Beagle Aircraft Limited at Shoreham Airport and Rearsby Aerodrome.

Design and development[edit]

The Beagle B.206X prototype's public debut at the Farnborough Air Show in 1961
Basset CC.1 of the RAF Southern Communication Squadron at RAF Coltishall in 1969

The design of a twin-engined light transport began in 1960 and the prototype registered G-ARRM (designated the B.206X) first flew from Shoreham Airport, West Sussex on 15 August 1961.[1] The prototype aircraft was a five-seat all metal low-wing monoplane powered by two Continental flat-six engines. Owned since 1990 by Brooklands Museum then loaned to the Bristol Aero Collection before eventually being restored by a dedicated team of volunteers at Shoreham Airport, this historic aeroplane was loaned to the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust Museum at Farnborough, Hampshire from 2011 until 2017. With the expiry of the loan agreement, it was dismantled and transported from FAST to Brooklands by road on 3 August 2017.

The second prototype (registered G-ARXM and designated B.206Y) was slightly larger with a larger span wing and seating for seven. Two aircraft (designated B.206Z) were built for evaluation by the Ministry of Aviation at Boscombe Down and an order for twenty aircraft (designated B.206R) for the Royal Air Force followed.[1][2] The RAF aircraft were designated Basset CC.1 and were built at Rearsby Aerodrome, Leicestershire.

Initial production was the Series 1 aircraft which were powered by 310 hp Rolls-Royce Continental GIO-470A engines, and the first aircraft (G-ASMK) first flew on 17 July 1964. This aircraft was then converted as the first Series 2 aircraft with 340 hp Continental GTSIO-520C turbocharged engines and first flew as such on 23 June 1965.[1] The production Series 2 (initially known as the B.206S) was also fitted with a large freight door. The aircraft was soon in demand with air taxi companies and as a light transport for companies. Three aircraft were delivered to the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Australia.[3]

A Series 3 was developed with a raised rear fuselage to carry 10-passengers but only two were converted from Series 2 airframes (G-35-28 c/n B.074 and G-AWLN, c/n B.080) and the former was later re-converted back to a Series 2; a third aircraft (B.037) was converted but never flown. When the company needed the room at Rearsby to build the Beagle Pup, production of the B.206 ended with the 80th aircraft.[4]

Operational history[edit]

Ex RAF Basset CC.1 at Asuncion Paraguay in 1975

A competition was held at RAF Northolt in March 1963 between the B.206 and the de Havilland Devon for an aircraft to replace the Avro Anson, resulting in 20 Bassets being ordered for the RAF. The first delivery to RAF communications squadrons was made in May 1965, it was powered by two Rolls-Royce/Continental GIO-470 six cylinder horizontally-opposed engines giving it a maximum speed of 220 mph and a range of 1,645 miles. Up to eight persons could be carried.

The Northolt aircraft were originally based at RAF Bovingdon near Watford, Hertfordshire with the Southern Communications Squadron until the 'SCS' moved to Northolt and became 207 Squadron on 4 February 1969. Another squadron, the Northern Communications Squadron, operated Bassets from RAF Topcliffe near Thirsk in North Yorkshire, later becoming 26 Squadron at RAF Wyton. Most aircraft were removed from RAF service on 2 May 1974 and sold for civil use.

Beagle B.206 Series 2 operated by Air Kilroe on charter flights from Manchester Airport during the late 1970s.

The first civil ordered aircraft (a Series 1 registered G-ASWJ) was delivered in May 1965 to Rolls-Royce Limited at Hucknall.

An unusual use for one of the first aircraft registered G-ATHO which was bought by Maidenhead Organ Studios Limited for transporting electronic organs.[3] Other examples were operated by UK-based air charter firms including Air Kilroe.

The type was sold to and operated by civilian firms and individuals in several countries including Australia, Brazil and the United States. Bassets were sold after RAF service to Paraguay.


Modified 206 with Continental GTSIO-520-C engines
Beagle B.206X
Prototype, 1 built.
Beagle B.206Y
Larger prototype, 1 built.
Beagle B.206Z
Pre-production military version, 2 built.
Beagle B.206R (Basset CC.1)
Military version, 20 built.
Beagle B.206 Series 1 (B.206C)
Seven-seat civil production aircraft, 11 built.
Beagle B.206 Series 2 (B.206S)
Higher-performance civil production aircraft, 45 built.
Beagle B.206 Series 3
10-seat version, 2 converted from Series 2.


Military operators[edit]

 United Kingdom


 South Africa

Civil operators[edit]

 United Kingdom
  • Maidenhead Organ Studios Limited

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • 5 July 1973 XS783 a Basset CC.1 of 26 Squadron was refuelled with the wrong fuel and crashed on take off.[5] Navigator killed and pilot seriously hurt.
  • 2 May 1977 – Automotive engineer and General Motors Corporation executive Ed Cole was killed in a Beagle B.206 Series 2 registered N500KR, crashing while making a landing approach to Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA in bad weather.[6]

Specifications (B.206 Series 2)[edit]

Data from British Civil Aircraft since 1919: Volume I [7]

General characteristics


See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists



  1. ^ a b c Jackson 1974, p.198.
  2. ^ a b "The Beagle B-206". Archived from the original on 13 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-11. 
  3. ^ a b Jackson 1974, p.199.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-01-18. Retrieved 2012-12-30. 
  5. ^ Halley 2001, page 82
  6. ^ unnamed author. "Aviation Accident Database & Synopses" (text). (United States) National Transportation Safety Board. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-30. 
  7. ^ Jackson 1974, p.200.
  8. ^ Donald 1997, p.95.


External links[edit]