40 years since the world’s first solo circumnavigation by helicopter, used Bell 206

40 years recently surpassed since Richard “Dick” Harold Smith touched down in the Bell 206 JetRanger III at the Bell Helicopter Hurst Heliport, now known as the Floyd Carlson Airfield. This historic flight marked the completion of the very first solo around-the-world flight by helicopter.

Smith's journey had begun 352 days earlier, on August 5, 1982, when he departed from the same airfield in Fort Worth, Texas, embarking on the ambitious circumnavigation. In total, Smith covered 32,258 miles (51,914 kilometers) during his journey, logging over 260 hours of flight time.

In addition to setting the Guinness World Record for the first solo global circumnavigation, Smith also attained the unprecedented milestone of conducting the first solo helicopter flight across the Atlantic Ocean. 

Smith chose to complete the journey using the Bell 206, also known in Australia as the ‘Australian Explorer’, due to its range, durability, and reliability.

Dick Smith is an Australian entrepreneur who founded Dick Smith Electronics, Australian Geographic, and Dick Smith Foods. He is an avid aviator who has flown five times around the world.

Bell 206B & 206L Historical images 14.jpg

Pictured is a Bell 206, similar to the one that Smith would have flown in.

For more information about Bell, visit the website.

Alexis Baird

Innovation and Commercial Business for Europe, Middle East and Africa
All Media Contacts

About Bell

Thinking above and beyond is what we do. For more than 85 years, we’ve been reimagining the experience of flight – and where it can take us.

We are pioneers. We were the first to break the sound barrier and to certify a commercial helicopter. We were a part of NASA’s first lunar mission and brought advanced tiltrotor systems to market. Today, we’re defining the future of advanced air mobility.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas – as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., – we have strategic locations around the globe. And with nearly one quarter of our workforce having served, helping our military achieve their missions is a passion of ours.

Above all, our breakthrough innovations deliver exceptional experiences to our customers. Efficiently. Reliably. And always, with safety at the forefront.

About Textron

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Pipistrel, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, and Textron Systems. For more information, visit: www.textron.com.

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements which may project revenues or describe strategies, goals, outlook or other non-historical matters; these statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, changes in aircraft delivery schedules or cancellations or deferrals of orders; our ability to keep pace with our competitors in the introduction of new products and upgrades with features and technologies desired by our customers; changes in government regulations or policies on the export and import of our products; volatility in the global economy or changes in worldwide political conditions that adversely impact demand for our products; volatility in interest rates or foreign exchange rates; and risks related to our international business, including establishing and maintaining facilities in locations around the world and relying on joint venture partners, subcontractors, suppliers, representatives, consultants and other business partners in connection with international business, including in emerging market countries.

You may also like