The cabin class Beagle B.206's origins lie in a late 1950s Bristol project for a four seat twin.
Although not built, the Bristol 220 evolved into one of Beagle's first and few designs to reach production. The prototype of the new twin engine design, known as the B.206X, made its first flight on August 15 1961. A five/six seater powered by two 195kW (260hp) Continental IO470 engines, it was considered too small by its creators, and the design grew into the B.206Y with 230kW (310hp) Continental GIO470 engines, greater wing span, a larger cabin with increased seating capacity, greater fuel capacity and increased weights.
This allowed it to meet a Royal Air Force requirement for a communications aircraft capable of transporting a Vbomber support crew. Twenty were ordered for this role in place of the originally planned buy of 80, selected in preference to the de Havilland Dove. In RAF service the B.206 was designated the CC.1 Basset. Basset deliveries began in May 1965.
Following the B.206Y were two evaluation B.206Z aircraft, then the initial civil production version, the Series 1 B.206C. Poor hot and high performance was in part responsible for slow sales and so Beagle designed the Series 2 B.206S with more powerful turbocharged GTSIO520 engines. The B.206S also introduced a slightly revised cabin to seat eight with the entry door repositioned from above the wing to the rear port side fuselage.
A commuter airliner development was also built in prototype form, the 10 seat Series 3 which a featured a further enlarged cabin. Flown in prototype form, the design died when Beagle entered liquidation in early 1970.
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