Bell 407 Jet Ranger helicopter model. A modified 206L3 Long Ranger served as the concept demonstrator 407 and first flew in this form on April 21,1994, while the 407 was first publicly announced at the Las Vegas HeliExpo in January 1995.
The 407-concept demonstrator mated the Long Ranger's fuselage with the tail boom and dynamic system of the military OH58D Kiowa (which has a four-blade main rotor). Fake fairings were used to simulate the wider fuselage being developed for the production standard 407. The first preproduction 407 flew in June 1995, the first production 407 flew in November 1995. Customer deliveries commenced the following February.
Compared with the Long Ranger, the 407 features the four-blade main rotor developed for the OH58, which uses composite construction, and the blades and hub have no life limits. Benefits of the four-blade main rotor include improved performance and better ride comfort.