Belly Up

             When the parent company of Beagle Aircraft, Pressed Steel Company, was absorbed into the British Motor Company, it reviewed their involvement in light aircraft manufacturing & requested financial help from the British Government. The Government bought Beagle in 1966 and provided the help needed. When the company needed another infusion of cash, the Government put the company into receivership. The Receiver tried to revive and sell the company but failed, and the company assets were disposed of.



Help on the way!

             The good news is that several of these extremely strong military personnel-type aircrafts were brought to the United States in the early 1970’s. Jim Hill Sr. and his son, Jim Hill Jr. of South Florida Aircraft in Fort Lauderdale, Florida were successful in purchasing the majority of those B.206S’s brought here, and were instrumental in selling them throughout the country. To this day, Jim Jr. is the one individual in the U. S. who has more knowledge of this aircraft and its systems than anyone else alive! Quite a profound statement and yet, it’s true. And it only makes sense, because in the 1970’s, Jim and his dad had many on display to sell and had to “get up to speed” on the maintenance requirements pretty quickly. Today, Jim Jr. is the foremost authority on Beagles and in fact is THE contact for maintenance and systems for those Beagles scattered around the country. He is also co-owner of a completely rebuilt B206S Series 2 for sale. At last count, there were 12 B206S Series 1 aircraft in the U.S. AMD 17 B.206S Series 2 according to the FAA (Search Beagle 206.)


             Beagle Aircraft (short for British Executive and General Aviation Ltd.) was a British manufacturer of aircraft, formed in 1962 in Shoreham, England. The cabin class Beagle 206S’s origins lie in a 1960’s project for the Royal Air Force. Although the original 6-seat 260hp prototype was considered too small by its creators, the design grew into 310hp, greater wing span, a larger cabin with increased seating capacity, greater fuel capacity, and increased weights.

             This allowed it to meet the RAF requirement for a communications aircraft capable of transporting a V-Bomber support crew.

             Twenty were ordered for this role. In RAF service, the B.206 was designated the “Bassett,” and deliveries began in 1965.

             Following the original B.206 was the initial civil production version, the series 1 B206. Poor performance was, in part, responsible for slow sales and so, Beagle designed the Series 2 B206S with a more powerful 340hp turbo-charged continental GTS 1052O engine. The B206S also introduced a slightly revised cabin to seat eight, with the entry door repositioned from above the wing to the rear port side fuselage.

             Total production of 79 aircraft included one 206X; one 206Y; two 206Z; 20 206R Bassets for the Royal Air Force; 11 B.206C; 43 206S; and one Series 3 prototype. The 3 Series was flown in prototype form only and that design died when Beagle entered liquidation in 1970.