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Brantly B-2

Light Utility Helicopter

The Brantly B-2 light utility helicopter has sustained a meaningful presence on the world stage despite its 1950s origins.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 1/15/2019
The Brantly Helicopter Corporation (Brantly International, Inc.), headquartered out of Coppell Texas, USA was founded at the end of World War 2 (1939-1945) in 1945 by Newby O. Brantly. Brantly intended to design, develop, and produce his own line of helicopters after having witnessed the capabilities of new and upcoming designs of the period. The company's own first helicopter product became the private-owner-minded "B-1" which carried a coaxial main rotor set but did not see serial production mainly due to complexity and cost.

Development and Production

Fresh off the heels of the failed B-1 attempt, Brantly returned to the drawing board to simplify this same design which became the "B-2". The helicopter carried a teardrop-shaped fuselage, which tapered aft, and held a simpler three-bladed main rotor atop a low mast. The tail unit incorporated an equally-simple two-bladed rotor unit facing port side. At the nose of the aircraft was a glass cover which offered excellent vision for the pilot. The undercarriage was of a four-point skid arrangement adding to the simplicity of the helicopter. The vehicle could carry the pilot and a sole passenger.

This compact helicopter was introduced for series service as the "B-2A" in 1958 and went on to see production into the 2010s. Total production of the B-2 series has netted 334 vehicles.

The U.S. Army's YOH-3B

This same form became the subject of United States Army interest in the early part of 1960 as a potential candidate for the light scout / observation role. The vehicle, as "YOH-3B", was tested at Fort Rucker under various conditions / environments where its handling as well as "out-of-the-cockpit" vision proved excellent. However, the Army's recent shift to turbine-powered helicopter types left the YOH-3 out of the running. This example was then used for a time longer by the Test and Evaluation Board for data collection.


Before long, the B-2B was brought online as an improved model form incorporating all-new metal main rotor blades. Primary drive power came from an Avco Lycoming IVO-360-A1A air-cooled, fuel-injected piston engine of 180 horsepower offering improved performance. Maximum speeds reached 100 miles-per-hour (cruising speeds of 90 mph) with a range out to 250 miles and service ceiling up to 10,800 feet. Rate-of-climb was listed at 1,900 feet-per-second.

Structurally, the helicopter carries an overall length of 28 feet, a rotor diameter of 23.8 feet, and a height of 6.10 feet. Empty weight is 1,020lb against an MTOW of 1,670lb.

Variants and Related Models

The B-2B was also produced jointly between Brantly and Hines between 1976 and 1979 as the "H-2". The B-2J10 became a proposed, yet unbuilt, tandem-rotor variant attached to a dimensionally larger fuselage for greater transport capabilities.

The Brantly 305 model was introduced as a dimensionally larger form, this set to carry up to five people. A joint-venture between Brantly and Qingdao Haili Helicopters Company, Ltd of China has resulted in the V750 UAV, an unmanned air vehicle which went into the air for the first time during May of 2011. Brantly International, Incorporated includes Cheng Shenzong as its president.


Active, In-Service
[ 334 Units ] :
Brantly Helicopter Corporation (Brantly International, Incorporated) - USA
National flag of China National flag of United States China; United States
- Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC)
- Search and Rescue (SAR)
- Reconnaissance (RECCE)
- Unmanned
27.56 ft (8.4 m)
23.79 ft (7.25 m)
6.89 ft (2.1 m)
(Showcased structural dimension values pertain to the Brantly B-2 production model)
Empty Weight:
1,025 lb (465 kg)
1,676 lb (760 kg)
(Diff: +650lb)
(Showcased weight values pertain to the Brantly B-2 production model)
1 x Avco Lycoming IVO-360-A1A air-cooled piston engine developing 180 horsepower and driving three-bladed main rotor and two-bladed tail rotor.
(Showcased powerplant information pertains to the Brantly B-2 production model)
Maximum Speed:
99 mph (160 kph; 86 kts)
Service Ceiling:
10,827 feet (3,300 m; 2.05 miles)
Maximum Range:
249 miles (400 km; 216 nm)
1,900 ft/min (579 m/min)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the Brantly B-2 production model; Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database)
(Showcased armament details pertain to the Brantly B-2 production model)
B-2 - Base Series Designation.
B-2A - Initial serial production form.
B-2B - Improved production form.
Brantly 305 - Larger variant carrying five.
B-2J10 - Proposed tandem-rotor concept with enlarged fuselage.
YOH-3B - U.S. Army prototype for light scout / observation role of the 1960s.
H-2 - B-2B model produced under Brantly-Hines label (1976-1979).
V750 UAV - Unmanned air vehicle developed between Brantly and China.

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