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Contractor: Bell Helicopter Textron
Service: United States Navy
Speed: 138 miles (222 km) per hour maximum; 117 miles (188 km) per hour cruising
Ceiling: 18,900 feet (5,761 meters)
Range: 368 nautical miles (420 statute miles, 676 km)
Crew: One pilot, four students
The TH-57 is a derivative of the commercial Bell Jet Ranger 206. Although primarily used for training, these aircraft are also used for photo, chase and utility missions.
The JetRanger was initially designed to compete in a U.S. Army light observation helicopter competition. Bell lost that competition but the 206 was commercially successful. The TH-57 Sea Ranger provides advanced (IFR) training to several hundred aviation students a year at Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Milton, Florida.
Naval Undergraduate Flight Training Systems Program Office (PMA-273) was chartered to develop a rigorous, diverse, carrier-capable Naval Flight Training System where student pilots and Undergraduate Military Flight Officers acquire mission-critical aviation skills necessary to carry out current and future missions of the United States Navy.
The acquisition, development and maintenance of seven trainer aircraft fall under the purview of the PMA for its customer, the Chief of Naval Aviation Training (CNATRA). Those aircraft are: T-45, T-6/JPATS, T-44, T-34, TC-12, TH-57, and T-39, as well as the UMFO program. These aircraft and programs also include related simulator suites, academic materials, computer-based training integration systems, and contractor logistics support.