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Aircraft Review : CowanSim 206 L3


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Aircraft Review : CowanSim 206 L3


When the CowanSim 206L3 popped up I actually ignored it...  done that? But then no update showed up either...  very odd? But with a closer look at the title I noticed it said L3, and not B3? 


L3, "oh, it is a different version of the JetRanger", And so it is.


The 206L LongRanger is a stretched variant of the original Bell 206 "JetRanger" with seating for seven. The fuselage is stretched a total of 30 inches (760 mm), and the variant adds in two rear-facing seats between the front and rear seats. Since 1975, Bell has produced more than 1,700 LongRangers across all the variant types. In 1981, a military version, the 206L TexasRanger was also released. The original 206L used an downrated Allison 250-C20B engine, and a series of model upgrades replaced this engine with more powerful versions; the 206L-1 used a 250-C28, and the 206L-3 and 206L-4 used the 250-C30P.


I'm not going to redo or bore you with the absolute full details of the CowanSim B206, but just here highlight the details of this new variant. The full review of the earlier released CowanSim 206B3 is here if you want those details: Aircraft Review : CowanSim 206 B3


CowanSim 206 L3

First up in the differences between the two releases of 206B3 and the 206L3, is that there is only one texture version included. The 206B3 had both a 2K and a 4K texture packages to choose from, and here there is only the heavier 4K package available.


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To note that the CowanSim 206B3 did have an unusual aspect to the aircraft. It was not made perfectly to scale, or it is a little larger than the real sized aircraft, which is very odd, and very unusual in a flight simulator. The reason given was that the extra space, gave you a better perspective when flying in a VR (Virtual Reality) situation...  by the look of this newer L3 LongRanger, it is again scaled in the same larger scale as the 206B3, and has not been reverted back to a true scale.


The extra 30 inches (760 mm) is added in just behind the pilots. This on the right has a full panel and the same sized door as on the B3, on the left however the door is double-hinged, with both the door and extension being able to be opened (for a reason, as we will see later) wider.


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The B3 had a darker brown highlighted interior with black and light grey insert seating (below).


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The L3 has the same seats and layout but with instead grey and light brown insert seating with grey highlights. You could call it executive.


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Otherwise there are no other differences, but a very nice cabin it is.


The menu options are still on the X-Plane banner menu "CowanSim-206L3"...  and there are the same two dropdown options of the "206L3 Options" and the "Configuration Manager".


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There are only two new options on the menu list. One is the "HEMS" (Medical Version)...


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...  that puts a Doctor and woman positioned patient into the rear of the 206L3, and very well done it is, with the full sets medical equipment set out on the rear bulkhead.

The second new menu option, is to put "Helmets on Pilots" for EVAC work, but oddly the pilots stay in civilian clothes and are not clothed in flightsuit overalls?


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The CineFlex system on the B3 is still also available on the L3, replacing the left rear facing seat...


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...    and access to all these features can also be done (for VR) via by the noted "Configuration Manager", also situated on the banner menu.


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From the pilot's seat the L3 feels exactly the same as the B3...  nothing new or different here, or thankfully nothing new to learn in instrumentation either. And even if you have the optional plugin, the Reality XP GTN 750 can still be fully integrated into the cockpit.


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As you remember on the B3, you use the "Wing Sweep" X-Plane setting to control the twist throttle RPM on the collective.


Flightcheck CowanSim 206L3

It feels almost exactly the same as the B3. You have more power available in 420 hp (310 kW) from the Allison 250-C30P, but also more weight to carry with the longer fuselage, so you sort of come out even. Still you feel the longer tail behind you, the LongRanger feels "Longer" and slightly different, but not by much. The L3 modifications include strengthened airframe structural components (including a new tailboom), improved transmission, upgraded engine for the L3, all of which result in a maximum gross weight increase of 300 pounds and the increased performance.


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Basically though the L3 still feels the same to fly, with the light touch, mild handling and forgiving nature of the 206B3.


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"Boom, boom" and your soon into the groove...  the 206 is agile and for it's size, really fast, so your soon powering down the field.


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It very quickly all comes back fast, light touch on the controls, but "boy" you can move, fast and just "two hundred" above the ground with no effort...


Sounds are as good as I remember them. The 206B3 had a big sound update just after the release of the 206 B3 in Version 1.1 (January 8th 2022). And they are same sounds in the package here as well, CowanSim note them as "The fully immersive sound set that was developed with FMOD" and very good they are, no qualms there. The gearbox whine sounds are excellent, and just as I remember them.


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I power around the end of Doncaster Sheffield Airport's (EGCN) runway 02 and head straight back up the other side and then head out towards Doncaster.


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The performance is the same as the L3 in a Rate of Climb of 1,350 ft/min (6.9 m/s), a Max speed of around 120 kn (140 mph, 220 km/h) and the never exceed speed is 130 kn (150 mph, 240 km/h), so you still get a lot of performance out of the same twin-blade, single turbine arrangement. The Range is 374 nmi (430 mi, 693 km) with a Service ceiling: 13,500 ft (4,100 m).


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I see-saw over the Doncaster rooftops at supreme fast speeds for ages and then I realise I need to be more serious and stop all this cop-chasing fun, so it it is time to head back to EGCN...


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There are the same passengers (and both pilots in the front) as in the L3, but the two forward seats are empty, there is so much space in here, that the LongRanger feels huge inside compared to the B3.


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....  EGCN and I take a long wide turn pass to reduce my height, speed and to approach the General Aviation area from the east.


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The 30/30 equation works very well here in 30 Knt's forward with a drop in height of 30 ft, it feels about right in the approach.


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Moving into the hover or transitioning from fast forward flight known as Effectively Translational Lift (ETL), the LongRanger was very, very smooth, and no severe power changes were necessary just exactly like the B3, however the tail feels a bit lighter.


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I feel I am using more cyclic backstick more than the B3 to arrest the forward speed and in the final move to hover over my landing target.


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The L3 is a little nervous, but it is nothing I can't control, as the upwash can be a little disconcerting as you get into the final touch zone, you feel you could lose the 206, so it takes a little nerve to pull off and to complete out the landing.


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And I'm down...  and even slightly relieved that at the last minute it could have all gone awry, but you would soon get it down pat with a few practise runs.


So the CowanSim B206 L3 is as impressive as the B3 and it also again can be flown by users with not the extreme skills that is sometimes required with these machines, and surprisingly even for a Helicopter in this Light-Heli category...  as most in this classification can be very nervy and challenging machines to fly, but LongRanger, just like it's cousin, still finds that sweet spot in handling, control for great and easy (even enjoyable) flying.


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The CowanSim 206B3 had a gazzillion liveries, actually there was 58 Liveries! There are 19 liveries here for the L3, again all high-quality 4K extreme. They cover again pretty much everything with a focus on EVAC, Police, and Television versions. Yellow/Black is default (note there are two aircraft that have the same rego no. N-CNSM, the default yellow and a black livery? A Paintkit is also included for your personal designs.


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Early in the year 2022, CowanSim released their version of the venerable Bell 206B3 or "JetRanger". Here is the variant of that aircraft in the 206L3 or the LongRanger, that puts a extra 30 inches (760 mm) extension into the airframe to create a more spacious cabin and ideal for MediVac missions. You could also call the L3 an "Executive" version of the shorter JetRanger.


Overall here everything including all the features and the options on the CowanSim 206B3 are included in the L3 variant, the only real differences are the longer door (left), and side panel right, and two extra features include a Medical experience (stretcher and doctor) and helmets for the two forward pilots, but not flying overalls oddly. The new 19 liveries are a mixture of both old (B3) and new (L3) designs.


Flying between the two are are nearly identical, but the L3 is a bit more lighter on the tail and feels actually longer than it is, otherwise with the exact same instrumentation, conversion is a breeze. The Reality XP GTN 750 can also still be fully integrated into the cockpit.


The CowanSim 206L3 is sold as a separate aircraft and not part of the 206B3 package, so it is a new aircraft purchase to add in the LongRanger to your fleet...  But if you had to choose, then the LongRanger has slightly more features than the B3.


CowanSim's aircraft are always interesting machines to fly, as is this second Ranger in the LongRanger. The point could be made in that is it too docile in it's flight parameters? That aspect certainly helps wannabe Helicopter pilot's and this is certainly a great and simple aircraft to be introduced to vertical flight, I think it is slightly both ways, both in that the flight envelope is a not as highly technical as it should be, notable is the not to scale machine, both aircraft are slightly bigger than they should be.


It's a CowanSim...  overall you know what you buy when you purchase a CowanSim aircraft, and this Bell 206L-3 is another well designed and detailed CowanSim...  Nice, again.



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Yes! the CowanSim 206 L3 is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here: 


CowanSim 206 L3

Price is US$32.95


The 206L3 is a stretched version of the 206B3 with seating for 7 and a larger engine.
  •     Free Future Updates
  •     Tested and Zeroed in by Real Pilots 
  •     Several Commands for Mapping Hardware
  •     Remove Before Flight Accessories 
  •     Hardware Throttle Config
  •     Pilots & Passengers
  •     Working Floats System
  •     Low & High Skid Versions
  •     Dynamic Weight Options
  •     Functional Spot Light
  •     Functional Spray Kit
  •     Functional Cineflex Camera
  •     2K & 4K Versions
  •     FMOD Fully Dynamic Sound Pack
  •     Window Rain Effects
  •     Compatible with Vulkan API
  •     Virtual Reality Ready
  •     AviTab Integration
  •     RXP GTN 750 Integration
  •     Realistic Flight Dynamics
  •     4K & 2K PBR
  •     Custom 3D instruments
  •     Detailed Night Lighting
  •     xLua for Systems and Animation
  •     SASL v3.12.1 for Custom Plugins
Realistic Flight Dynamics
  •     This model has an authentic feeling while exploring the virtual world thanks to Laminar Research for developing a fantastic flight sim.
4k Physically Based Rendering Textures
  •     4k PBR textures, or physically based rendering, provides the ability for very realistic lighting that mimics the flow of light in the real world. This model takes full advantage of X-Plane’s lighting with dynamic reflections and materials.
Custom 3D Modeled Instruments
  • Everyone loves a detailed and realistic looking cockpit. After all, that is where we spend most of our time in the sim, flying! The 3D instruments were developed to a high standard and are fully functional, with extensive custom coding to make it as realistic as possible.
A Nice Cozy Cabin
  • Sit back and relax in the cozy rear cabin and enjoy replays of your flight from a passenger’s perspective! Was it as comfortable and smooth as you thought it was from the pilot seat? This is especially interesting in VR and landing replays are the best.
Paint Kit & Liveries
  • Comes with several liveries and we also included a detailed paint kit. The kit is provided in both GIMP and Adobe® Photoshop® formats. A UV map layer included in each file allows for easy and accurate repaints.
Vibrant and Detailed Night Lighting
  • X-Plane has wonderful night lighting. The 206L3 project aimed to have plenty of lights, inside and out, making night flights possible. From the landing light to the cabin lighting, this helicopter really stands out at night.
Animation & Sound
  • Thousands of lines of custom code make up animations and systems. The fully immersive sound set was developed with FMOD. Sounds and animations work together with visual rotor-speed vibrational feedback, dynamic blade slap, rain effects and more.
Reality XP GTN 750 Integration
  • The Reality XP GTN 750 can be fully integrated into the cockpit. Reality XP GTN 750 Touch is the genuine simulated device used by flight simulation enthusiasts navigating the virtual skies as well as real world pilots for familiarization with the device. This add-on is a payware add-on and you can purchase it here: https://reality-xp.com/


X-Plane 11
Windows, Mac or Linux
4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended
Download Size: 2 GB
Current Version: 1.0 (March 18th 2022)



Installation and documents:  download for the 206 L3 is 1.06Gb and the aircraft is deposited in the "Helicopter" X-Plane folder.


Full Installation is 1.58Gb

Documents supplied are:

  • CHECKLISTS - START-UP - 206L3.pdf
  • MANUAL-206L3.pdf


Manual is half completed with no instrument references or just basic system references, but settings are well documented with a very good checklist that shows well intergrated startup and shutdown procedures.


Support forum for all helicopters by CowanSim



Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton

22nd March 2022

Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews


Review System Specifications: 

Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo M2 2TB SSD - Sound : Yamaha Speakers YST-M200SP

Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.55

Plugins: Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99

Scenery or Aircraft

- EGCN - Doncaster Sheffield by Fly X (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$17.99


(Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved


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For readers here I will note that the 2K version is always available with CowanSim products. It's an important option, especially for VR users. There was some server issues at the org store and the problem should be resolved now. When this review is updated then an admin can remove this comment.

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