Back Brantly B-2 / YHO-3

Brantly B-2

In 1949 the Army procured five examples of the Brantly Model B-2 light helicopter for evaluation in the observation role. The type, which had first flown in February 1953, was a small and simple piston-powered aircraft originally intended for the projected 'personal helicopter' market envisaged during the early 1950s. The five machines obtained by the Army (serials 58-1492 through -1496) were designated YHO-3 and tested at both Fort Rucker and the Naval Air Test Center at Patuxant River, Maryland. The aircraft was ultimately judged to be too small to be of practical military use, however, and all five examples were eventually returned to the manufacturer.

S.Harding "U.S.Army Aircraft since 1947", 1990

Brantly B-2

In 1943, N. P. Brantly began the design of a lightweight helicopter, built and flown in 1946 under the designation Brantly B-1. Like many contemporaries, Brantly used a co-axial twin-rotor configuration to overcome torque effects, but soon realised that his design was too heavy and complicated to appeal to the private pilot. An improved Brantly B-2, of single main rotor and anti-torque tail rotor configuration, was first flown on 21 February 1953, and a further improved second prototype flew on 14 August 1956. This was to enter production in 1958.

Changing fortunes have resulted in several different owners of the original Brantly interests, but this emphasises a wide appreciation of a good product, and of a steady demand for it. Michael K. Hynes is the present owner of the type certificates, and he established Brantly-Hynes Helicopter Inc. on 1 January 1975, initially to provide product support for the large number of Brantly helicopters in use. He subsequently started up a production line for the B-2B, and also the larger Model 305.

The Model B-2B has a three-blade main rotor and two-blade rotor, an all-metal fuselage structure, and can operate with skid, wheel or float landing gear. Side-by-side two-seat accommodation is provided in an enclosed cabin, and dual controls are standard. The Avco Lycoming powerplant is mounted vertically in the fuselage, just aft of the cabin.

D.Donald "The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft", 1997

Brantly B-2 from the current production series

On 23 December 1994, Brantly International obtained the type certificates for the Brantly B-2B and 305 helicopters from Japanese-American businessman James T Kimura's Brantly Helicopter Industries, which had acquired them in May 1989. In 2002, Brantly employed 40 in its 2,790 ha facility.


TYPE: Two-seat helicopter.

PROGRAMME: Developed from coaxial twin-rotor B-1 by Newby О Brantly. First flight (B-2) 21 February 1953; FAA certification 27 April 1959. Total of 194 B-2s and 18 B-2As (with additional headroom) produced between 1960 and 1963. Improved Model B-2B with metal rotor blades and fuel-injected Lycoming IVO-360-A1A engine certified 1 July 1963; total of 165 built between 1963 and 1967 (company owned by Gates Learjet from 1966) and a further one (as H-2) in 1975 by Brantly-Hynes Helicopter. Brantly Helicopter Industries (ВHI) took over manufacturing and marketing rights and production facilities in 1989. First new-build B-2B (N25411 c/n 2001) flew 12 April 1991; three built under this name. Production continues under Brantly International, which received FAA production certificate on 19 July 1996.

CUSTOMERS: Total of 27 of current series (including BHI) registered by mid-2003. Notified deliveries were two in 1998, none in 1999, six (to China) in 2000, two in 2001 and two in 2002, including one to China. Total of 14 remained registered in USA at August 2002, and one in Australia. (Some 80 from earlier production remain registered in USA.)

COSTS: US$170,000 basic equipped (2003). Direct operating cost US$80 per hour (2003).

DESIGN FEATURES: Simple design, with blown main transparency and constant-taper fuselage. Double-articulated three-blade main rotor with pitch-change and flapping hinges close to hub and flap/lag hinges at 40% blade span; symmetrical, rigid, inboard blade section with 29% thickness/chord ratio, outboard section NACA 0012; outer blades quickly removable for compact storage; rotor brake standard; two-blade tail rotor mounted on starboard side, with guard. Transmission through automatic centrifugal clutch and planetary reduction gear. Bevel gear take-off from main transmission, with flexible coupling to tail rotor drive-shaft. Main rotor/engine rpm ratio 1:6.158; tail rotor ratio 1:1. Main rotor minimum speed 400 rpm; maximum 472 rpm.

FLYING CONTROLS: Conventional and manual; small fixed tailplanes on port and starboard sides of tailcone.

STRUCTURE: Semi-monocoque fuselage with alloy-stressed skin. Inboard rotor blades have stainless steel leading-edge spar; outboard blades have extruded aluminium spar; polyurethane core with bonded aluminium envelope riveted to spar. All-metal tail rotor blades.

LANDING GEAR: Fixed skid type with oleo-pneumatic shock-absorbers; small retractable ground handling wheels, size 10x3.5, pressure 4.12 bar; fixed tailskid. Optional inflatable pontoons attach to standard skids for over-water operation.

POWER PLANT: One 134kW Textron Lycoming IVO-360-A1A flat-four air-cooled piston engine, mounted vertically. Fuel contained in two interconnected bladder tanks behind cabin, total capacity 117 litres of which 115 litres are usable. Oil capacity 6.9 litres.

ACCOMODATION: Two, side by side in enclosed cabin; forward-hinged door on each side. Dual controls and cabin heater standard. Ground accessible baggage compartment, maximum capacity 22.7kg in forward end of tailcone.

SYSTEMS: 60A alternator.

AVIONICS: To customer choice: GPS is standard.

Jane's All the World's Aircraft, 2004-2005


- When Brantly was taken over by Hynes, the B-2 became the Brantly-Hynes B-2. It continued in production until 1994.

- Brantly also developed the 305, a larger, five-seat helicopter based on the B-2.

- Float, skid or wheeled landing gear was an option on all B-2s.

- James T. Kimura was the third owner of the B-2 type certificate, and delivered his first B-2B on 25 August 1990.

- British Executive Air Services acquired a production licence for the B-2.

- In 1992, a B-2B cost US$120,000 to US$135,000 depending on equipment fit.

Photo Gallery 

This is one of the five YHO-3 light helicopters evaluated by the U.S. Army. Note the wheels that can be lowered below the skids to facilitate ground handling, the low-slung cockpit with bubble domes for the two crewmen, and the tapering fuselage shape. Besides the one-man, strap-on devices, the YHO-3 was one of the smallest helicopters evaluated by the U.S. Army.

Brantly B-2 / YHO-3

Technical data for Brantly B-2B

Crew: 1, passengers: 1, engine: 1 x Avco Lycoming IVO-360-A1A pistone engine, rated at 134kW, main rotor diameter: 7.24m, fuselage length: 6.63m, height: 2.06m, take-off weight: 757kg, empty weight: 463kg, max speed: 161km/h, cruising speed: 145km/h, ceiling: 3290m, range with max fuel: 402km

Comments1-20 21-40
Philip Bell, e-mail, 08.08.2020reply

We're trying to find the current owner of G-AWDU is there any way of getting in contact with them please?

Elmer Falcione, e-mail, 08.07.2020reply


Ret. Police Officer (P.I.C.)

Anonymous, 25.02.2021 Elmer Falcione




Willmer Simonetto, e-mail, 08.02.2017reply

Photos of internal airframe construction, maintenance manual and Illustrated Part Catalog (copy of them can be good) WANTED.

Thanks in advance for help me!

Al Frank, e-mail, 22.06.2016reply

I'm interested in making contact with someone familiar with a 305. I have one in a museum environment /display and have a couple of questions that would be helpful for me to explain to museum visitors.

Jackson Hallett, e-mail, 12.08.2015reply

Just bought another Brantly this time a B2A n5901X. I found this site and realized I owned N2166U before the crash in Florida. Got all my ratings in the bird Comm /CFI and with an attitude indicator enough instrument time to get typed in a B206. I had a partner in it for a couple of years then bought him out the next day he came out to give a friend a ride and wreck it. Was fixed and few very well again. I later sold it to a buddy and Continental pilot who fixed it. He later sold it to the guy that it was destroyed in the last crash.

Dave Stern, e-mail, 31.07.2013reply

While in Alaska, owned B-2 #181 & B-2B #345 that crashed in Mtns neear Wasilla. Wilburs Flight Opns in Anchorage had a few for GI Bill traiing. They were a total blast to fly, landed on a postage stamp, and fit like a glove hene was a snap to fly. During flight training at Aero-Copters my A&P and helio insdtructor let me fly a 305 did some maintenance on and it was outstanding in autorotations. Searching for NP Brantly family to borrow Brantly history and form an aviation history article of this great little copter. Nobody has written a history and time to tell.
Credit is given for all data, images, and can trade some too. Thank you.

mitch, e-mail, 26.09.2014reply

I remember my dad telling us at dinner one night that Frank was going to England to fly a ship in a James Bond movie. The one in 'You Only Live Twice,' released in 1967, belonged to British Executive Air Services Ltd, G-ASXE. It was painted over for the movie. Brantly's chief test pilot and engineer, Frank Erickson piloted it. A ship with the same registration was also said to have been used in one episode, aired in March 1966, of a British TV series, 'The Baron.' believed to be sn 445, manufactured in 1965. (At search for Brantly B-2) The last known owner is in Sweden and the registration was then N2052Y. There was an earlier B-2B registered under G-ASXE, sn 436, manufactured in 1964, A /W Date 12 /10 /1964. Now N2271U, it is currently registered in Delaware. I'm not as sure as they which it was.

mitch, e-mail, 26.09.2014reply

My dad worked for Brantly from mid 59 to about a year after the factory moved to Kansas. He went from a mechanic, and eventually test pilot, to production manager. Gates-Lear wanted him to ride a desk.

mitch, e-mail, 26.09.2014reply

btw sn 17, originally N6793D was exported to Canada in 1961

mitch, e-mail, 26.09.2014reply

The reason for finding no information about Mr Brantly is probably because he was N O Brantly (Newby Odell, which he hated)

The Brantly in 'Goldfinger' could not have been the same ship as the one in 'You Only Live Twice,' although it may or may not have belonged to the same company. That movie was released in 1964. It was definitely not a B-2, like the site says though, you can look at a close up of it on the same site, it looks like a B-2A, to me.

There were 2 in a British documentary series, also in 1964, also owned by British Executive Air Services Ltd. The article on claims one was a B-2A and the other a B-2B, but they were both obviously B-2A, sn, 303 & sn 308. The photos there show enough of the profile to be sure.
Sn 303 was painted red and white like the one in 'Goldfinger' and it was around the same time frame so it may have been that same one.
I believe the first B-2B off the production line was sn 319, I think it was also exported to England. I have seen another picture of G-ASEW, sn 308, after upgrade to B-2B but it didn't come off the production line that way.

It is also barely possible that sn 328 N2166U was the one in 'Goldfinger' as it's airworthiness date was in August 1963 but most of the movie was filmed in the UK and Switzerland. The close up looks like a B-2A and the long shot is too fuzzy to be sure. No evidence exists that N2166U had ever left the country. N2166U went down very shortly after take off, in a
training accident in Florida in 2001, the NTSB reported damage consistent with load higher than maximum take off weight but ruled it 'loss of control for unknown reasons.'

mitch, e-mail, 27.09.2014reply

At search n2052y and see several pictures of the one most people are saying was in 'You Only Live Twice.' It has a whole new paint job, too.

B, e-mail, 25.02.2013reply

Serial Number: 328
Aircraft Registration Number: N2166U
Two people crashed and died in this helicopter used in James
Bond movie

Don Hillberg, e-mail, 13.10.2010reply

Ladys and Gentlmen, Brantly Has Closed its Doors and looks like No more new Brantlys, Sad times, The little flying snow cone has melted, Glad it an easy helicopter to maintane,Fun to fly,easy to auto,A piece of History sad its gone...

Ed Wilson, e-mail, 15.12.2010reply

I was a CFI in OKC in 1964-65 and taught several pilots to fly the B2B. We had four machines and gave fifteen hours for 500 dollars. Lots of fun flying. If you could master this little unit you can fly any copter with ease.

Robert Johnston, e-mail, 21.01.2011reply

does anyone know the Out Ground Effect hover limits for this helicopter? I am doing a report and would really appreciate the help!

CW4 Don Bailey-USA-(RET)), e-mail, 11.05.2011reply

As CFI-R[1427730]in the early '60s, I flew and taught in the B2,B2B and 305 Brantlys.I checked out in the Brantly 305 at Frederick, OK. on Jan.11,1966, by CFI-R,Roy Orr-1464120.Bill Beech, CFI-R(USA-MAJ-RET)and I flew the 305 from Frederick, OK to Cleveland,OH.I was Chief Pilot for Cleveland Air Service-Burke Lakefront Airport,OH Have pix.

Vincent J montuoro, e-mail, 11.05.2011reply

I worked in Fredick from 1956-1966. Helped start factory. Moved from Philadelphia with the prototype Ended up as Executive Vice President. Happy to see it still in service.

david hillberg, e-mail, 07.12.2013reply

Don I have SN#18, it was one of the military test craft, it was returned to Brantly to have a skid gear and bent tail installed..SN#17 is at Ft Rucker as a display...

Ken Kelly, e-mail, 30.01.2014reply

I have a Brantly serial number 5 which I might sell. It may be the oldest one still flying.

George, e-mail, 02.01.2015reply

he one in 'You Only Live Twice,' released in 1967, belonged to British Executive Air Services Ltd, G-ASXE. It was painted over for the movie. Brantly's chief test pilot and engineer, Frank Erickson piloted it.
It was the chief pilot of BEAS that flew in and out of the crater in the film 'Peter' regards George

1-20 21-40

Do you have any comments ?

Name   E-mail

Virtual Aircraft Museum

All the World's Rotorcraft