Bell Textron announced on Thursday that it has delivered its 400th Bell 505 Jet Ranger X single-engine helicopter. The aircraft went to U.K.-based Cotswold Aviation owner and Grenade co-founder Al Barratt, who took delivery of the helicopter during a ceremony held at Bell’s facility in Mirabel, Canada. The 505 received its Transport Canada type certificate in December 2016 followed by its FAA type certificate in June 2017.
“The Bell 505 is an incredible aircraft, and we are proud to celebrate the 400th delivery to Mr. Barratt,” said LaShan Bonaparte, Bell vice president for commercial sales. “The Bell 505 provides outstanding performance capabilities, modern avionics and a versatile cabin for our customers. This will be a great addition to Cotswold Aviation’s fleet.”
The five-seat Bell 505 offers a top cruise speed of 125 knots, 306-NM range, 1,500-pound internal useful load and 2,295-pound external useful load. It is powered by the Safran Arrius 2R engine and equipped with the Garmin G1000H NXi avionics suite. As previously reported by AVweb, the global 505 fleet passed the 100,000-flight-hour mark last February.
Numbers might be of note to small airplane wannabe manufacturers.
I don’t know how much subsidization there is in the 505, whether from gummints in Canada where civilian Bell helos are made or US where key components like rotor systems are developed and shared with military or France where the engines are made.
I have been a Bell mechanic for over 35 years. Worked at Bell flight training with the first 2 505’s. Not impressed AT ALL. They still use 206 rotor head gear box. XMSN mount contacts the cowling right side on a routine basis. I will never understand why Bell discontinued the single most successful, reliable helicopter 206 Series and replaced it with the 505.
In 2016 helihub.com reported:
The Bell 505 JRX helicopter is expected to go into production this year at more than a 50% cost reduction compared to its predecessor, the Bell 206 B3. Read more at https://helihub.com/2016/09/07/bell-505-production-costs-50-lower-than-bell-206/
Articles are nice but they are written by people who have no first hand working knowledge. The 505 yes at 50% less but is only 20% of what the 206 is and performs way less than the 206. The reason Bell dropped the 206 is to drive their market to the 407. I would take a 20 year old 206 for all aspects of work fire, LE, long line, and rescue to which I have worked in for 30+ years vs. a 505. The steel tube fuselage is life limited on the 505. You will not see them flying in 20-30-40 years like the 206.
Isn’t there a 4-bladed version of 206?