Testing in Nepal has allowed Bell Helicopter to approve the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X to 22,500 feet density altitude. Certified in 2017, the five-seat 505 uses a single 504-shaft-horsepower Turbomeca Arrius 2R with FADEC to drive a two-blade, “high-inertia” rotor.
“The Bell 505 is the most advanced short light single helicopter in the world, and we are proud to bring more performance to our operator’s missions,” said LaShan Bonaparte, program director, Bell 505 and Bell 429. “High-altitude demonstrations are another testament to the aircraft’s ability to perform in the most demanding environments, across a variety of segments.”
According to the company, testing in Nepal “included numerous takeoffs and landings at density altitudes between 18,000 and 18,500 feet as well as the evaluation of landings with the loss of control system hydraulic boost.”
Bell says the 505 has a cruise speed of 125 knots and useful load of 1500 pounds. Equipped cost is just past $1 million.