In a dramatic ceremony shortly after the Helicopter Association International opened the doors of Heli-Expo, which is currently in progress at the Anaheim Convention Center, Bell Helicopter unveiled three versions of a new helicopter, the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X, developed for the short light single (SLS) class. The three 505s now on display at Bell’s booth are appropriately colored red, white and blue. The light helicopter is designed to accommodate five forward-facing occupants and will feature a flat floor for mission flexibility.
Bell’s president and CEO John Garrison said the 505 targets a very price sensitive market and the price point for the new helicopter is around $1 million. But despite the low-cost target, Bell is incorporating a lot of advanced but proven technologies into the 505, including Garmin’s integrated G1000 glass-panel avionics and a Turbomeca Arrius 2R engine with dual-channel FADEC.
Targeted performance numbers include speeds greater than 125 knots, a range greater than 360 nautical miles, a max gross weight of more than 1,500 pounds and hover capabilities beyond 11,000 feet. First flight of the 505 is expected later this year.
Bell has also initiated simulator flight testing of the 525 Relentless, allowing for evaluation of the fly-by-wire system ahead of the first flight of the test platform, which is also expected later this year.
Watch the unveiling of the Bell 505 here.
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