Bell 505 Jet Ranger X Moves Toward Certification

Bell Helicopter gets ready for its first 505 customer deliveries.

Bell 505 Jet Ranger X
Bell Helicopter's five-seat light single-engine helicopter has made another step toward certification.Bell Helicopter

Two years after Bell Helicopter announced the 505 Jet Ranger X, the company has made progress toward the certification of the five-seat light single-engine helicopter. Five hundred seventy-five hours of flight testing have been completed on three test platforms since the first flight in November 2014, and Bell Helicopter expects certification by the end of this year.

A major step toward the certification of the 505 was achieved as EASA has signed off on type certification of the Fadec-equipped Turbomeca Arrius 2R turbine engine, which powers the helicopter.

Low-rate production for the 505 has already begun at the assembly center in Lafayette, Louisiana.

“This is the year we go from a development program to a production program,” said Matt Hasik, Bell Helicopter’s executive vice president of commercial business. “ We are working closely with Transport Canada on type certification and look forward to start delivering aircraft later this year.”

Bell Helicopter has seen good sales success for the 505 Jet Ranger X. The company has received more than 350 letters of intent for the roughly $1 million helicopter.