The Bell Model 505 "Jet Ranger X" is a reincarnation of the classic, and hugely successful, Bell Jet Ranger series of light, multirole helicopters. The Jet Ranger came onto the scene in 1967 through the Bell Modle 206 design and 7,300 have been built since with civilian and military operators seen all over the world. The Model 505 was debuted at Paris Airshow 2013 (then known as the Bell SLS = "Short Light Single") and gained Canadian certification in December of 2016. In January 2017, three examples had been produced by Bell Helicopter of Canada. Series production has been ongoing since 2014.
In the Model 505, the short nosecone assembly is dominated by a large windscreen offering excellent frontal vision. Similarly, the side doors feature more glass surface than skin, offering amplified vision to the sides of the aircraft as well. The engine is fitted to a compartment along the helicopter's roof and drives a two-bladed main rotor. A tail stem emanates from the rear of the fuselage and holds a drive shaft powering a two-bladed, anti-torque tail rotor unit (set to portside). The stem also contains the horizontal planes and, offset to starboard at the extreme aft of the tail, is a vertical stabilizer. The fuselage is supported on the ground by a simple four-point skid assembly which minimizes maintenance costs and lowers complexity.
Internally, the Model 505 is crewed by one operator and has seating for up to four passengers (seating is arranged as two side-by-side at front and three shoulder-to-shoulder at rear). Automobile-style doors (double-opening for full access to front and rear seats simultaneously) provide access to the seating areas and the seats can be removed for general cargo-hauling duty (tie-downs being provided). A baggage bay is standard for VIP service. The cockpit features an all-digital approach dominated by large colored screens with the avionics suite is provided by Garmin (model G1000H). Available cockpit upgrades include a second VHF communications fit, a real-time traffic advisory system and terrain avoidance warning system.
Power is derived from a French-originated FADEC (dual-channel) Turbomeca "Arrius" 2R series engine with a take-off power rating of 504 horsepower and 457 horsepower continuous. The engine is marketed as a fuel efficient design with complete integration to the cockpit mission systems.
As designed, the Model 505 sports a cruising speed of over 125 knots and had a 1,500lb "useful" load function. Maximum range is listed at 360 nautical miles or 3.5 hours of flight time. The helicopter can reach altitudes of 20,000 feet and hover up to 14,000 feet.
The Model 505 is used by various police departments in the United States including Fort Worth Police and the Alameda Country Sheriff's Office. The Japan Coast Guard counts itself as another operator.
February 2015 - The Model 505X completed its first-flight from Bell Helicopter's Canadian facility.
October 2016 - Yuhi Airlines of Japan has signed a Letter-of-Intent to purchase the Model 505 series. These aircraft will cover service in both tourism and corporate sectors.
March 2017 - Bell made its first Model 505 helicopter delivery (HeliExpo 2017).
December 2018 - The Bell Model 505X JetRanger is a South Korean Air Force contender to replace forty-one MD Helicopters MD500 light reconnaissance helicopters. Others include the Airbus Helicopters H145M and the Leonardo SW-4.
June 2019 - The Bell 505 JetRanger X was debuted at Paris Air Show 2019.
August 2019 - Some 200 examples have been produced to date.
January 2021 - The nation of Jamaica has placed an order for six Bell Model 505 helicopters.
Canada; Jamaica (ordered); Japan; Montenegro; United States; Vietnam
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Special-Mission: MEDical EVACuation (MEDEVAC)
Extraction of wounded combat or civilian elements by way of specialized onboard equipment and available internal volume or external carrying capability.
General transport functionality to move supplies/cargo or personnel (including wounded and VIP) over range.
Used in roles serving the commercial aviation market, ferrying both passengers and goods over range.
Used in the Very-Important-Person (VIP) passenger transport role, typically with above-average amenities and luxuries as standard.
✓Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
36.9 ft (11.25 m)
37.0 ft (11.28 m)
10.7 ft (3.25 m)
2,205 lb (1,000 kg)
3,748 lb (1,700 kg)
+1,543 lb (+700 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Bell Model 505 production variant)
1 x Safran (Turbomeca) Arrius 2R turboshaft engine developing 505 horsepower and driving a two-bladed main rotor and two-bladed tail rotor.
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