MIRABEL, Québec--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company (NYSE: TXT), today announced the successful first flight of the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X™ helicopter. The maiden flight took place at the company’s Mirabel, Québec manufacturing facility.
"Bell Helicopter pioneered the short light single market, and here we are nearly fifty years later, changing the way the world flies once again,” said Matt Hasik, senior vice president of commercial programs at Bell Helicopter. “We have seen tremendous response from the market for the Bell 505, and today’s exciting flight marks another step toward delivering the high-performance, high-value aircraft our customers have been asking for.”
The Bell 505 was designed based on extensive input provided by a Customer Advisory Council (CAC). Bell Helicopter unveiled the Jet Ranger X at HELI-Expo 2014 in February and has already received more than 240 letters of intent for the new model.
“The Bell 505 performed exactly as anticipated today,” said Yann Lavalle, senior flight test pilot at Bell Helicopter. “I am excited to be a part of the history of the Jet Ranger legacy, an aircraft that defined the market nearly 50 years ago.”
“We hovered in the Bell 505, performed a low-speed controllability assessment and flew two laps in the local traffic pattern. Our top speed today was 60 knots, and the entire flight lasted approximately 30 minutes,” added Eric Emblin, senior flight test pilot at Bell Helicopter.
The customer-driven design of the Jet Ranger X places safety, performance and affordability at its forefront, blending proven systems with advanced technology and a sleek, modern design. The Bell 505 features a high visibility cockpit equipped with the Garmin G1000H Integrated Avionics Suite to provide pilots critical flight information at a glance. Bell’s newest commercial helicopter is powered by the Turbomeca Arrius 2R engine with Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC), which further reduces pilot workload. Additional enhanced safety features include a high inertia rotor system delivering superior autorotation capabilities.
The Bell 505 Jet Ranger X is a five-seat, single-engine, turbine helicopter that is designed to be the safest and easiest aircraft to fly in its category while still remaining affordably priced. With a cruise speed of 125+ knots, range of over 360 nautical miles and useful load of 1,500 pounds, the Bell 505 offers best-in-class performance. The Jet Ranger X is a multi-mission helicopter, designed to meet a wide variety of missions with its fully flat floor, increased cabin volume and clam shell doors that will provide customers the configuration flexibility needed in today's market. It can support a wide variety of operations categories, including the utility segment, corporate and private owners, and training schools. The combination of capabilities, performance characteristics and value will be backed by Bell Helicopter's industry-leading customer service and support.
The Jet Ranger X is one of three new aircraft currently under development at Bell Helicopter. The company is also developing the Bell 525 Relentless, the world’s first commercial fly-by-wire helicopter, as well as the Bell V-280 Valor tiltrotor for the Department of Defense (DoD) Future Vertical Lift (FVL) effort.
About Bell Helicopter
Bell Helicopter, a wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., is an industry-leading producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical-lift aircraft and the pioneer of the revolutionary tiltrotor aircraft. Globally recognized for world-class customer service, innovation and superior quality, Bell's global workforce serves customers flying Bell aircraft in more than 120 countries.
About Textron Inc.
Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems. More information is available at www.textron.com.
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements which may project revenues or describe strategies, goals, outlook or other non-historical matters; these statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the risk that the U.S. Army will not choose the Bell V-280 for its Future Vertical Lift program; the efficacy of research and development investments to develop new products or unanticipated expenses or delays in connection with the launching of significant new products or programs; changing priorities or reductions in the U.S. Government defense budget, including those related to military operations in foreign countries; changes in worldwide economic or political conditions that impact demand for our products, interest rates or foreign exchange rates; our ability to perform as anticipated and to control costs under contracts with the U.S. Government; the U.S. Government's ability to unilaterally modify or terminate its contracts with us for the U.S. Government's convenience or for our failure to perform, to change applicable procurement and accounting policies, or, under certain circumstances, to withhold payment or suspend or debar us as a contractor eligible to receive future contract awards; changes in foreign military funding priorities or budget constraints and determinations, or changes in government regulations or policies on the export and import of military and commercial products; and performance issues with key suppliers, subcontractors or business partners.
Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. Post Office Box 482, Fort Worth, TX 76101-0482