Bell delivered its 300th Bell 505 Jet Ranger X turbine light single helicopter this week. The delivery was made to the Jamaican Defense Force (JDF), a longtime customer, and is the JDF’s sixth 505.
The first Bell 505 was delivered in 2017. Today, 300 copies of the model are in operation across six continents, with customers who have logged more than 70,000 hours. The five-seat 505 has a top speed of 125 knots and a useful load of 1,500 pounds. New 505 platform advances include the Garmin G1000H NXi avionics suite, Flight Stream wireless gateway, autopilot, lightweight EMS interior, Bell public safety configuration, Pulselite, FliteStep, a left-hand side baggage door, and moveable ballast.
Earlier this month, EASA approved the 505 for operations to carry external loads up to 2,000 pounds, giving the aircraft an external gross weight of 4,475 pounds. “The Bell 505 is one of Bell’s fastest-growing commercial programs to date,” said Michael Thacker, executive vice president, innovation and commercial business. “As we continue to see interest for the aircraft in public safety, utility, and corporate transport, Bell has invested in new products and technologies to expand the Bell 505’s capabilities.”