Bell Helicopter 505 Jet Ranger X. Photo courtesy of Bell
The first-production Bell Helicopter 505 Jet Ranger X arrived at the OEM’s training academy Tuesday afternoon, paving the way for check out of instructors there in the aircraft and training of the first customers for that light, single-engine aircraft.
Bell plans the first customer delivery at Heli-Expo in Dallas next month. It has scheduled a production rollout ceremony for Thursday at the Bell Helicopter Textron Canada manufacturing site in Mirabel, Québec. That facility expects to get a Transport Canada production certificate no later than Thursday.
Transport Canada issued type certificate H-112 for the 505 late last year. The associated type certificate data sheet, dated Dec. 19, 2016, lists the maximum weight of the basic, five-seat aircraft as 3,680 lb (internal loading) and its never-exceed speed at 135 kt indicated airspeed.
Tail number C-FUPD landed at Bell Training Academy’s flight line mid-afternoon Feb. 7 after a wind-and-weather slowed flight from the company's customization facility in Piney Flats, Tennessee (the former Edwards and Associates operation). The crew at Piney Flats completed configuration of the aircraft, which is painted in purple with a broad and a narrow white stripe at the top of the mid-body.
Bell said the second-production 505 (and first customer version) is in Mirabel for Thursday's ceremony.