Bell 505, courtesy of Bell Flight.
Bell’s new light single, the 505 Jet Ranger X, is now type certified for operations up to 22,500 feet density altitude, following the completion of high-altitude testing in Nepal.
Testing including numerous take offs and landings at density altitudes between 18,000 and 18,500 feet as well as the evaluation of landings with the loss of control system hydraulic boost, according to the company.
“The Bell 505 is the most advanced short light single helicopter in the world, and we are proud to bring more performance to our operator’s missions,” said LaShan Bonaparte, program director for the Bell 505 and 429. “High-altitude demonstrations are another testament to the aircraft’s ability to perform in the most demanding environments, across a variety of segments.”
Demand for helicopters in Nepal capable of performing alpine rescue operations has grown alongside the soaring popularity of summiting Mount Everest. Many routine evacuations take place at elevations between 12,000 and 17,000 feet, with more extreme operations reaching 21,000 feet or above.
The Bell 505 has now also passed 13,000 global flight hours, according to the company. The global fleet hit 10,000 hours in early November.