Bell Helicopter, September 22, 2014 - FORT WORTH, TEXAS – Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, has announced new customer commitments for fourteen new Bell 505 Jet Ranger X helicopters in the region, with nine coming during the 8th Africa Aerospace and Defense (AAD) show in Tshwane, South Africa.
Bell Helicopter has worked with National Airways Corporation (NAC), its independent representative in South Africa, to secure new customer commitments for the new aircraft. The new JRX helicopters have been purchased primarily by private pilots and enthusiasts, although the size and performance of the aircraft is attracting attention from multiple sectors.
“We are thrilled to celebrate our 25th year representing Bell Helicopter and nothing could be more fitting in celebration than to introduce the Bell 505 JRX to our market at AAD,” said Martin Banner, chief executive officer of NAC. “The Bell 505 has undoubtedly been the star of the show and its reception has been remarkable. We look forward to many more years of partnership and success with Bell Helicopter particularly as they continue to roll out their exciting new commercial products like the JRX and the Bell 525 Relentless.”
Bell Helicopter has strong roots in Africa, especially with more than 170 Bell 206 JetRangers currently operating in country. The majority of these aircraft are more than 20 years old, which means many operators are facing the need for replacement aircraft in the coming years.
“This sale put a cap on a great week for the Bell Helicopter team at AAD,” said Steve Suttles, Bell Helicopter’s vice president of commercial business in the Middle East and Africa. “The excitement generated by the Jet Ranger X mockup has been amazing – especially as customers see its capabilities and spacious cabin in person. These customers are only the first of many throughout Africa who will be able to accomplish their missions with this newly-designed helicopter.”
The Bell 505 Jet Ranger X is a customer-driven design, blending the proven systems of the Bell 206 with advanced technology and a sleek, modern design. The Bell 505 places safety, performance and affordability at its forefront. The Garmin G1000H Integrated Avionics Suite provides pilots critical flight information at a glance to maximize situational awareness. Pilot workload is further reduced by the Turbomeca Arrius 2R engine with dual channel Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC). The Bell 505 features a high inertia rotor system delivering superior autorotation capabilities. With the ideal combination of speed, range and useful load, the Jet Ranger X is designed to deliver best-in-class performance.
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.