Bell Helicopter revealed at the end of March that it has sold three Bell 505 Jet Ranger Xs to China Star Aero Investment. The sale was made at Heli-Expo, held in Anaheim, California, in February, but not announced at the time. The agreement includes an option to purchase an additional seven aircraft.
Bell said that China Star Aero will use the new helicopter as part of the so-called “Beautiful China” tourism campaign. This will involve an aerial sightseeing initiative, which is supported by China’s central government.
“We are very pleased that China Star Aero has chosen the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X as the aircraft of choice for their new business venture,” said Chris Jaran, Bell Helicopter’s managing director for China. “Their endorsement of the aircraft is another data point reinforcing our decision to re-enter the short light single market with a high-performance, high-value aircraft.”
China Star Aero Group specializes in aircraft sales and leasing and uses its existing fixed-wing and rotorcraft fleet in a variety of markets, including aerial tours, advertising and photography.
“We knew the aircraft we chose for this new venture had to be multi-purpose,” said Li Lei, president of China Star Aero.
The Bell 505 Jet Ranger X is a five-seat, single-engine turbine helicopter with a cruise speed of 125 knots, range of 360 nm and useful load of 1,500 pounds. The Bell Jet Ranger’s fully flat floor, increased cabin volume and clamshell doors provide the configuration flexibility needed in today’s market, said Bell.