Safran Helicopter Engines has delivered the first Arrius 2R engine made at its Grand Prairie, Texas plant. The 2R was certified in December 2015 and is slated to power the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X light single.
Until now, these turboshafts had been assembled at Safran's plant in Bordes, France. “Having this engine produced in the U.S will simplify the delivery process to Bell Helicopter,” said Jean-François Sauer, v-p of Safran’s Arriel and Arrius programs. Bell had planned to manufacture the 505 in Lafayette, La., but in May shifted production to its commercial plant in Mirabel, Quebec.
Safran's Arrius 2R program was launched at the 2013 Paris Air Show alongside the Bell 505 and has followed a parallel development schedule, with first ground run coming in April 2014 and the flight-test program beginning in November 2014 when the first 505 lifted off.
The 504-shp powerplant features dual-channel Fadec with a backup engine data recorder, a design that eases maintenance access and a allows a 3,000-hour recommended TBO interval. In March, Safran announced plans to offer Jet Ranger X customers support-by-the-hour maintenance coverage in cooperation with Bell’s Customer Advantage Plan, with no minimum annual flight-hour requirement, for approximately $300 per flight hour.
The Bell 505 is expected to receive FAA approval later this year.