“The Bell 505 has been a global success story for Bell.” That was the message this week at Helitech from Patrick Moulay, Bell’s senior vice president for commercial business-international.
The aircraft passed the 100-aircraft sales mark in June 2018, and by the time Helitech opened its doors Bell had delivered more than 120 Bell 505 JetRanger Xs. The type will be in service in 10 European countries by year-end, including Croatia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, and the UK.
Moulay said that so far the Bell 505 has taken market share from the 1.2 tonne Robinson R66 and the 1.7 tonne H120. Bell is now pursuing sales in the utility sector of the market. Moulay said that before the debut of the Model 505Bell did not have "a good product" for the light utility segment, but he believes that the JetRanger X gives the company a competitive offering that promises to take market share from the 2.25-tonne Airbus H125, especially now that a cargo hook has been certified by the FAA and EASA certification is planned for the near future.
At Helitech, Bell Helicopter announced the launch of new Bell Certified Training Facilities (CTFs) as a means of expanding its global training capabilities. These will use a number of Bell helicopters, including 505s, and will help support the rapidly growing Bell 505 international footprint.
“We are focused on providing local support solutions to our international customer base for the entire lifecycle of their aircraft, and CTFs will play a key role in this,” Moulay said.
Chad Oakley, Bell’s manager of flight training, pointed out, “Training has been an integral part of Bell’s aftermarket programme for more than 65 years. We have trained over 140,000 customers in more than 135 countries throughout the world, and we are looking forward to the expansion of our global training solution through strategically located Certified Training Facilities.”
One of the first CTFs, and the first certified training facility for the Bell 505 will be provided by Helideal, an independent French Bell representative. The company will offer initial and recurrent pilot training under the Bell training academy umbrella, operating a variety of Bell aircraft, including the Bell 505. The company has been training helicopter pilots for more than 25 years and will offer pilot training on the Bell 505 from January 2019.