Bell Textron Inc announced the delivery of another Bell 505 to the Montenegro Air Force, making it the 60th Bell 505 aircraft in Europe.
“Delivering 60 505s to Europe is an exciting milestone for Bell,” said Patrick Moulay, Senior Vice President, International Business. “This achievement is a testament to the performance of the Bell 505 and our customers’ confidence in the aircraft. Beyond the success of the Bell 505 in Europe, we see momentum in demand for the aircraft across international markets. We look forward to seeing more growth in the future.”
The Bell 505 is known for its versatility and reliability. The platform has broad appeal and operates in a wide range of missions such as private owner, utility, aerial inspections, public safety, military training, and tourism. In 2020, Bell delivered more 505 aircraft to Europe than to any other continent – some of the customers include ABR Invest, Elicompany, Montenegro Air Force, Centaurium Aviation, and Mountainflyers.
Bell’s European customers continue to share their favourable thoughts on the dynamic aircraft:
“With the 505, sightseeing passengers fit nicely and enjoy great front and side visibility. The passengers will have much more comfortable and better views for the money they’re paying,” said Christoph Graf, Pilot & CEO, Mountainflyers.
“The Bell 505 is one of the most modern helicopters that to recently enter the commercial market, and we know we made a great decision. With a small country and small military force, the key is modernization. Working with Bell, we believe that the helicopters are of high quality, and this gives us security knowing they allow us to complete the mission,” said Predrag Boskovic, now former Minister of Defence, Montenegro Air Force.
“When I look at the Bell 505, it doesn’t look like other Bell products, but once you get in and start flying, you know right away it was designed by Bell. It’s a simple, lightweight aircraft, but it has the ruggedness and reliability of a Bell product. You can count on it,” said Cristian Forghieri, Co-Owner & Flight Operations Director, Elicompany.
Bell supports European customers regionally by delivering aircraft out of our Bell support centre in Prague, supplying parts out of the Bell Supply Center in Amsterdam and offering Bell 505 training through HeliDeal in France. Our teams look forward to increasing the number of Bell aircraft in the region and expanding our European footprint.
The helicopter was unveiled at the 2013 Paris Airshow on June 17, 2013, as the Bell SLS (Short Light Single). The model designation was later announced at HAI Heli-Expo 2014 in Anaheim, California on February 25, 2014.
The Bell 505 is a "clean sheet" design but uses some dynamic components, such as the rotor system, of the Bell 206L-4. The airframe is constructed of metal and composites and has a 2.04 m² flat floor and an 0.51 m³ luggage bay. The Safran Arrius 2R is the type's engine with a dual-channel FADEC and a 3,000-hour Time-between-overhaul. The 505 cockpit is equipped with the Garmin G1000H glass avionics suite. Various options such as a cargo hook are available.
The 505 was certified by the Federal Aviation Administration in June 2017 and received high altitude certification (22,500 feet density altitude) in June 2019. Bell delivered the 100th 505 Jet Ranger X in June 2018, and the 200th in August 2019.