CASA certifies Bell Helicopter’s 505 Jet Ranger X

Bell Helicopter is moving its 505 Jet Ranger X final assembly line to Mirabel. Canada. (Bell Helicopter)The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has issued Australian type certification to Bell Helicopter for its new five-seat single turbine 505 Jet Ranger X.

“We are excited that the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X can now be delivered to operators in Australia,” said Bell Helicopter’s Asia Pacific managing director Sameer A Rehman. “The Bell 505 will fundamentally change the way the world views the short light single market.”

Announced on March 1, the CASA certification adds to the Transport Canada Civil Aviation type certification which Bell attained on December 21. The US Federal Aviation Administration has yet to certify the type.

The Australian certification effort for the 505 was supported by Hawker Pacific, Bell’s authorised Australian and New Zealand distributor.

Hawker Pacific will deliver Australia’s first two 505s to north Queensland’s Nautilus Aviation mid-year. Nautilus will use the helicopters for tourism and light utility operations.

A further two machines will also be delivered to a New Zealand customer before year’s end.

The very first customer delivery of the 505, to Arizona-based Pylon Aviation, is likely to occur at next week’s Heli-Expo in Dallas, Texas.

“Australian aviation has long set the benchmark of safety, reliability and the need for aircraft to continually meet performance requirements,” said Rehman. “The Bell 505 is perfectly suited for discerning Australian operators and will raise the bar by which others in this product segment are judged.”

With more than 400 letters of intent (LOI) for the 505 since the design’s initial launch in 2014, Bell says it saw a significant increase in order activity for its helicopter catalogue during the back half of 2016 as well as confirming a strong LOI conversion rate for the 505.