The Bell Helicopter 505 remains on track to earn Transport Canada certification early next year. The 505 program was announced at the 2013 Paris Airshow. The first test aircraft flew on November 10, 2014, and the second flight test vehicle flew in February 2015.
Over the summer of 2015, the first two flight test vehicles completed hot testing at Lake Havasu, Arizona, USA, and high-altitude testing in Colorado, USA.
A third flight test vehicle performed its debut flight on July 16, 2015, and is currently being used for certification, noise and handling qualities testing. It is also heavily configured with optional equipment such as traffic alert and collision avoidance system (TCAS), air-conditioning, standby flight instruments and a second VHF radio. It will finish its certification testing near the end of the year with function and reliability testing.
Bell officially dedicated its new 82,300ft² assembly plant for the 505 Jet Ranger X in Lafayette, Louisiana, on August 27, 2015. The facility is expected to have up to 100 employees. Turbomeca delivered the first production Arrius 2R engine for the 505 to Bell in August on schedule in Lafayette. The Arrius 2R is the only turbine in the 500-shp range to feature a dual-channel Fadec (full authority digital engine control).
The Arrius 2R achieved first ground run in April 2014 and made its first flight aboard a 505 FTV1 at Bell’s Mirabel (Quebec, Canada) facility in November 2014. Production Arrius 2R engines will be assembled at Turbomeca USA’s facility in Dallas, Texas, and delivered to the Lafayette assembly plant. Initially, the 2R will have a time between overhaul (TBO) limit of 3,000 hours.
November 20, 2015