Bell 505 Jet Ranger X helicopter was developed by Bell Textron Canada. Credit: Bell Textron Inc.
The helicopter features fully integrated Garmin G1000H™ flight deck. Credit: Bell Textron Inc.
Bell 505 is powered by a Safran Arrius 2R engine. Credit: Bell Textron Inc.
The global fleet of Bell 505 accumulated more than 50,000 flight hours by September 2020. Credit: Bell Textron Inc.

Bell 505 Jet Ranger X is a light helicopter developed by Bell Textron Canada, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron.

Bell 505’s advanced technologies and versatility make it an ideal platform to train future military pilots worldwide and prepare them for challenging missions.

The adaptable open cabin helicopter with integrated tie-downs and adjustable seats can be utilised for various other roles, including corporate, adventure, public safety, and helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS).

Bell 505 development

Bell 505 was unveiled as a short light single (SLS) helicopter at the Paris Air Show in 2013 and was officially named as 505 Jet Ranger X (JRX). The helicopter made its first flight in November 2014.

The helicopter was proposed for the Republic of Korea (ROK) Military TH-X programme in 2015. The programme was intended to procure training helicopters for the ROK Army and Navy. Bell 505 satisfied all the operational requirements of the South Korean armed forces during the testing and evaluation phase in 2016.

The Bell 505 JRX programme recorded more than 50,000 flight hours of the global fleet comprising more than 260 aircraft in service with 55 countries worldwide, as of September 2020.

Orders and deliveries

The Japan Coast Guard (JCG) procured four Bell 505 helicopters to be utilised for basic helicopter training in 2018. The helicopters were customised with a 505 Emergency Flotation System designed by DART Aerospace.

Bell will supply six Jet Ranger X helicopters to the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) for use by its Caribbean Military Aviation School (CMAS) to train international rotorcraft pilots. The helicopters will also be configured to support public safety operations in Jamaica.

Bell completed the delivery of its 60th Bell 505 helicopter to the Montenegro Air Force for military training and other operations in April 2021.

Bell 505 helicopter design and features

Bell 505 features an advanced aerodynamic design equipped with proven dynamic components. It comes fitted with a glass flight deck and optional dual pilot controls.

The helicopter incorporates a two-bladed metal rotor system with high inertia that enhances its auto-rotational capability, providing powerful lift. It can accommodate a pilot and four passengers, while the useful load of the helicopter is 1,500lb (680kg). The empty weight and maximum take-off weight of the rotorcraft are 2,180lb (989kg) and 4,475lb (2,030kg), respectively.

The VIP version is offered with Mecaer Aviation Group’s modified pilot and passenger seats, carpet, new interior panels, headliner with a passenger service unit, USB charging ports, and additional storage space.

Avionics aboard Bell 505

Bell 505 features a fully integrated Garmin G1000H flight deck with twin 10.4in LCD screens that reduce the workload of the pilot. The standard avionics package includes moving map display, traffic information system, airport diagrams, flight planning, diagnostics or maintenance page, power situation indicator, engine instruments, and crew alerting system.

Optional flight displays such as helicopter terrain awareness and warning system, Garmin’s Helicopter Synthetic Vision Technology, Pathway in the Sky display, and traffic alert system further improve situational awareness.

Engine and performance

Bell 505 is powered by FADEC Safran Arrius 2R engine equipped with a dual-channel full authority digital engine control (FADEC) system. The engine features a titanium centrifugal compressor, reverse-flow combustion chamber, large operating envelope, and 42,000rpm free turbine with overspeed protection through blade shielding technology.

The rotorcraft can reach a maximum cruise speed of 231km/h (125k) and attain a range of 566km (306nm) at long-range cruise speed (VLRC). The maximum endurance of the helicopter is more than 3.9 hours.

Its hover ceiling in ground effect (IGE) is 14,450ft (4,404m), while the out of ground effect (OGE) is 10,460ft (3,188m). The helicopter can reach a maximum altitude of 20,000ft (6,096m).