Bell Helicopter has received new customer commitments for fourteen Bell 505 Jet Ranger X helicopters in southern Africa, with nine coming during the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) show in Pretoria.
Bell Helicopter has worked with National Airways Corporation (NAC), its independent representative in South Africa, to secure new customer commitments for the new aircraft, the helicopter maker said. The new JRX helicopters have been purchased primarily by private pilots and enthusiasts.
“We are thrilled to celebrate our 25th year representing Bell Helicopter and nothing could be more fitting in celebration than to introduce the Bell 505 JRX to our market at AAD,” said Martin Banner, chief executive officer of NAC. “The Bell 505 has undoubtedly been the star of the show and its reception has been remarkable. We look forward to many more years of partnership and success with Bell Helicopter particularly as they continue to roll out their exciting new commercial products like the JRX and the Bell 525 Relentless.”
Bell Helicopter says it has strong roots in Africa, especially with more than 170 Bell 206 JetRangers currently operating in country. The majority of these aircraft are more than 20 years old, which means many operators are facing the need for replacement aircraft in the coming years.
“This sale put a cap on a great week for the Bell Helicopter team at AAD,” said Steve Suttles, Bell Helicopter’s vice president of commercial business in the Middle East and Africa. “The excitement generated by the Jet Ranger X mockup has been amazing – especially as customers see its capabilities and spacious cabin in person. These customers are only the first of many throughout Africa who will be able to accomplish their missions with this newly-designed helicopter.”
The Bell 505 Jet Ranger X features a Garmin G1000H Integrated Avionics Suite and a Turbomeca Arrius 2R engine with dual channel Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC).