Bell introduced the new five-seat short light single (SLS) helicopter at the Paris Air Show in June 2013. The helicopter was developed by Bell Helicopter Textron in association with Turbomeca. The helicopter successfully completed its first flight at Bell’s manufacturing facility in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada, in November 2014.

The official name of the SLS helicopter was declared as Bell 505 Jet Ranger X at the Heli-Expo 2014 in Anaheim, California, US. The helicopter can be used for utility and law enforcement missions, as well as flight training for military and civilian applications.

Bell developed the SLS for use in specialised missions such as search and rescue (SAR) and emergency medical services (EMS). The helicopter is expected to face tough competition in the small and light helicopter segment from Robinson R66 and Eurocopter EC120 helicopters.

Orders and deliveries of Bell 505 Jet Ranger X

Hillsboro Aviation placed an order with Bell in February 2014 to supply ten Bell 505 Jet Ranger X helicopters. Avpro agreed to buy three new Bell 505 Jet Ranger X helicopters at the Heli-Expo 2014.

Aerochine Aviation signed an agreement with Bell Helicopter for five Bell 505 Jet Ranger X helicopters in June 2014. Bell has currently secured more than 240 letters of intent for the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X helicopter.

Bell 505 Jet Ranger X design details

"The Bell 505 Jet Ranger X is designed to offer greater safety, performance and utility."

The Bell 505 Jet Ranger X helicopter is designed to offer greater safety, performance and utility. A number of its design features were based on the dynamic components of the Bell 206L4, which entered into service in 1992. The construction is majorly of aluminium instead of carbon-fibre in order to reduce the cost.

The helicopter features a sleek design and sophisticated data-bus technology that reduces the wire count and overall weight while also simplifying maintenance. It also features a high-inertia rotor system with excellent autorotation capabilities.

It offers superior performance in terms of speed, range and payload while meeting the Stage 4 International Air Transport Association (IATA) noise standards.

Flight deck and avionics of the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X helicopter

The new Bell SLS helicopter is equipped with Garmin G1000H integrated avionics suite by Garmin International. It features a high-visibility cockpit with new advanced avionics system which reduces the overall workload on the pilot.

"The all-glass avionics system is integrated with a digital key flight information system.“

The all-glass avionics system is integrated with digital key flight information system. It features primary flight display and multi-function information display systems providing real-time information to the pilot. It also has high-resolution LCD displays.

The avionics suite also includes terrain avoidance warning, synthetic vision technology and traffic information systems. It has a single or dual integrated solid-state attitude and heading reference systems (AHRS) and line-replaceable units (LRUs).

Cabin details of the short light single helicopter

The helicopter has a 22ft2 (2.04m2) cabin that can accommodate one pilot and four passengers. It has five forward-facing seats and a baggage compartment with 18ft3 of volume.

The cabin is fitted with large doors for easy loading of passengers and cargo and features a fully flat floor to offer maximum configurability.

Engine and performance of the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X helicopter

The helicopter is fitted with Arrius 2R single engine manufactured by Turbomeca. It has dual channel full authority dual-channel engine control (FADEC) systems. The new engine configuration provides reduced fuel consumption and operation costs.

The maximum range of the helicopter is 360nm. The useful load is 608kg (1,500lb). The maximum speed is 232km (125kt) and endurance is more than 3.5 hours. The time between overhaul (TBO) of the engine is 3,000 hours.

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