By Naomi Szeben
Bell Textron Inc. announced the Bell 505 cargo hook has been approved by European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to carry up to 2,000 pounds (907 kg.)
This hook gives the aircraft an external gross weight capability of 4,475 pounds (2,030 kg). In November 2018, Storm Heliworks AB, a helicopter operator based in Sweden tested out the 505-cargo hook while in Canada. The company performed a range of specialized operations, such as building power lines, clearing trees from power lines, forest inspections, mosquito control, firefighting and other missions, finding their experience with the 505 to be “very positive.”
One of Bell’s North American 505 operators, Rocky Mountain Rotors, utilizes its 505-cargo hook for search and rescue (SAR) and utility missions. It is a premier provider of helicopter services in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho and detailed his experience with the aircraft. Mark Taylor, founder and co-owner of Rocky Mountain Rotors stated that he’s had “multiple times” that the helicopter had to be turned from a cargo ship to a passenger ship, mostly in SAR applications.
With a speed of 125 knots (232 km/h) and useful load of 1,500 pounds (680 kg), the Bell 505 is designed to be safe and easy to fly while providing significant value to the operator. The customer-driven design of the aircraft places safety, performance and affordability at the forefront, blending proven systems with advanced technology and a sleek, modern design.