By Naomi Szeben
Bell Textron Inc., announced the 300th Bell 505 Jet Ranger X delivery to the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF).
The first Bell 505 was delivered in 2017, making 300 aircraft in operation across six continents, with customers logging more than 70,000 global fleet hours today.
“The Bell 505 is one of Bell’s fastest growing commercial programs to date, surpassing several significant milestones since its inception,” said Michael Thacker, Executive Vice President, Innovation and Commercial Business in a statement. “As we continue to see interest for the aircraft in Public Safety, Utility and Corporate transport, Bell has invested in new products and technologies to expand the Bell 505’s capabilities.”
The latest Bell 505 platform advancements include the Garmin G1000H NXi avionics suite, Flight Stream, Autopilot, Lightweight EMS interior, Bell Public Safety configuration, Pulselite, FliteStep, LHS Baggage Door and Moveable Ballast.
Lt. Col. Brian Lundy, commanding officer of the JDF Air Wing added, “The Force’s sixth Bell 505 will support Public Safety missions to serve the citizens of Jamaica and be operated by its Caribbean Military Aviation School (CMAS) to train the international rotorcraft pilots of tomorrow.”
With a speed of 125 knots (232 km/h) and useful load of 1,500 pounds (680 kg), the Bell 505 is Bell’s newest five-seat aircraft designed for safety, efficiency and reliability using advanced avionics technology.
Its similarities with the Bell 429 platform allow for a smooth pilot transition as JDF begins training operations. With a Garmin G1000, the platform shares similar avionics with JDF’s Fixed Wing Trainer aircraft and reduces pilot workload, enhancing the students’ learning experience.