THE BELL Helicopter 505 Jet Ranger X has notched up a number of order and delivery milestones in the Asia-Pacific region.
During the recent Singapore Air Show, parent company Textron Aviation announced orders from the Northern Vietnam Helicopter Company and VNH North, and deliveries to operators in Australia and in Japan. In addition, Textron had a Cambodian-registered Bell 505 (appropriately registered XU- 505) in the static aircraft display at the show.
On February 6, the opening day of the Singapore Air Show, Bell Helicopter announced it had completed the delivery of two Bell 505s to Nautilus Aviation in Australia. The aircraft will be used for tourism and charter work in North Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef. Previously accepted by Nautilus Aviation at Bell’s facility in Mirabel, Canada, in October 2017, they are the first Jet Ranger X helicopters to be delivered to a customer in the Asia-Pacific region.
Bell Helicopter Managing Director for the Asia-Pacific region Sameer Rehman said: “The Australian helicopter market is one of the largest and most important segments globally for Bell. We are pleased the first 505s delivered into the region are with Nautilus Aviation, and are confident that both helicopters will deliver exceptional value to Nautilus in its endeavour to provide customers an unparalleled experience.”
Following the announcement of the delivery of the first Bell 505s to a customer in the region, the following day Bell Helicopter announced delivery of the first two Jet Ranger X helicopters to Japan. The two helicopters delivered to SECO International will be used on a range of operations, including passenger transport, tourism, aerial photography and television broadcasting. SECO International is based in Nagoya and operates its own fleet of light helicopters, as well as providing management and support to private helicopter owners in Japan. The company signed a letter of intent for the purchase of ten Bell 505s in March 2015.
Bell Helicopter’s Managing Director for Japan, Michael Reagan, said: “The delivery of the first two Bell 505 Jet Ranger X helicopters to SECO International marks another key milestone for Bell Helicopter and the 505 in Japan.”
On February 7, Textron Aviation announced the state-owned Vietnam Helicopter Company and its subsidiary, VNH North, had both placed an order for Bell 505s.
Bell Helicopter Managing Director for the Asia-Pacific region Sameer Rehman said: “The Bell 505 incorporates the latest advancements in safety and aviation technology while providing bestin- class value. We look forward to working closely with and supporting both Vietnam Helicopter Corporation and VNH North as they expand their business to new territories and customers.”
Captain Do Xuan Hoa, Director of VNH North, added: “We are confident the versatility and stateof- the-art technology in the new Bell 505 will enable us to continue to serve our customers across many industries in a safe, reliable and efficient manner and support the expansion our business globally.” Bell Helicopter also announced delivery of the first two JetRanger X to Asian Aviation Resources Pte Ltd in Cambodia on February 8, the most recent milestone for the Bell 505 recorded during the Singapore Air Show.
One of the helicopters will be operated by Helicopters Cambodia under contract to the US Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Agency (DPAA), to help find US personnel went missing in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. The second helicopter will be used for charter work in support of Cambodia’s tourism industry. Nigel Pittaway