Bell Helicopter has continued its sales push for the developmental 505 Jet Ranger X, displaying a mock-up of the light single-engined rotorcraft at the MSPO defence show held in Kielce, Poland between 1-4 September.
Bell says it exhibited the four-seat, civil rotorcraft at a military exhibition "to promote its capabilities as a training platform" for the region's air forces.
The mock-up was also displayed to Polish civilian operators this week at a private facility near Warsaw owned by Bell's distributor for the country, JB Investments.
Poland is regarded by the airframer as a potentially lucrative market for the multi-mission aircraft, which is earmarked for service entry next year.
To date Bell has amassed over 350 tentative orders for the Garmin G1000H-equipped, Turbomeca Arrius 2R-powered 505. These include more than 55 letters of intent from European customers, says Bell.
“We believe the 505 will do well in Poland," says Jan Borowski, owner of JB Investments. "It is priced to compete and delivers true multi-mission capability with exceptional performance.”
With a price tag of around $1 million, the 505 is pitched against the Robinson Helicopter R66.
Bell is now reaching the final stages of the Jet Ranger X's flight-test programme and remains on track for year-end certification.
As of early September, the first prototype, FTV1, had notched up more 250h since entering service in November 2014. It completed hot temperature and high altitude testing a month ahead of schedule, says Bell, and will wrap up certification testing early in the fourth quarter following a 100h endurance ground run.
FTV2, meanwhile, has clocked up around 60h of load, fatigue and cold weather testing since entering the certification programme in February.
The final flight-test aircraft, FTV3 – which performed its maiden sortie in July – has been testing the 505's noise and handling qualities. This aircraft will later be used for function and reliability testing. It has so far accumulated around 20h.
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