Bell Helicopter announced this morning that its $1.07 million 505 Jet Ranger X light single has received FAA certification and that EASA certification should follow “shortly.” The 505 received its initial type certification from Transport Canada on December 21. That certification was validated by Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority on March 2. Bell delivered the first customer aircraft on March 7.
Bell holds 400 letters of intent (LOIs) for the 505. On Monday, Bell CEO Mitch Snyder said the company had had good success converting LOIs for the 505 to firm orders, but declined to offer specifics. “We can't give you numbers, but I would say that it has been a really healthy conversion.”
Snyder also declined to estimate what the 505's production run would be this year in an apparent change from the estimate of 50 he gave during a press conference in December. “We haven't decided the exact production ramp-up yet,” Snyder said. However, he did say, “We are very pleased with where the 505 program is right now.”
Bell continues certification work on a variety of options for the 505, including kits for law enforcement and electronic newsgathering.