Textron subsidiary Bell is promoting its new light helicopter as an ideal military trainer, according to a company news release. The world’s largest manufacturer of helicopter training aircraft is offering Bell 505 as a basic helicopter trainer.
With optional dual pilot controls, the Bell 505, which recently surpassed 20,000 flight hours globally, is an excellent aircraft for training pilots to fly today’s modern aircraft with integrated glass flight decks, FADEC controlled engines, and other advanced technologies.
These modern technologies coupled with proven dynamic systems and a high inertia rotor system for excellent autorotation capabilities create the optimal platform for helicopter training.
In 2018, Bell delivered four Bell 505 helicopters to the Japan Coast Guard (JCG), making the JCG the first governmental agency globally to use the Bell 505 as a basic helicopter trainer. In addition to the standard equipment on the aircraft, the JCG Bell 505s come equipped with the first entry-into-service 505 Emergency Flotation System, a technical solution designed by DART Aerospace and developed with Bell.
Forty five percent of all training configured turbine aircraft currently in service are the Bell 206 single engine variant, which saw over 8,000 aircraft delivered over 50 years in numerous variations. A popular variant of the Bell 206 that is used primarily for training is the TH-67 Creek. In operation with the US Army since the early 1990s, this is largest helicopter training fleet in the world. In addition to the US Army, the US Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard also use a variant of the Bell 206, the TH-57 Sea Ranger, as their primary helicopter trainer. The Bell 505 continues the proud legacy and tradition of the 206 while improving performance, safety and making it easier to fly.
With most training helicopters globally comprising light single helicopters (3,680 lbs max takeoff gross weight), the Bell 505, with its advanced technologies and versatility, is well suited to prepare future military pilots all around the globe to meet the myriad of challenges they will face in their missions. In 2015, Bell participated in and proposed the Bell 505 for the Republic of Korea (ROK) Military TH-X program, which aims to procure training helicopters for the ROK Army and Navy. The aircraft met all the ROK Military’s Required Operational Capability during testing and evaluation phase in 2016.