Bell Helicopter and Mr. Urschel commemorated this milestone in the Bell Helicopter booth at Heli-Expo 2017.
"I could not be more pleased to receive the first Bell 505 and put the aircraft into service," said Urschel. "I have been part of the Bell 505 program from the very beginning and have been anticipating this moment. After experiencing the aircraft first hand, I could not believe the power and performance capabilities for an aircraft in this class."
Urschel was part of Bell Helicopter's Customer Advisory Council (CAC) that was directly involved in advising on the design of the Bell 505. The CAC guided specifications and capabilities that were integrated into the platform to fit a diverse set of mission needs. This first Bell 505 is configured for utility operations and will perform in various mission sets to include charter, tourism and utility.
"This is a momentous occasion for Bell Helicopter and the Bell 505 program," said Patrick Moulay, Bell Helicopter's executive vice president of Global Sales and Marketing. "This marks the first of many deliveries, and we feel that we truly hit the mark on delivering on our commitments to provide a safe, reliable and high-performing aircraft to the short light single market."
The Bell 505 offers operators many standout advantages including the Safran Helicopter Engines Arrius 2R engine that incorporates a robust and reliable architecture coupled with a dual channel Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) that improve safety and reduces pilot workload.
"Seeing the Bell 505 entering service is a very special moment for Safran, as it is the first time we have partnered with Bell in a rotorcraft program," said Bruno Even, Safran Helicopter Engines CEO. "We would like to congratulate the Bell team who have contributed to this achievement. All of us at Safran Helicopter Engines are very proud to be part of the team, and we will ensure Pylon Aviation benefits from the best possible support."
With a speed of 125 knots (232 km/h), range of 340 nautical miles (629 km) and useful load of 1,500 pounds (680 kg), the Bell 505 is designed to be safe and easy to fly while providing significant value to the operator. The customer-driven design of the aircraft places safety, performance and affordability at the forefront, blending proven systems with advanced technology and a sleek, modern design.
The reliability, speed, performance, and maneuverability of the Bell 505 is integrated with a flat floor, open cabin that is configurable for a wide variety of missions and payloads. The spacious cabin can be configured to carry up to four passengers or configured for internal cargo missions by removing quick disconnect rear cabin seats and/or copilot seat. The Bell 505's flat floor cabin design and large rectangular baggage compartment lets the Bell 505 adapt to your changing mission needs. These features combined with a proven and reliable drivetrain and rotor system make the Bell 505 a true multi-mission aircraft in the short light single-engine market.