Bell Textron recently completed the first deliveries of Model 505 Jet Ranger X light helicopters to the Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF) out of an order for 10 aircraft. The rotorcraft aim to enhance flight training for Jordan’s military pilots.
Details of the Bell 505 Procurement
The $15 million agreement was signed in July 2022 and includes the delivery of training devices plus a computer-based training package. The goal is to bolster basic and advanced flight instruction at the RJAF’s King Hussein Air College.
The first 5 helicopters were recently handed over to Jordan. Bell will supply the remainder of the fleet over the coming months, providing the RJAF with a standardized advanced trainer.
Bell 505 Attributes and Capabilities
The Bell 505 provides an optimal training platform for students thanks to its advanced avionics and smooth handling. The 5-seat helicopter incorporates an integrated glass cockpit and FADEC dual-engine control system.
With a cruise speed approaching 130 mph and useful load over 1,100 pounds, the Bell 505 offers strong performance. Safety enhancements like a rollover activated float system aim to prevent accidents during training.
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Filling a Key Training Role
The new Bell 505s will allow Jordan to retire older training helicopters. Their delivery ensures pilots transition to frontline types like the Bell AH-1 and UH-1 equipped with comparable digital cockpits.
Jordan joins several other Middle East air arms opting for the Bell 505 as their rotary-wing trainer, including the UAE and Bahrain. Bell has seen demand for the rotorcraft’s training capabilities in the region.
Ongoing Bell Sales in Middle East/Africa
Over 30 Bell 505s now operate in the Middle East and Africa. Jordan’s order reinforces Bell’s strong market position for military sales in the areas.
Key advantages of the Bell 505 include its cost-effectiveness, safety innovations, and similarity to the Bell 407 light helicopter. These attributes appeal to limited defense budgets in the regions.
Future Platform Enhancements
While already a highly advanced trainer for its market segment, Bell plans to add new capabilities to the Model 505 over its life cycle.
These enhancements will include increased maximum takeoff weight, external load improvements, and expanded cockpit connectivity options.
Bell’s Global Reach
As a subsidiary of Textron, Bell benefits from extensive resources and aviation experience in providing military and civilian rotorcraft worldwide.
Over 16,000 Bell helicopters have been delivered around the world, showcasing the brand’s global influence and reliability. Jordan’s Bell 505 order reaffirms that prominence.
The delivery of the advanced light helicopters represents an important milestone in equipping Jordan’s next-generation aviators. The fleet will enable pilot training enhancement for years to come thanks to the Bell 505’s unmatched capabilities and ongoing modernization.
key features of Bell 505 helicopters
- 5-seat light utility helicopter
- Powered by Safran Arrius 2R turboshaft engine with dual-channel FADEC control
- Max cruise speed: 125 knots
- Max range: 370 nm
- Useful load capacity: 1,100 lbs
- Glass cockpit with Garmin G1000H NXi avionics suite
- Rollover activated float system for safety
- Wide flat-floor cabin with rear clam-shell doors
- Plug-and-play avionics for flexible configuration