Conducting business in today’s world has never been more complicated. As the potential to engage with an expansive global customer base becomes the new formula for success, bespoke travel solutions are looking more viable than ever. This is especially the case where lengthier business journeys become more difficult in a post-pandemic world. One solution, however, continues to deliver results for the highest fliers in the business world: the Bell 505 helicopter.
Having first debuted at the Paris Air Show in 2013, the Bell 505 is flying proof that a clean sheet design can deliver endless opportunities in uncharted business territories. Created to dominate the short light single (SLS) segment while providing one of the fastest and most cost-efficient methods of transport, the Bell 505 currently services a diverse range of industries from adventure to medical to utility and flight training, and, of course, the burgeoning corporate sector, which is built on networking and healthy relationships.
“Its breadth of flexibility has earnt the Bell 505 the reputation as the SUV of the skies.”
Where the Bell 505 comes into a league of its own is through its field versatility. Existing customers already employ the aircraft to commute to work during the week before effortlessly doubling its role as the perfect getaway tool for the weekend. It’s this breadth of flexibility that has earnt the Bell 505 the reputation as the SUV of the skies.
While flying cars are still a fair way off in the landscape of future mobility, the revolutionary dual-purpose design of the Bell 505 means that it’s at the forefront of this movement today.
From the world’s most talented C-suite executives to the brightest entrepreneurs, the Bell 505 is the ultimate way to get to where you want on your time.
Defining reliability in the skies
In business, trust is an intangible asset that is earned through experience, execution and time. The Bell name aligns perfectly with these values and delivers on all of these fronts with the dynamic characteristics of the 505.
As the definition of reliability in the skies, the Bell 505 model today boasts over 70,000 global fleet flight hours. This is further backed by its global delivery count of over 300 examples operating across a range of missions in six continents and 55 countries.
Firms that utilise the 505 model currently includes:
- Elicompany (Utility and Tour Agency)
- Mountainflyers (Tour and Training Agency)
- Southern Utah University (Training)
- Whitesky Aviation (Charter)
- Helisul (Utility and Tour Agency)
These businesses and organisations continue to prove the robust credentials of the aircraft in effortlessly taking on multiple roles. This ultimately leaves clients with the freedom and time to focus on their own personal goals as the Bell 505 smoothly handles the most critical journeys.
Reaching this level of synergy between reliability and functionality is reflected in the 505’s impressive design specifications. Maximum speed is rated at 232 kilometres per hour while its range delivers 306 nautical miles.
In the real world, this sees the 505 covering:
- Vancouver to Whistler in Canada in 24 minutes (versus 1 hour and 30 minutes by road)
- Liverpool to Cardiff in the UK in 55 minutes (versus 4 hours and 26 minutes by road)
- Jakarta to Bandung in Indonesia in 30 minutes (versus 3 hours and 36 minutes by road)
- Hunterville to Wellington in New Zealand in 42 minutes (versus 2 hours and 20 minutes by road)
- Vienna in Austria to Budapest in Hungary in 55 minutes (versus 2 hours and 39 minutes by road)
These impressive flight statistics are backed by the Bell 505’s advanced aerodynamic design and a Safran HE engine featuring Dual Channel FADEC technology. This system is designed to drastically reduce pilot workload which is a key factor in raising helicopter safety standards to the next level.
A new standard of safety and control
The conventional helicopter is one of the most complicated civilian aircrafts to fly. Pilots are tasked with simultaneously engaging with numerous flight controls and instrument gauges just to initiate take off. The nature of such a complicated procedure means that diagnosing problems pre-flight or mid-flight can be near-impossible and often dangerous.
Adding to that equation is the potential for a ‘hot start’ to occur – a US$100,000 mistake requiring an entire engine overhaul – if a pilot fails to correctly execute the engine priming process. It’s a common mistake that’s most evident at helicopter training schools with one to two aircrafts being affected every year in a small fleet. As any fleet grows, though, so too does the rate of these costly errors.
This is where the Bell 505 changes the game entirely. Its engine is fully computer controlled meaning it can replace the complicated three stage engine priming process with nothing more than a small adjustable knob and a primary flight display screen for the pilot to monitor.
Less variables means less room for human error while total operating costs and safety remains absolutely paramount.
Additional class-leading features include:
- Intelligent Engine start system – A single switch engine starting system creates an automotive-style engine start, eliminating the complex starting process of older helicopters while avoiding potentially costly engine damage.
- Effortless to fly – The entire piloting process is streamlined and made as user-friendly as possible in the Bell 505. A computer-controlled engine, hydraulically boosted controls and an optional three-axis autopilot makes the 505 a perfect introductory platform.
- Elevated situational awareness – The Bell 505 features advanced traffic and terrain sensors to help pilots navigate any journey in complete safety. Enhanced visual displays show the most pertinent information in a colour-coded format. This ensures you can spend more time enjoying the views and less time staring at steam gauges.
- Environmental impact – The Bell 505 takes advantage of its quieter operating system, which meets Stage 3 requirements from the International Civil Aviation Organization. This enables it to be one of the most environmentally friendly options for heavily populated areas where noise limitations are strictly enforced.
Exemplary passenger appointments
While pilots are gifted more autonomy and flight control reassurances, passengers also receive their own benefits. The luxury of shortened transit times in a safe and proven aircraft married with comfort and premium finishes encompasses the finer appeal of Bell 505 ownership.
Pragmatic design parameters deliver 18.5-inch wide forward-facing seats for up to five passengers. This opens up unprecedented levels of comfort and practicality that sets a new standard in the SLS segment.
Bell 505 passengers can expect:
- Panoramic views for all – Older Bell Jet Ranger models placed a wall between the pilots and passengers. With the relocation of the aircraft’s transmission behind the cabin, everyone now gets to enjoy the view alongside the lowest cabin noise ever.
- Stadium seating – The designers raised the rear seats six inches higher than the forward seats in order to maximise every viewing angle from out of the wraparound windscreen.
- Productivity built-in – A wider cabin design means that there’s plenty of head, leg and shoulder space no matter the chosen seat. Middle seat passengers have the best view from all angles while those who choose to conduct business on their laptop can now do so in complete comfort – a collective feat that’s rarely ever seen in this helicopter segment.
- Climate-ready – Air-conditioning can be equipped into the Bell 505 to ensure the most relaxing journey even when the weather doesn’t comply
- Pullout seats – Testament to the Bell 505’s potential to fulfill almost any role is its pullout seats. Owners can remove the rear seats at the pull of a lever, leaving an empty cabin to maximise cargo duties. This is complemented with built-in floor tie downs which enables the proper securing of any shaped luggage with a simple net. Removing the seats takes no longer than a minute.
- Utility seats – Additional space can also be afforded without removing the seats. Utility seats mean that owners can fold them up to store extra luggage or fold them down to fly passengers around, much like the modern SUV.
- Utility to luxury – Interior finishes are vast and highly customisable on the Bell 505. Everything from headliner material to corporate leather interior seats to full carpeting can be optioned based on individual requirements. At its highest level trim, Bell can enlist the Mecaer Aviation Group to execute exacting details such as door panelling, Italian leather seats and customised stitching.
Within a decade since its debut the Bell 505 has proven that a high-tech flight deck and adaptable cabin design can make for one of the most cost-competitive helicopters made for business or pleasure. As safety sits at the forefront of any mode of transport, Bell has pioneered the limits of this critical area by showcasing the latest in pilot and risk mitigation technology through its diverse 505 client base currently operating daily across the world.
A legacy dominating the skies
Bell is one of the most prominent names in aviation history. Its conception came about in 1935 when Lawrence Dale Bell founded the Bell Aircraft Corporation in Buffalo, New York. Its mission at the time? To design and build the most dominant fighter aircrafts in the world. From the P-59 Airacomet, the first American jet fighter, to the sound barrier-breaking experimental project known as the Bell X-1, the company quickly established itself as pioneers in the field.
Bell’s transition towards helicopters arrived in 1941 when an inventor named Arthur M Young helped expand Bell’s client base beyond government contracts. The Bell 30 became their first full-size helicopter to fly in 1942 before the Bell 47 took the reigns as the first helicopter in the world to be rated by a civil aviation authority. This achievement would ensure it was fully embraced by both civilian and military flyers alike.
Fast-forward to 1960 and American industrial conglomerate Textron would acquire Bell Aerospace, which included its highly esteemed helicopter division. This paved the way for iconic helicopter models like the Bell 206 to once again traverse the lines of operation across both military and commercial spaces. Throughout its operational tenure spanning 55 years, the Bell 206 successfully accomplished multiple around-the-world helicopter flights with zero issues.
Today, Bell continues to push the boundaries of the SLS helicopter category with the 505. Most recently the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X achieved Type Certification for performance information expansion at up to 6,858-metre density altitude. This feat sets the standard for high altitude operations for aircrafts in this class.
LaShan Bonaparte, the Vice President of Commercial Programs, explains why the Bell 505 is the most advanced SLS helicopter in the world.
“High-altitude demonstrations are another testament to the aircraft’s ability to perform in the most demanding environments, across a variety of segments.”
In 2019, the Bell 505 successfully showcased its performance capabilities with high-altitude flight test demonstrations in Nepal. The helicopter accomplished numerous take-offs and landings at density altitudes between 5486 and 5638 metres as well as the evaluation of landings with the loss of control system hydraulic boost.
It’s this relentless dedication to customer-driven design, safety, performance and affordability in an innovative package that makes the Bell 505 the ultimate companion in business. Even its after-sales support is unmatched with a coveted around-the-clock service adding an extra dimension to an impeccable flying experience anywhere in the world.
Visit Bell to register your interest in travelling smarter for work or play.