Bell announces first Jet Ranger X deals in South Africa


Bell 505 Jet Ranger X mock-up at LABACE 2014 (via Bell Helicopters Facebook page)

National Airways Corporation (NAC) has ordered nine Bell 505 Jet Ranger X helicopters at the Africa Aerospace and Defense (AAD) show in South Africa.

These orders contribute to a total of 14 customer commitments for the new Bell 505 Jet Ranger X helicopters in South Africa.

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Bell Helicopter has worked with NAC, its independent representative in South Africa, to secure new customer commitments for the new aircraft.

Martin Banner, CEO of NAC, says: “We are thrilled to celebrate our 25th year representing Bell Helicopter and nothing could be more fitting in celebration than to introduce the Bell 505 JRX to our market at AAD. The Bell 505 has undoubtedly been the star of the show and its reception has been remarkable.

“We look forward to many more years of partnership and success with Bell Helicopter particularly as they continue to roll out their exciting new commercial products like the JRX and the Bell 525 Relentless.”

Bell Helicopter has strong roots in Africa, especially with more than 170 Bell 206 JetRangers currently operating in country. Many are over 20 years old and soon need to be replaced.

Steve Suttles, Bell Helicopter’s vice president of commercial business in the Middle East and Africa, says: “This sale put a cap on a great week for the Bell Helicopter team at AAD. The excitement generated by the Jet Ranger X mockup has been amazing – especially as customers see its capabilities and spacious cabin in person. These customers are only the first of many throughout Africa who will be able to accomplish their missions with this newly-designed helicopter.”

The Bell 505 Jet Ranger X is fitted with the new Garmin G1000H integrated avionics suite and is able to carry a total of five people. Bell Helicopter expects the Jet Ranger X to make its first flight by the end of 2014.