Right on schedule, Turbomeca delivered its first production model Arrius 2R engine to Bell Helicopters this week. The Arrius 2R is a highly innovative helicopter engine in that it is the only turbine within the 500 shp range to feature a dual channel Full Authority Engine Control (FADEC). With more than 7 million flight hours logged for other Arrius engine variants, the 2R will come equipped with an unparalleled level of maturity at entry-into-service. Also, the FADEC system aboard the Arrius 2R will deliver power and performance while at the same time improving safety and lowering pilot workload.
Turbomeca’s delivery to Bell this past week was just the first of many, as Bell looks to utilize the 2R Arrius engine to power its brand new Bell 505 Jet Ranger X line of helicopters. The 505 Jet Ranger X is Bell’s most recent entry in their short light single class, and it was designed with safety, efficiency, and reliability in mind. Powered by Turbomeca’s 2R engine, the 505 Jet Ranger X boasts a take-off power 504 shp and a cruise power of 457 shp.
After a number of successful test flights in 2014 and 2015, Bell has seen a steady increase in demand for the 505 Jet Ranger X. To accommodate for the demand, Bell has invested in an 82,000 square-foot $26.3 million assembly facility in Lafayette, Louisiana that will exclusively manufacture the 505 Jet Ranger X.
Additionally, Turbomeca intends to move its Arrius 2R assembly facilities from France to Dallas, Texas, in order to further streamline the production process for the 505 Jet Ranger X. Bell has already received 350 tentative orders for the 505 Jet Ranger X, so their partnership with Turbomeca will likely go on for the foreseeable future. Bell is currently taking on more orders for the 505 Ranger X, and delivery is expected in early 2016.
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