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Bell Helicopter Opens Bell 505 Jet Ranger X Assembly Plant Lafayette, La

August 28, 2015 - Bell Helicopter announced the Bell Helicopter Lafayette Assembly Center is officially open for business in Lafayette, La., where the company will assemble the new commercial helicopter, the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X.

The new 82,300-square-foot, $26.3 million hangar facility is built on a 14.5 acre site and Bell Helicopter will lease the facility from the Lafayette Regional Airport. The project was funded by the State of Louisiana and the company plans to invest $11.4 million in equipment and tooling.

Bell Helicopter is ramping up the hiring process for the facility, and assembly operations are expected to start early this year with deliveries to follow in 2016 after certification of the aircraft. The facility is expected to create 115 new jobs in Lafayette.


“The Bell 505 Jet Ranger X is priced to compete and offers an exceptional combination of value, performance and features available on the market,” said Garrison. “We look forward to delivering this aircraft to our customers around the world and want to thank the state of Louisiana and Lafayette parish for going above and beyond to support our business.”

To date, Bell Helicopter has received more than 350 letters of intent from around the globe for the Bell 505. The five-seat, single-engine, turbine helicopter leverages Bell Helicopter’s technology and nearly half a century of experience defining the short light single market with the original Bell Jet Ranger.

“We are excited to have successfully reached this milestone of the facility opening, and our proud to share in this moment with our customers, employees, suppliers and the Lafayette community,” said Paul Watts, general manager of the Bell Helicopter Lafayette Aircraft Assembly Center. “This advances us one step closer to production and delivery of this aircraft.”



With a cruise speed of 125 knots, range of 360 nautical miles and useful load of 1,500 pounds, the Bell 505 is designed to be safe and easy to fly while remaining affordably priced. 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 Garmin G1000H Integrated Avionics Suite provides pilots critical flight information at a glance to maximize situational awareness. Pilot workload is further reduced by the Turbomeca Arrius 2R engine with dual channel Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC).

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