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Bell 505 Jet Ranger X

Triton

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Skyblazer said:
Don't forget Bell sold to Agusta the civil tiltrotor activity, which could have been an interesting area of innovation. Don't forget they purchased one of the few promising VTOL programs, the X-Hawk, only to kill it later on. All the slightly innovative programs they introduced over the past 20 years didn't amount to much. Contrary to Sikorsky, who have never ceased to innovate (Cypher/Dragon Warrior, S-92, Speedhawk, "Stealth Hawk", etc.) the way I see it is that Bell has chosen to be a conservative company who seems to be mainly concerned to stay afloat by keeping the V-22 and Cobra programs going, while vaguely trying to keep a share of the civilian market, not out of a genuine interest for it but for fear they might lose the segment for good... It takes only the total lack of willingness to communicate with the public at the Paris Air Show last year to understand that.
I don't know enough of the history of the 609 program to understand why Boeing left the joint venture, Agusta came in, and why Bell Helicopter sold its remaining interest in the 609 to AgustaWestland. It does seem very odd considering Bell Helicopter's decades-long investment studying tiltrotors and tiltfans. I was very surprised that Bell Helicopter's proposal for JMR Medium was a new tiltrotor design, the V-280 Valor. I am even more surprised by the rumors of a civilian V-280.

The conservatism, profit-taking, and lack of innovation at Bell Helicopter explains the existence of AVX Aircraft.
 

TomS

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Skyblazer said:
Contrary to Sikorsky, who have never ceased to innovate (Cypher/Dragon Warrior, S-92, Speedhawk, "Stealth Hawk", etc.)
Speedhawk has nothing to do with Sikorsky -- it's a Piasecki project that happens to use a Sikorsky airframe.
 

yasotay

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Triton said:
Skyblazer said:
Don't forget Bell sold to Agusta the civil tiltrotor activity, which could have been an interesting area of innovation. Don't forget they purchased one of the few promising VTOL programs, the X-Hawk, only to kill it later on. All the slightly innovative programs they introduced over the past 20 years didn't amount to much. Contrary to Sikorsky, who have never ceased to innovate (Cypher/Dragon Warrior, S-92, Speedhawk, "Stealth Hawk", etc.) the way I see it is that Bell has chosen to be a conservative company who seems to be mainly concerned to stay afloat by keeping the V-22 and Cobra programs going, while vaguely trying to keep a share of the civilian market, not out of a genuine interest for it but for fear they might lose the segment for good... It takes only the total lack of willingness to communicate with the public at the Paris Air Show last year to understand that.
I don't know enough of the history of the 609 program to understand why Boeing left the joint venture, Agusta came in, and why Bell Helicopter sold its remaining interest in the 609 to AgustaWestland. It does seem very odd considering Bell Helicopter's decades-long investment studying tiltrotors and tiltfans. I was very surprised that Bell Helicopter's proposal for JMR Medium was a new tiltrotor design, the V-280 Valor. I am even more surprised by the rumors of a civilian V-280.

The conservatism, profit-taking, and lack of innovation at Bell Helicopter explains the existence of AVX Aircraft.
Recall that Bell is a subsidiary of Textron. Textron is not into risk at all. So Bell is not the generator of conservatism in their efforts. Now if the 609 experiment hits pay dirt, anticipate the Bell/Cessna team to jump back into the civil tilt rotor arena. Until then the baseline Bell civil effort will minimize risk toward what turns a profit. 525 is about as racy as it is going to get for Bell.
Hey Triton! Don’t bring practicality into an aesthetics discussion!! :p
Now if you want to bring tilt rotors into it the 609 is pure sex. It deserves to be Italian.
 

Triton

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yasotay said:
Hey Triton! Don’t bring practicality into an aesthetics discussion!! :p
Now if you want to bring tilt rotors into it the 609 is pure sex. It deserves to be Italian.
LOL! ;)
 

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yasotay said:
Now if you want to bring tilt rotors into it the 609 is pure sex. It deserves to be Italian.
Couldn't agree more!!! ROTFL
 

Triton

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I have to say that I am most annoyed with the design of aircraft and helicopters for motion pictures and video games. Most designers and illustrators are totally ignorant of physics, aerodynamics, and engineering. Function typically follows form in their designs and they usually lack credibility.
 

Triton

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The comments concerning the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X do beg the question "Does Bell deliver in the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X what the customer wants, or think he wants, at a price he is willing to pay?" Whether a vehicle is beautiful or ugly is such a subjective thing and a matter of taste. I believe it is a rather pointless thing to argue about. Skyblazer doesn't like the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X and that's OK. I want mine in blue.
 

yasotay

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Triton said:
The comments concerning the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X do beg the question "Does Bell deliver in the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X what the customer wants, or think he wants, at a price he is willing to pay?" Whether a vehicle is beautiful or ugly is such a subjective thing and a matter of taste. I believe it is a rather pointless thing to argue about. Skyblazer doesn't like the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X and that's OK. I want mine in blue.
Bell is trying to get back into a market that a former Bell Engineer flatly owns. I am not enamored with the looks of the 505, but their customer survey likely told them what to prioritze for a light turbine. I suspect better visibility was high on the list.
 

Triton

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yasotay said:
Bell is trying to get back into a market that a former Bell Engineer flatly owns. I am not enamored with the looks of the 505, but their customer survey likely told them what to prioritze for a light turbine. I suspect better visibility was high on the list.
I guess that they couldn't provide better visibility in the 505 while retaining the classic design lines of the 206?
 

yasotay

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Triton said:
yasotay said:
Bell is trying to get back into a market that a former Bell Engineer flatly owns. I am not enamored with the looks of the 505, but their customer survey likely told them what to prioritze for a light turbine. I suspect better visibility was high on the list.
I guess that they couldn't provide better visibility in the 505 while retaining the classic design lines of the 206?
Weight = $$. More weight = more $$. Aesthetics come in well below $$. Having flown the classic it does impinge on your visibility forward, and since they have decided you can put the battery somewhere else, the snout is redundant (thus < weight)
 

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"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion." -Francis Bacon
 

marauder2048

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Triton said:
Perhaps the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X should have looked more like the Marenco Swisshelicopter SKYe SH09?
Which is in a price/capability segment that's roughly 2-3x what Bell is targeting.
 

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Triton said:
I have to say that I am most annoyed with the design of aircraft and helicopters for motion pictures and video games. Most designers and illustrators are totally ignorant of physics, aerodynamics, and engineering. Function typically follows form in their designs and they usually lack credibility.
You can thank the directors. Wouldn't matter if they had Kelly Johnson designing the toys and doing the animation, the first time he made them behave realistically the director's eyes would bug out and he'd scream, "MOAR SPEED MOAR G'S WE NEED DRAMA!!!"
 

marauder2048

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sferrin said:
You can thank the directors. Wouldn't matter if they had Kelly Johnson designing the toys and doing the animation, the first time he made them behave realistically the director's eyes would bug out and he'd scream, "MOAR SPEED MOAR G'S WE NEED DRAMA!!!"
Reminds me of what the Top Gun instructors were telling the late Tony Scott when it came to filming the air-to-air engagements.
 

Triton

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Would the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X have more fans if Bell had built this JRX concept from 2002?

Source:
http://www.aviafora.com/forums/forum/helicopter-fora/general-discussions/580-heli-expo-2014

"Bell's new JRX may replace JetRanger"
19 February 2002

Source:
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/bell39s-new-jrx-may-replace-jetranger-143282/

New entry-level helicopter is part of "Vision 2020" plan

Bell has revealed outline details of the JRX, a concept study aimed at a possible entry-level successor to the ubiquitous 206B JetRanger which has been in production since 1973.

Despite revealing the study at Heli Expo, Bell is tight-lipped about the JRX concept, which is being evaluated as part of the company's "Vision 2020" production plan. This ranges across indigenous designs as well as those in development with Bell/Agusta Aerospace such as the AB139 and BA609 tiltrotor, and forms the blueprint for the next four to five years' production plan, says Bell chairman and president John Murphey.

"Bell needs an entry-level aircraft to take the place of the JetRanger," says Murphey, who cautions that the study does not mean the end of today's 206. "There is no intent to let the 206 vanish into history. There is still a very small group of customers that want new JetRangers - but the biggest competition is increasingly used JetRangers," he adds.

The JRX study will focus on market reaction to a low operating cost, single turbine helicopter with larger windows, a modernised, wider cabin and a state-of-the-art cockpit. "We need to understand what the market wants," says Murphey, adding that the results will be fed into the 2020-plan by year-end.

As part of the plan, Murphey says Bell/Agusta is weighing up options for a US AB139 final assembly line to augment the line in Italy. "It could happen quickly...it is our full intent to bring AB139 production to the US," he adds, saying the option is based on a simple, modular final assembly concept. "There would be no need for duplication of detailed fabrication stages," Murphey adds.

The US line, if sanctioned, would specialise in completion of customer unique configurations, painting and other tasks, predominantly for the North American market. Murphey believes the line would be busy due to the AB139's potential in the special operations, security service utility and emergency medical service (EMS) markets.

The move could also politically support Bell/Agusta's plan to offer the AB139 for the US Coast Guard's highly competitive future search and rescue helicopter requirement.

The 2020-plan also includes potential upgrades to boost the popularity and performance of the slow-selling 427 which, to date, has amassed only 20 sales against more than 500 for its 407 stablemate. "That is a production introduction that's been disappointing," admits Murphey who says an improved high altitude performance package, an EMS configuration and instrument flight rules upgrade are now being studied./quote]
 

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Triton

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I believe that we will see a lot of innovation in avionics, aircraft interiors including seating and IFE, and engine technology. Those expecting innovation in aerodynamic shapes, I believe, will be disappointed. This Thales Avionics 2020 for Helicopters concept perhaps being an indication of the future of civil helicopter avionics.

http://www.aviafora.com/forums/forum/helicopter-fora/general-discussions/580-heli-expo-2014
https://www.thalesgroup.com/en/worldwide/aerospace/press-release/thales-unveils-avionics-2020-helicopters
 

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Stargazer2006

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Triton said:
Would the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X have more fans if Bell had built this JRX concept from 2002?
I for one was a fan of the JRX proposal, which seemed like the perfect 21st century evolution of the original JetRanger design. Bell had a superb helicopter whose basic design has never ceased to evolve up to now (see the ill-fated ARX/H-70 and the most recent unmanned helicopter proposals), and so it seems totally illogical to offer something that uses the name but has nothing in common with that product line and which, despite carrying a higher number and an "X" (which could mean "10" or "eXperimental") is a low-down entry-market product.

And to all those who have derided my insistance on looks as a totally unimportant factor, I can only say this: we are not dealing with a military type here, but a commercial one. It would be terribly naive to believe that people buy cars, motorbikes, refrigerators, ovens and so forth with no consideration for looks... When a customer is faced with a choice of several rather similar products, looks is usually the one factor that will make the difference.
 

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Given that Bell has been losing marketshare to things like the EC120 and the Robinson R66, it's pretty safe to say that looks aren't driving procurements.
 

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We had the discussion about the look, or better design of aircraft before
( http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,17730.msg171679.html#msg171679 ),
with the result, that even military procurement decisions aren't totally independent of
the look of an aircraft.

Skyblazer said:
...and so it seems totally illogical to offer something that uses the name but has nothing in common with that product line
Why change a well known name of a succesful product ? Because it isn't the same product, that it was
decades ago ? Have a look at the Volkswagen Golf, or Rabbit as it is known in the USA. The nowadays
version surely has nothing in common anymore with the original one, besides maybe its place in the
product line, but Volkswagen is sticking to this name.
For Bell it may be the same. Technically a new aircraft, but replacing the old Jet Ranger in the product
line, so why not give it the same name ?
 

Stargazer2006

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Jemiba said:
Why change a well known name of a succesful product ? Because it isn't the same product, that it was decades ago ? Have a look at the Volkswagen Golf, or Rabbit as it is known in the USA. The nowadays version surely has nothing in common anymore with the original one, besides maybe its place in the product line, but Volkswagen is sticking to this name.
For Bell it may be the same. Technically a new aircraft, but replacing the old Jet Ranger in the product line, so why not give it the same name ?
If the product is indeed a replacement, I agree. But unless I'm mistaken it seems that the 505 is more basic compared to what the 206 was, more like a Bell 47 in its time (the 525 Relentless being on the higher end). If it is so, then the 505 is not a replacement product of the 206 at all!
A Volkswagen Golf (or any other car for that matter) that reuses an old name is usually beefed up and much more equipped than its eponymous forerunners, not a cheaper, more basic model!
 

Triton

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I've read that the Bell 407 was the intended replacement for the 206 family and derived from the 206 LongRanger. Bell also planned a civilian version of the ARH-70 to be designated the Bell 417, but this product was cancelled at Heli-Expo 2007.
 

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Triton said:
I've read that the Bell 407 was the intended replacement for the 206 family and derived from the 206 LongRanger. Bell also planned a civilian version of the ARH-70 to be designated the Bell 417, but this product was cancelled at Heli-Expo 2007.
Yes, all of these products were to be evolved from the JetRanger. It's as if the new management at Bell said: "Let's work from a clean slate and forget about the existing products and every program previously in development."

The 417 was indeed a commercial version of the 445 (ARH-70A) and it was a fine product!I don't know why they decided to cancel it — though I presume its existence relied largely on whether the Arapaho was to be produced or not, for matters of commonality and reduced costs. Once the ARH was given the axe, Bell could not make the 417 commercially viable.
 

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Triton

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The proposed Bell MAPL (Modular Affordable Product Line) product line certainly was attractive.








Source:
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,15327.msg15813.html#msg15813
 

Stargazer2006

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Triton said:
The proposed Bell MAPL (Modular Affordable Product Line) product line certainly was attractive.
It was! But it didn't get past the drawing stage I think. The top drawing depicts the MAPL 351, the bottom one the MAPL 382 (I never knew for sure if these designations fitted in the Model series as "Model 351" and "Model 382" or not). I'm attaching an extra MAPL image, but if a moderator sees it more fit to move these elsewhere, I'll understand).
 

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Triton

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Skyblazer, if I caused you offense by my comments, I wish to apologize. Sorry, one of my pet peeves is concept artwork and product design in which function follows form. The worst offenders are video/computer games and motion pictures.
 

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Stargazer2006

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Triton said:
Skyblazer, if I caused you offense by my comments, I wish to apologize. Sorry, one of my pet peeves is concept artwork and product design in which function follows form. The worst offenders are video/computer games and motion pictures.
Not to worry, Triton, but thanks for the thought. I simply was frustrated to hear that the aesthetics side of things was considered by some as irrelevant... and in general I'm always a bit irate when the interest of the shareholders comes before that of the customers in the order of priorities! This only-too-frequent switch of priorities from creating products to suit customers' tastes to NOT creating products BECAUSE of shareholders' concerns just shows (in my humble opinion) how screwed up a society we have become... and I applaud companies who do not seek to be on the stock exchange, because that often means having to sell your soul... On the other hand I'm not naive, I know that major aerospace companies simply are too big to do without it, and therefore must be accountable to shareholders. But when it's financiers and stockholders that dictate what products a company should market, then it seems wrong to me. If there had been such an involvement/infringement in the early days of aviation, many highly risky ventures such as the DC-1, the 367-80 (707 prototype), even the Blackbird and others in later years may never have existed!
 

Triton

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Bell promotional video for the 505 Jet Ranger X.

Published on Apr 2, 2015

https://youtu.be/fHwDThJI6ho
 

Triton

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Published on Nov 17, 2014

The first Bell 505 Jet Ranger X logged a 30-minute maiden flight on November 10th from the company’s manufacturing facility in Mirabel, Québec.

https://youtu.be/4Xgs6nWdylM
 

Triton

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New Bell Jet Ranger Helicopter at the Festival of Speed

Published on Jul 23, 2014

https://youtu.be/N4rgv0XYZhc
 

Triton

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Published on Jan 23, 2015

A behind the scenes look at the manpower that went in to the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X's first flight.

https://youtu.be/VM6FEdNhtfM
 

Mark Nankivil

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Good Day All -

This past week our family took a vacation to Colorado and while driving up to ride the Royal Gorge Train, we passed by the airport at Florence, Colorado where I noticed a Fouga Magister on the ramp. As we drove closer to the ramp, I saw what turned out to be Bell 505 C-FTVI on the ramp prepping for a test flight. I was able to take the following photos before it flew out of photo range.

Interesting to see that the horizontal stabilizer is positioned as it is as in early photos it was located fully aft by the vertical stabilizer.

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

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Sundog

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Nice catch! Thanks for the pics.
 

Stargazer2006

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Nice coincidence... Thanks for the beautiful pics!
 

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Nice catch and nice pictures, Mark, you have a great eye.
 

Triton

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Bell 505 Jet Ranger X Flight Test Vehicle #3 First Flight

Published on Jul 20, 2015

A major milestone has been accomplished for the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X program with its successful first flight of the Flight Test Vehicle #3 on July 16, 2015.

https://youtu.be/DpagNtA3EYo
 
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