Bell Helicopter, a Textron Company (NYSE: TXT) announced China STAR AERO Investment, Ltd., (China STAR AERO) signed purchase agreements for three Bell 505 Jet Ranger XTM aircraft at Heli-Expo 2014. This was part of the nearly 200 total agreements announced at the end of the show. The agreement with China STAR AERO has an option to purchase up to seven additional aircraft.
China STAR AERO will use the new aircraft as part of the “Beautiful China” tourism campaign by launching an aerial sightseeing initiative supported by China’s central government. China STAR AERO is considered a key strategic partner in this endeavor.
“We are very pleased that China STAR AERO has chosen the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X as the aircraft of choice for their new business venture,” said Chris Jaran, Bell Helicopter’s managing director for China. “Their endorsement of the aircraft is another data point reinforcing our decision to re-enter the short light single market with a high-performance, high-value aircraft.”
China STAR AERO Group is focused on the growth and development of the aviation industry in China. The organization specializes in aircraft sales and leasing and uses their existing fixed wing and rotorcraft fleet in a variety of markets including aerial tours, advertising and photography. The company is comprised of a number of enterprises and institutions throughout China, all of which are focused on maintaining high levels of customer service and safety in flight related operations.
“We knew the aircraft we chose for this new venture had to be multi-purpose,” said Mr. Li Lei, President of China STAR AERO. “It had to meet our immediate requirements to perform aerial sightseeing tours and have the capability to expand into different missions, as our capabilities grew. We found that solution in the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X.”
The Bell 505 Jet Ranger X is a five-seat, single-engine, turbine helicopter leveraging Bell Helicopter’s proven technology and nearly half a century of experience defining the SLS market with the original Bell JetRanger. 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 the safest and easiest aircraft to fly in its category while still remaining affordably priced. The Bell Jet Ranger’s fully flat floor, increased cabin volume and clam shell doors provide the configuration flexibility needed in today’s market.
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