Bell Helicopter has secured US Federal Aviation Administration approval for its 505 Jet Ranger X, six months after gaining initial type certification from Transport Canada.

The validation opens up one of the biggest markets for the short-light-single, which Bell produces at its site in Mirabel, Canada.

Although it has still to obtain certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency, Bell indicates that such an approval is “imminent”.

Bell 505 - Bell Helicopter

Bell Helicopter

The airframer is now working to convert the hundreds of letters of intent signed for the 505 into firm orders.

Chief executive Mitch Snyder says it has seen a “really healthy” rate of conversion so far, although he declines to offer specific figures.