Bell believes its 505 Jet Ranger X can take market share from the larger Airbus Helicopters H125, as deliveries of the new light-single ramp up.
Speaking at the Helitech show in Amsterdam on 16 October, Patrick Moulay, Bell's senior vice-president of international business, said that prior to the arrival of the 505 in late 2016, the company did not have "a good product" to address the utility market.
Moulay argues that so far the 505 has gained market share from the 1.2t Robinson R66 and 1.7t H120 – the latter axed by Airbus Helicopters late last year – but thinks it can also take customers away from the heavier 2.25t H125.
"The H125 has been the leader for a number of years, but I think the 505 can replace many of the missions flown by it," he says.
"Why would you buy a H125 to do pipeline inspection when you could do that with a 505? That's a market that we want to replace."
Key to addressing the utility market will be European certification for the addition of a cargo hook to the Jet Ranger X – an approval already granted by the authorities in Canada and the USA.
Moulay declines to detail the number of 505 deliveries so far this year, but notes that it passed the 100-unit milestone in June 2018. Flight Fleets Analyzer lists a total of 121 examples of the Safran Helicopter Engines Arrius 2R-powered rotorcraft in service.
US Federal Aviation Administration approval was achieved in June 2018, six months after initial type certification was granted by Transport Canada.