– by Philip Smart
Australian Helicopter Industry Association president Peter Crook and aviation identity Grant Kenny have become the first Australians to fly the Bell 505 Jetranger X, at a function held as part of the US Helicopter Association International Heli Expo exhibition in Dallas, Texas this week.
Crook and Kenny were members of the Bell Customer Advisory Council (CAC), a team of 15 aviation specialists from around the world invited to have input in to the design of the 505.
“This was a unique programme which started with a blank sheet in November 2011 to the delivery of the first machine to Scott Urschel of Pylon Aviation on 7 March,” Crook said.
To celebrate the first 505 delivery Bell invited members of the CAC to its flight training academy at Hurst, Fort Worth, near Dallas. Visitors toured the refurbished training facility, received a presentation on the milestones of the CAC design process and were then invited to fly the Bell 505.
“The day was a fitting end to what was an incredible programme,” Crook said.