The Bell Helicopter Lafayette Assembly Center is officially open for business in Lafayette, Louisiana, USA, where the company will assemble the new commercial helicopter, the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X.
The Bell 505 is a five-seat, single-engine, turbine helicopter. Bell Helicopter says it has a cruise speed of 125kts, range of 360 nautical miles and useful load of 1,500 lb.
The new 82,300ft², US$26.3m hangar facility is built on a 14.5-acre site. Bell Helicopter will lease the facility from the Lafayette Regional Airport. The project was funded by the State of Louisiana. Bell Helicopter plans to invest US$11.4m in equipment and tooling.
The company is ramping up the hiring process for the facility, and assembly operations are expected to start in 2015 with deliveries to follow in 2016 after certification of the aircraft. The facility is expected to create 115 new jobs in Lafayette.
September 4, 2015