Bell sees China as the brightest spot in its Asian universe as a recent burst of orders looks set to triple its in-country fleet to nearly 400 helicopters from 120 today.

The orders will launch a wave of investment in infrastructure as Bell develops in-country capabilities to support new customers, from completions and delivery through maintenance, repair and training.

Two helicopters have sparked this burst of activity: The refreshed 407GXP light single with Garmin glass cockpit, and the brand new Bell 505 Jet Ranger X light single. Shaanxi Helicopter Co., has ordered 100 Bell 407GXPs, and Reignwood International Investments has signed for 110 Bell 505s, becoming the exclusive distributor in China for that type.

“These products hit the right point on the price/performance charts,” says Jose Jacinto Monge, the company’s managing director for China. He noted that the new types fit right in to China’s emerging requirements for emergency medical helicopters, utility work and aerial tourism.

At the same time, despite China’s austerity measures, there is a growing demand for corporate and air taxi helicopters.

The first two 407GXPs for Shaanxi have been delivered. Most to be handed over through 2018 will be in air ambulance configuration, says Monge, and outfitted by a U.S. specialist. Helicopters in the order will also be applied to emergency search, forest fire control, police enforcement, tourism and public transport, depending on the needs of Shaanxi province.

Bell Helicopter’s fleet in mainland China at the end of 2017 comprised 60 407s, 41 Jet Rangers/Long Rangers, 15 twin-engine 429s, and five other various types, according to the latest Helicopter Fleet Report by Hong Kong consultants Asian Sky Group. Bell, and its parent, Textron Aviation, are here in the static display and at Chalet 10.

Monge notes that China now has about 600 civil-use helicopters, “and with growth of about 15% a year that should soon top 1,000. It’s not a small market by any means.”