Bahrain’s Air Force Adopts Bell 505s For Rotary Wing Training Mission

Bahrain's 505s at Bell's Mirabel facility in Montreal.

Credit: Bell

Bahrain’s air force has joined a growing list of armed forces adopting Bell’s 505 single-engine turbine helicopter for rotary wing training. 

Bell revealed on March 15 that it had delivered three Model 505 JetRanger X helicopters to Bahrain from a previously unannounced order during a Feb. 15 ceremony at its Mirabel facility in Montreal. 

The Bell 505 has already secured several orders as a military training helicopter as nations seek a modern aircraft with advanced avionics to train rotary wing pilots for new generation rotorcraft. 

Bell officials say Bahrain’s order is its first for the aircraft. The order also includes a training package, tooling and spares to support maintenance. 

The 505 delivery emerges just weeks after Bell announced it had handed over the last of Bahrain’s new fleet of 12 AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters in February. Bahrain has previously flown the AH-1F Cobra and Bell’s 212 platforms. 

Bell says the 505 is being quickly adopted by Middle Eastern air forces for rotary wing training. The Horizon International Flight Academy in the UAE is operating 12 Bell 505s and the Royal Jordanian Air Force signed up to purchase 10 Model 505s in November. Horizon’s academy trains all the UAE’s military rotary wing pilots. The Model 505 has also been adopted by the Montenegro Air Force and the Republic of Korea Army and Navy.

Tony Osborne

Based in London, Tony covers European defense programs. Prior to joining Aviation Week in November 2012, Tony was at Shephard Media Group where he was deputy editor for Rotorhub and Defence Helicopter magazines.