At Heli-Expo 2017, Bell Helicopter and Reignwood Investment, Ltd. Of China signed an amendment to their agreement confirming the purchase and delivery of 50 Bell 505 Jet Ranger X aircraft over three years. This is in addition to 10 Bell 505s previously ordered. With 60 Bell 505s, Reignwood will become the largest 505 operator in the world.
Reignwood will add the 60 Bell 505s to its current fleet of Bell 206, Bell 407GX and Bell 429 helicopters.
Reignwood’s aviation credentials include its role as the strategic partner of Viking Air in China, having committed in 2015 to acquiring 50 of the Canadian firm’s Series 400 Twin Otters, which will undergo completion and, eventually, assembly in China.
The 505 order follows Bell’s announcement in November concerning the expansion of its customer support network in China. Zhenjiang Aerochine Aviation Limited, located in Zhenjiang City, Jiangsu Province, was announced as an Authorized Customer Service Facility (CSF). The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Aerochine Aviation Limited, which was appointed as the official Independent Representative of Bell Helicopter in December 2009 for China, Hong Kong and Macau.
Bell has two other Authorized CSFs in China —Shanghai KingWing General Aviation and Chongqing General Aviation.
Also in November, Bell signed a Framework Agreement with Shaanxi Aviation Industry Development Co. Ltd. (SAIDC) and Xi’an Helicopter Company Ltd. (XHC) to establish a company for the assembly and resale of Bell 407GXP helicopters to government and government-related customers in China. As a part of the agreement, the parties agreed to negotiate a five-year purchase agreement for the purchase by the new company of 100 Bell 407GXP helicopters.