With over 100 Bell 505s already delivered around the world being used for many different missions, the aircraft has now officially made it to Kenya
Earlier this month, Bell Independent Representative, Africair, delivered the first Bell 505 to KIDL Operations in Kenya, one of the fastest growing operators in East Africa specializing in executive transport.
The aircraft was shipped from Bell’s facility in Mirabel, Canada to Africair Helicopter Support Limited (AHSL), a newly established Kenya Civil Aviation Authority Authorized Maintenance Organization where the aircraft was reassembled. This Bell 505 was the first work in the newly established facility, located in Ruiru.
After re-assembly, the Bell 505 was flown by KIDL CEO, Captain Marco Brighetti Wilson Airport in Nairobi to begin VIP transport operations.
Bell is excited that the aircraft has landed in Kenya and looking forward to having many more flying all over the continent.
Also, Bell has announced a cooperative agreement with NASA for an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) flight demonstration in the National Airspace System (NAS) expected to be conducted in 2020.
The cooperative agreement outlines the goal of progressing toward routine commercial UAS operations in the NAS. Bell and Textron Systems, Xwing, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA), plan to demonstrate end-to-end commercial mission operations with Bell’s Autonomous Pod Transport 70 (APT70), which will include integrated Command and Control (C2) and Detect and Avoid (DAA) technologies.
“Bell is proud to continue the collaboration of new VTOL UAS technologies to drive a path toward UAS certification and commercialization,” says Scott Drennan, Bell’s Vice President of Innovation, adding: “We believe the capabilities of our Autonomous Pod Transport, with the support from our team, will enable us to tackle key challenges facing commercial UAS operations today, leading to a successful demonstration.”
Bell will lead the design, development, production and systems integration of APT, while Textron Systems will supply command and control operations, Xwing will provide Detect and Avoid technologies, and CASA will provide weather avoidance technology.