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ANALYSIS: Mood lifts at Bell as 505 ramps up

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Only a year ago, the mood at Bell Helicopter's civil business looked grim. The company had entered the HAI Heli-Expo a month after reporting a six-year low for civil helicopter deliveries in 2016, against the backdrop of a broader industry downturn that seemed to have no bottom. Moreover, the flagship 525 Relentless test fleet remained grounded months after a fatal crash in July 2016 raised concerns about the super-medium's fly-by-wire control system. Finally, the 505 JetRanger X had still not crossed the first delivery milestone after falling more than a year behind schedule.

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