Fuel cap on the wrong side? Really? :-P
Yeah, really. Have you flown much where you've done a lot of hot refueling? I have. A "little thing" like having the fuel cap on the copilot side just complicates matters needlessly. Now, after getting a load of hot fuel, how is the pilot supposed to check that the fueler put the cap back on properly? And don't anybody give me grief about how "unsafe" hot refueling is. It is a fact of life in certain helicopter ops, get over it.
The fuel cap location was fine where it was; why change it? That's one puzzle.
And no, not a lot of "bashing" of the new design. Just objective criticism based on experience. See, if the 505 were the very *first* five-seat turbine helicopter to ever be invented, I'd probably be ooh-ing and ahh-ing over it just like so many of the Bell acolytes are.
But it's not the first of its type. In fact, we have plenty of other yardsticks we can use to measure the 505. Bell's own beloved 206, for one...and the R-66 for another.
And yes it's true, not a lot of specs from Bell just yet. Just three shiny models that look for all intensive purposes like real helicopters. And if they are...how come no projected weights? What's the empty weight of the thing going to be, huh? What's the max gross? They tell us that the useful load will be "1500+ pounds" but I'm skeptical of that. Then again, if you took a really, really light, 1700 pound 206B, you could say it has a useful load of 1650 pounds (3350 - 1700). But there aren't any 1700 pound B-models out there anymore...at least, none with radios and seats and paint.
They say that the max speed will be "125+ knots" which is fine, but the 206 has a max speed of 130 knots. "Max Speed" is not cruise speed, after all.
So Bell, what's new? A steel-tube fuselage design "borrowed" from the Bell 47 and some "space-age" aluminum sheet metal materials for the cabin? Come on, can't we do better than that?
I see that Adam32 has also responded to this thread as I was typing this post. And I'm inclined to agree with him: I'm beginning to doubt that Bell will actually produce the 505 in its current form. They'll probably "rethink" their position and come to their senses. Because I think they're going to need more than 100 orders to start up production.