Bell Textron announced that the Bell 407GXi’s autopilot system how now been officially certified by the United Kingdom’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
Its autopilot system is now receiving global recognition from world-leading authorities.
Patrick Moulay, senior vice president, International Sales for Bell Textron commented on the certification: “We are thrilled to offer the Bell 3-axis autopilot for the Bell 407GXi to our customers in the UK.”
Moulay furthered on the safety and the reduced workload for the pilots: “The system allows for decreased pilot workload and assistance in the event of inadvertent Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IIMC), overall increasing pilot comfort and ease over long distances.”
Bell 407 Capabilities
Bell stated that the newly certified autopilot systems are now available in two and three-axis configurations.
The two-axis version is inclusive of pitch control (altitude hold, IAS hold, and roll control (HDG hold, NAV, vertical navigation mode), and the superior three-axis option will feature a yaw control. Moreover, the system also includes:
- A superior stability augmentation system to automatically recover the aircraft to near-level flight attitude at all speeds in the unlikely event of an unexpected and erratic roll or pitch.
- To allow greater stability and engagement throughout all phases of the flight. Eliminating chances of pilot error.
- Stricter protection of flight envelope and prevent the helicopter from over and under speeding during critical phases of flight.
Options for Existing Owners
Existing owners of the Bell 407, can either stick with the same autopilot system or have the new system installed on the new 407GXIs.
With the autopilot installed, the advanced Garmin avionics are well equipped with a dual-channel FADEC-controlled engine. The American helicopter manufacturer always has high confidence in its workhorse.
The Bell 407GXI is a proven machine. There are currently 1,500 Bell 407s operating globally, across all six continents, with total cumulative flying hours of over six million flights.
Why The Bell 407 is such a popular aircraft?
First of all its advanced flight profile comes at an unbeatable cost. The DOC or the Direct Operating Cost of the Bell 407 is $589 per hour. The Bell 407 seats 7, 6 passengers and 1 pilot. The aircraft flies at a speed of 133 knots and a range of 337 miles.
This, therefore, makes it a viable helicopter for all, both private and commercial usage. Moreover, the 407 can perform various missions, including Public Safety, Utility, HEMS, Corporate, Armed Multi-Role, and Training.
The unrivalled feature that the Bell 407 has, is that it is IFR capable, meaning the aircraft is able to meander through complex cloud structures and navigate turbulent skies, and complete missions despite poor and adverse flying conditions.
The cabin of the Bell 407 is large, and it has the widest cabin door in its class, with more than 100 cubic feet of space for VIP or medical evacuation configuration. These attributes make the Bell 407 such a popular and no-brainer helicopter.