Bell 407GXi issued FAA instrument rating
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an instrument flight rules (IFR) supplemental type certificate for the Bell 407GXi, a requirement for the helicopter to be considered for the US Navy’s Advanced Helicopter Training System competition.
The Bell 407GXi can now be offered to replace the Bell TH-57 Sea Ranger as the USN’s training helicopter, which the company says that given its capability, ease of transition, and low sustainment costs, is the best value for the navy.
If the 407GXi is selected for the programme, the company plans to conduct final assembly of the aircraft in Ozark, Alabama.
‘The team did a great job ensuring the Bell 407GXi achieved the FAA's IFR certification necessary to meet all of the navy's requirements,’ Mitch Snyder, president and CEO of Bell, said.
‘Bell is an instrumental part of the navy's training programme and has been for more than 50 years, and we look forward to continuing the tradition for the next generation of naval aviators.’
A Bell to Bell aircraft transition would offer a low-risk to the navy by streamlining instructor pilot and maintainer transition training, as well as providing common support equipment and infrastructure, Bell says.
As the baseline platform for the USN’s MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter, the 407 airframe has been proven with the service, it adds.
In excess of 1,600 Bell 407s are flown globally, amounting to some six million flight hours across the fleet, and they are actively performing flight training as well as military and parapublic missions.
The 407GXi's Garmin G1000H NXi flight deck enhances situational awareness and reduces pilot workload by delivering easy-to-read information at a glance, while the aircraft’s new IFR rating will allow all-weather operations.
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