Bell Textron announced new equipment enhancements across its current in-production commercial aircraft during Helicopter Association International’s annual Heli-Expo in Anaheim, California. “Bell is committed to incorporating the latest technologies into our products to further improve the performance, cost of operations and support the lifecycle of aircraft,” said Susan Griffin, executive vice president, Commercial Business. “Ensuring we have the newest developments on board is core to our business and we are proud to offer newly certified solutions this year across our current product line. As we continue to invest in new technologies, Bell is growing our aftermarket service offerings and global presence.”
The following enhancements are available for new commercial aircraft and retrofittable across legacy commercial aircraft.
–Bell 505 Jet Ranger X: The Bell 505 delivers unmatched cost of operation and is the most mission adaptable aircraft in the short light single market. As a testament to the Bell 505’s mission versatility, the aircraft is currently performing corporate, helicopter emergency services, public safety, tourism and electronic news gathering across 50 countries worldwide. The Garmin G1000H NXi Flight Deck is now standard equipment for 2020 production aircraft or available for retrofit on existing Bell 505s, delivering enhanced situational awareness and reduced pilot workload.
–Bell 407GXi: Following FAA certification for single-pilot Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) and Bell Autopilot – 3rd Axis, the Bell 407GXi’s new IFR capability allows all-weather operations while continuing to provide multi-mission capabilities reliably and effectively. The Bell 407GXi offers the lowest direct operating costs of any IFR-capable helicopter on the market today.
As innovators and a leader in smart, digital vertical-lift aircraft, Bell is the first OEM to certify a Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) for a light single-engine aircraft. HUMS monitoring covers drive system, engine, rotors, and it provides estimates of remaining useful life to help bring predictability to maintenance needs.
Additionally, the Precise Flight Pulselite system will now be included as standard equipment on all new Bell 407GXi aircraft. When enabled, the Pulselite system alternately pulses the landing and taxi lights to enhance the visibility of the aircraft to traffic and birds. The Pulselite system has a direct impact on reducing the number of bird strikes and is available by Bell as an aftermarket installation.
–Bell 429 and Bell SUBARU 412EPX: All Bell Subaru Bell 412EPX and Bell 429 aircraft now feature the second-generation BasilXPro avionic suites produced by Astronautics. The new Avionics come with several enhancements, most notably being nearly three pounds lighter per display unit, lower power consumption, expanded route mapping with five levels of declutter and a two-second power-up time.
–Bell 525 Relentless: The first production-representative Bell 525, fitted with an oil-and-gas interior will make its first Heli-Expo debut. The Bell 525 has made significant strides in flight test activity, completing major development testing requirements. The program is transitioning to certification flight testing. The Bell 525 delivers a generational leap forward with fly-by-wire which greatly increases safety through reduced pilot workload and enhanced situational awareness. The Bell 525 is powered by two 1,800-shp GE Aviation GE CT7-2F1 engines which received FAA type certification in Fall 2019.