Bell Textron has received certification from the United Kingdom’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for the Bell 407GXi three-axis autopilot. According to the company, the autopilot is available in a two-axis version that includes pitch control and roll control and the three-axis version that adds yaw control. The system also comes equipped with a stability augmentation system and envelope protection.
“We are thrilled to offer the Bell 3-axis autopilot for the Bell 407GXi to our customers in the U.K.,” said Patrick Moulay, Bell senior vice president for international sales. “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.”
In addition to being offered on new 407GXi helicopters, the autopilot system will also be available as a retrofit. The IFR-capable Bell 407GXi has a top cruise speed of 133 knots, 337-NM range and is capable of carrying up to seven people. Bell reports that there are currently around 1,500 407s in operation around the world with the fleet totaling more than six million flight hours.