Garmin has announced that it intends to certify the GFC 600H helicopter flight control system on the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X. The company expects to have the Supplemental Type Certification (STC) for the Bell 505 by the first half of 2020 and plans to make it available through the Bell production line and Garmin authorized dealers for retrofit installations at that time. As previously reported by AVweb, Garmin introduced the GFC 600H in early 2018.
“With the GFC 600H, we’re excited to provide a flight control system for the Bell 505,” said Garmin Vice President of Aviation Sales and Marketing Carl Wolf. “The state-of-the-art GFC 600H combines our expertise in safety-minded technology for helicopters with our industry-leading flight control experience to deliver a system that essentially affords the pilot the option to fly hands-off, which would be unheard of without an autopilot.”
According to Wolf, the GFC 600H was designed to “reduce inflight workload, fatigue and stress levels for helicopter pilots who are often faced with complicated missions in adverse weather conditions or degraded visual environments.” Features include attitude hold, dedicated return-to-level mode, hover assist, overspeed and low-speed protection, the company’s Helicopter Electronic Stability and Protection (H-ESP), a console-mounted mode controller and night vision goggle compatibility.