Bell Textron Inc. announced the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the Bell 407GXi helicopter.
The certification is a requirement for the U.S. Navy Advanced Helicopter Training System (AHTS) competition, enabling the 407GXi to replace the Bell TH-57 Sea Ranger as the Navy’s training helicopter. Bell submitted its proposal to the Navy on April 2 this year with the Navy seeking to acquire 130 aircraft.
The helicopter’s new IFR capability will allow all-weather operations while continuing to provide multi-mission capability safely, reliably, and effectively.
“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,” said Mitch Snyder, president and CEO. “Bell is an instrumental part of the Navy’s training program and has been for more than 50 years, and we look forward to continuing the tradition for the next generation of Naval Aviators.”
Bell announced earlier that should the Bell 407GXi be selected for the Navy Advanced Helicopter Trainer program, the company plans to conduct final assembly of the aircraft in Ozark, Alabama.
The Bell 407GXi is outfitted with the new Rolls-Royce M250-C47E/4 dual channel FADEC turbine engine, delivering good hot and high performance, fuel efficiency and the ability to cruise at 133 kts/246 km/h.
The aircraft also features Garmin’s G1000H NXi Integrated Flight Deck, which delivers enhanced situational awareness and reduces pilot workload by delivering information at a glance, such as Helicopter Synthetic Vision Technology with Terrain and Obstacle Warning, improving safety for the future of naval flight training.
There are more than 1,600 Bell 407s globally and these aircraft have nearly 6 million flight hours across the fleet and are actively performing flight training as well as military and para-public missions helicopter mission-set. The 407 airframe has already proven capabilities as the platform for the MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter for the U.S. Navy.