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Bell chimes in with tech development
Bell has made newly certified technological enhancements available across its full commercial aircraft portfolio.
The Bell 525 Relentless programme has transitioned to certification flight testing.
Read this story in our February 2020 printed issue.

Bell Textron has introduced new equipment enhancements across its current in-production commercial aircraft; they are available for new commercial aircraft and retrofittable across legacy commercial aircraft.

“Bell is committed to incorporating the latest technologies into its products to further improve the performance, cost of operations and support the lifecycle of aircraft,” says executive vice president, commercial business Susan Griffin. “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 its aftermarket service offerings and global presence.”

For the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X, 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.

Following FAA certification for single pilot Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) and Bell Autopilot - third Axis, the Bell 407GXi's new IFR capability allows all weather operations while continuing to provide multi-mission capabilities reliably and effectively. 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, its 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; this has a direct impact on reducing the number of bird strikes. It is available by Bell as an aftermarket installation.

All Bell Subaru Bell 412EPX and Bell 429 aircraft now feature the second-generation BasilXPro avionic suites produced by Astronautics. These are nearly three pounds lighter per display unit, have lower power consumption, expanded route mapping with five levels of declutter and a two-second power-up time. A new executive interior option is also available for the Bell 429, with a contemporary colour scheme and leather and carpeted cabin space options, and the Bell Subaru 412 EPX benefits from a more robust main rotor gearbox dry run capability, increased internal Maximum Gross Weight to 12,200 lbs and mast torque output of +11 per cent at speeds below 60 knots.

The Bell 525 has made significant strides in flight test activity, completing major development testing requirements and 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. It is powered by two 1,800-shp GE Aviation GE CT7-2F1 engines which received FAA type certification in autumn 2019. The first production-representative model is fitted with an oil and gas interior.

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