Bell Textron Inc. announced the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the Bell 407GXi. The certification is a requirement for the Navy Advanced Helicopter Training System competition, which would help enable the Bell 407GXi to replace the Bell TH-57 Sea Ranger as the US Navy’s training helicopter.
Bell states its replacement bid offers a combination of capability, ease of transition, and low sustainment costs. Should the Bell 407GXi be selected for the US Navy Advanced Helicopter Trainer program, the company plans to conduct final assembly of the aircraft in Ozark, Alabama.
“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. “Bell is an instrumental part of the Navy’s training program and has been for more than 50 years.”
The company states a Bell to Bell transition offers low-risk to the Navy by streamlining instructor pilot and maintainer transition training, as well as using common support equipment and infrastructure. Bell explains the 407 airframe has proven capabilities as the platform for the MQ-8C Fire Scout for the US Navy.
Supporting more than 1,600 Bell 407s globally, Bell states these aircraft have nearly six million flight hours across the fleet and that its Garmin G1000H NXi Flight Deck enhances situational awareness and reduces pilot workload by delivering easy-to-read information at a glance.
The Bell 407GXi’s new IFR capability, according to the company, will allow all-weather operations while continuing to provide multi-mission capability safely, reliably, and effectively.