T'was most impressed with the unveiling of the 407GX and the 407AH today, cool music and so forth. WIll post up pics and video when back from Orlando.
Looks like Bell is fighting its way back then I guess however the cynics would say it was like the Bell 417 and ARH-70A ghost coming out of the cupboard albeit in a different form but the same nontheless.
Just back from HeliExpo. Did a demo flight in the 407GX and talked to various Bell personnel. What I thought I heard:
> Base price of GX with G1000H about $2.8mm, said to be about $150K more than analog version, but includes much more. Must add to this other desired kits. Estimated (by me) delivery price of a completed helicopter in the $3.2-$3.3mm zone for "corporate" configuration. Both versions to be available for some period of time.
> First available delivery position end of 2011 (some orders already taken).
IMHO this transforms the helicopter. While the G1000H includes substantial "whytech" (features that are easy and cheap to do given that the platform overhead is already paid for but are irrelevant on a VFR light helicopter so why bother) it is overall stunning and the whytech portions are highly addictive irrespective of utility. I want one!
Also talked with Roger Hoh, developer of the Cobham/Chelton HeliSAS. He stated that the STC for the 206/407 has been approved by the FAA and installations should begin soon. The Bell 407GX demo ship had a HeliSAS installed.
EN48, could you describe the demo flight? I'm curious as to the length and what they would have been able to demonstrate on what I imagine must have been a short flight....
Did they mention anything about IFR certification? The Bell pilot I spoke to said it was possible and he could not see why they would not do it, I guess with the G1000H all they need should be another power source as the G1000 already has redundancy built in (two displays and 2 computers*)
IFR in VMC (marginal VFR or night) would be great, including IFR flight plans.
* I assume 2 computers based on typical G1000 spec.
Bell and Eurocopter were conducting demo flights of several types of helicopters from a field behind the convention center. Flight lasted about 30 min with route in vicinity of convention center. Pilot was well versed on G1000H features but not so much on some of the technical details. In order to get a demo flight, one had to do a short (10 minutes) briefing on using the G1000H at the G1000H demonstrator in the Bell exhibit area. If one knows the G500, the G1000 basics are pretty simple.
The issue for IFR is not so much the avionics as it is airframe related features. I am told that the FAA requires redundant hydraulic and electrical systems and a sophisticated autopilot among other things for SPIFR, and that the cost of designing and certifying the FAA required capability would be cost prohibitive in the B407. AFAIK, for these and possibly other reasons there are no light single engine helicopters currently in production which are certified for IFR in the U.S. In the past a handful of 206's and I think 3 407's have been certified possibly through the STC route, but I am told that the FAA would not allow this again. There are others here who will know more about the certification requirements.
To see the certification requirements, look to Appendix B of Part 27. These are the same for any Part 27 helicopter - whether single or twin.
ICAO Annex 6 Part III also has standards for flying in IMC in Performance Class 3. These are contained in Section II Chapter 3.4, Appendix 2 and Attachment H. These SARPs are for CAT but give some indication of what might be required.
Unlike some views expressed in this and other threads, this is not a trivial issue.
Has anyone had the pleasure of flying the new GX yet,
How would you compare the experience between the 407 vs the 407GX?
I took it on two test flights and it handled like a dream, the only draw back was that it was a local flight which on lasted 45minutes, we did some hovering, circuit, a few autorotation into the Textron Mirabel plant (my Bell test pilot Bruce was someone you can learn from inside and outside ahy helicopter. The other flight was left seat at heli expo 2012, very short flight straight and level (but then again beggars can't be choosers)
If you can share any of your experiences or stories would love to hear them. Hopin one day that will be my next sled...:
I have just completed a demo your of the UK in a GX, the 407 has really been reborn with the GX, the G1000 screens are very easy to use with easy of use and pilot friendly layout, sadly all analogue dashes look very old after, pm me if you would like more info or pictures
I have been flying a GX since late January -- the one word that comes to mind is "fantastic!" Previously I flew a legacy 407.
Faster to get launched as flight plan info is entered prior to start, much simplified power management with the single limit display, fantastic SA info flying in the mountains. The HITS boxes are wonderful flying under a low ceiling over the water.
We have had zero issues with the G1000 installation, and we were one of the first few GX ships delivered - Bell and Garmin really did their homework.
I love flying with the G500. So simple to use once you have had a little practice.Truth is I ever imagine flying without a glass cockpit in the future. Have only flown the 407GX on a test flight. Will be getting the GX next month. Will keep you posted then but from what little I experienced during my two separate test flights the G1000 seems to reduce a lot of the pilot work load. Will check back and give a better report once I have logged more hours. 47Guy's where are you located in Canada?
I am not him, but I have a few years of G500/600 fixed wing experience. G500H is an improvement on the navigation side, but loses all the benefits of the engine/airframe integration of G1000. Things like the single limit power display, big instrument page, FADEC information, tail camera, elimination of the old engine gauges, the clean-up of the panel, plus HITS boxes, larger displays, etc.
Here is the GX panel:
Last edited by GeorgeMandes; 17th Sep 2012 at 04:26.
George Mandes what was the reason for adding the Garmin 696 in the centre console? What extra information to you get from it? now that you have it would you do it again? if you have the choice would you have chosen the new Aera 796??
Thanks in advance for your reply since I will be adding some other avionics and want to know what would be the best combination and solution for me.
Also why do you have the right side fixed cargo mirror on the helicopter? are you using the machine with a cargo hook?
We are able to download detailed topo information, like river and lake names, and display it on the the 696 for use in Alaska. Also, since we had a wx weather antenna, it was a cost effective way to get XM weather when in lower 48. We prefer the 696 because it works with flight gloves, unlike the 796, and also like the dedicated buttons on the 696. The GX install is so clean, that area was wide open to easily add the 696. Couldn't beat the price, since we already had a 696 from our last 407, and it provides a back-up in case of any major G1000 and/or electrical problem.
The fixed mirrors are for off airport landing use.
Depending upon how and where you fly, I would consider adding a back-up attitude indicator with a skid ball, as we did above the GX install.
Last edited by GeorgeMandes; 17th Sep 2012 at 16:00.
Here is a photo showing the HITS boxes in use over the ocean on one of those murky days where the water and horizon blend together. The displays are in the reversion mode, allowing the pilot in the left seat to fly with a PFD on the center screen.
I recently purchased a 407GX and I am looking to print up a checklist to keep with me in the machine. Can any one direct me to where I can find one on the internet? I looked around and couldn't find one. Thanks in advance for your help.
I have one for a standard 407 I have been refining for several years ( around a million dollars of my time in it so far!) as part of a personal safety management system. In MS Word form and fairly easy to adapt to GX. PM me with email address if interested. Over several decades of owning and flying airplanes and helicopters I have found the the RFM/AFM checklists rarely are adequate for in-flight use as the format is not suited to quick reference and optional equipment and personal preferences not considered.