Garmin has announced it will certify the GFC 600H flight control system for the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X helicopter. The attitude-based flight control system boasts a number of helicopter-tailored features, including attitude hold, Garmin Helicopter Electronics Stability and Protection, dedicated return-to-level mode, hover assist, as well as overspeed and low speed protection. The expected time for the certification completion is by 2020.
“With the GFC 600H, we’re excited to provide a flight control system for the Bell 505,” said Carl Wolf, Garmin vice president of aviation sales and marketing. “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.”
The GFC 600H contains advanced AHRS technology and redundant, cross-checking sensors to support smooth handling throughout the flight envelope. It features a console-mounted mode controller with push-button controls that interface with the Garmin integrated flight deck on the Bell 505. It also offers effortless aircraft navigation and the additional autopilot modes include altitude hold, altitude select, vertical speed, indicated airspeed and heading select.
Apart from different modes, the GFC 600H also features a dedicated level mode that can be engaged by the pilot to return to straight-and-level flight, helping to avoid a potential loss-of-control scenario.
The GFC 600H on the Bell 505 is night vision goggle (NVG) compatible. Supplemental Type certification (STC) for the Bell 505 is expected in the first-half of 2020 and will be available at that time through the Bell production line and Garmin Authorized Dealers for retrofit installation.