FORT WORTH, TEXAS (September 24, 2013) – Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company (NYSE: TXT), announced today a long-term contract with the global leader in satellite navigation, Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), to provide the G1000H Integrated Avionics Suite for Bell Helicopter’s new short light single (SLS) aircraft . The all-glass avionics system digitally presents critical flight information to the pilot via high-resolution LCD displays and reduces overall pilot workload.
“Our customers are demanding the state-of-the-art Garmin G1000H, and we are excited to bring the system’s proven capabilities to our new SLS helicopter,” said Danny Maldonado, Bell Helicopter’s executive vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing. “When we first began development of the new aircraft, we wanted to improve situational awareness for pilots with an advanced glass cockpit that would be the first of its kind in the short light single class. After considering both our own experience and customer feedback, we believe Garmin’s is the perfect solution to deliver on this promise.”
The Garmin G1000H, introduced on the Bell 407GX, provides critical flight information, including flight instrumentation, navigation, communication, weather, terrain, traffic, identification, and diagnostics and maintenance data, at a glance for greater situational awareness and increased margins of safety. The fully-integrated glass flight deck includes high resolution LCD screens, hosting primary flight display and multi-function display information, as well as an Integrated Avionics System with Helicopter Terrain Avoidance Warning System, Helicopter Synthetic Vision Technology™, Traffic Information Systems and more.
“The selection of G1000H for Bell Helicopter’s SLS aircraft is a declaration of the performance and dependability of Garmin avionics and further demonstrates Bell’s commitment to offering their customers the most advanced technology the avionics industry has to offer,” said Carl Wolf, Garmin’s Vice President of Aviation Sales and Marketing. “The G1000H offers an unprecedented level of safety, reliability, and situational awareness that pilots have come to know and expect from Garmin advanced flight decks.”
Bell Helicopter’s new short light single engine helicopter will feature a high visibility cockpit and a fully flat, 22 square foot cabin floor with five forward-facing seats. It is designed to meet performance targets recommended by the customer advisory council, including a speed of 125 knots (232 km), a range of 360 to 420 nautical miles (667 km) and a useful load of 1,500 pounds (608 kg). It also includes a baggage compartment volume of 18 ft3.
The new aircraft will be powered by the Turbomeca Arrius 2R engine, which will offer the benchmark for performance and power in the 450-550 shp class, while improving safety and lowering pilot workload with Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC). It will also meet IATA Stage 4 noise targets.
Additional safety enhancing design features will further reduce pilot workload, improve situational awareness and deliver superior auto rotation capabilities. The combination of capabilities, performance characteristics and value will be backed by Bell Helicopter’s industry-leading service and support. The new helicopter is expected to achieve first flight in 2014. Bell Helicopter will continue to release key information about the product and suppliers throughout its development.
The Garmin G1000H seamlessly integrates control and presentation of flight data, sensor and instrument functions into a comprehensive package. Advanced features, such as single or dual integrated solid-state attitude and heading reference systems (AHRS), align while in motion, handling highly dynamic in-flight restarts and flight maneuvers. Full reversionary capabilities allow all flight-critical data to transfer to a single display. The system’s sleek design uses modern data-bus technology to reduce wire count and overall weight, simplifying maintenance. Line-replaceable units (LRUs), designed with helicopter vibration levels in mind, contain integrated sensors throughout the helicopter to easily transfer data to the PFD/MFD, delivering real-time information to the pilot.