Bell Helicopter has selected Chelton Flight Systems to supply the first factory-installed glass cockpit available for the Model 407 light single-turbine helicopter. Under the agreement, Chelton becomes the preferred supplier if Bell decides to offer glass cockpits for the Model 206 and 210 turbine singles.

Bell plans to offer a two-screen electronic flight instrument system, using either 100 x 150mm (4 x 6in) or 150 x 200mm flat-panel displays. “We are still looking at the best system, but the two large displays fit nicely,” says Bell’s 407 programme director Barry Kohler. Like the basic aircraft, the glass-cockpit 407 will be certificated for single-pilot visual flight rules, with no plans for instrument flight-rules approval.

To be available as a factory-fitted option from the first quarter of 2007, the system will be an expanded version of Chelton’s highway-in-the-sky “synthetic-vision” EFIS, which is already available for retrofit to the 206, 210 and 407. “We have good customer feedback on synthetic vision and highway-in-the-sky,” Kohler says, adding: “The market is moving toward glass displays.”



Source: Flight International