Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company (NYSE: TXT) has announced the Federal Aviation Administration has approved a new flight manual supplement for high and hot operations (FMS-12) for the Bell 407. This supplement allows operators the ability to improve hover in ground effect (HIGE) and hover out of ground effect (HOGE) with increased payload in high and hot conditions. For example, with an aircraft operation at 6,000 feet, ISA +20C (23oC, 74oF), FMS-12 provides more than 300 lbs for additional external load operations.
Since FMS-12 was approved in July 2014, several customers have already begun seeing direct benefits from the additional payload.
“This new ability for the Bell 407 unleashes the true potential of the aircraft,” said Keith White, general manager at Hillcrest Aircraft Company. “We couldn’t be happier with its performance in our multi-mission duties.”
The approved supplement was showcased in a Bell 407GX during a week-long demo tour along the coast of California in late August.
“I am very impressed with the high and hot performance of the Bell 407,” said BJ Rayson, senior vice president of operations at SevenBar Aviation. During the heat of the day, we landed on a mountain peak about 9,300 feet up with a full load, rivaling competitor aircraft in its weight class.”
“In the past two years, we have tripled the size of the Bell 407GX fleet in North America,” said Anthony Moreland, vice president of North American sales. “Customers were given the opportunity to see this aircraft in action and experience its full capabilities, they become just as excited as we are about the industry-leading glass cockpit technology powering this aircraft.”
The Bell 407 integrates reliability, speed, performance and maneuverability with a cabin configurable for an array of missions and payloads. The aircraft provides a very quiet and smooth ride in virtually all weather conditions, and offers outstanding product features including the newly approved high and hot capabilities.