Bell Helicopter has delivered two Bell 407GXs, the first of that model operated in a sightseeing capacity, to Helicopter Flight Services, a New York-based operator. Helicopter Flight Services flies a fleet of five Bell 407s and the two new 407GXs, offering tours, charters, aerial photography, lift work and custom projects.
Owner John Kjekstad opted for the 407GX quiet cruise kit to proactively address helicopter noise complaints from New York-area residents and environmental activists. The quiet-mode kit, which consists of a selector switch on the pilot’s collective and an annunciator, permits flight operations at 92 percent rotor rpm above 50 kias and 200 feet agl. When engaged, the quiet mode kit reduces flyover noise level by 3.8 dBA (sound exposure level). Bell said Helicopter Flight Services is the only New York-area company moving forward with rotorcraft noise-reduction technology.
“The 407 and 407GX are both great ships,” commented Kjekstad. “We chose to add two 407GXs because of the fantastic technology.” The 407GX differs from the B407 primarily in featuring the Garmin G1000H glass flight deck with two 10.4-inch high-resolution LCD screens.
“The G1000H is user-friendly and is a big safety feature for us; we are able to see the New York traffic at a glance,” he said. “Our clients love the 407GX and we could not be happier with it.”
The latest variant of the B407 is powered by the same Rolls-Royce/Allison 250-C47B turboshaft engine as the 407. Other 407GX features include high main rotor clearance (eight feet), excellent hover performance with the Fadec-controlled engine, comfortable seating for seven and the quiet cruise kit.
Another 407GX option is Bell’s 250-pound increased maximum interior gross weight kit. The kit’s flight manual supplement allows customers to fly at an increased maximum internal gross weight of 7,500 pounds. First approved by Transport Canada, the kit also includes a helicopter terrain awareness warning system, cockpit voice recorder/flight data recorder, a flashing forward light and a radar altimeter.
Bell is at Booth No. 5366 demonstrating the workload-reducing and situational awareness-enhancing functions of the 407GX’s G1000H glass cockpit.