What It’s Like Flying the Bell 505 with the Game-Changing Garmin GFC G600H Autopilot Feature

Recently, Michael Maya Charles from Vertical Magazine experienced the GFC 600H in the Bell 505 during a Garmin visit in Salem, Oregon. “Garmin first certified the GFC 600H in the Airbus AS350 in 2019,” Charles noted. “But the new version for the Bell 505 is improved in several ways, including better hover capability, better aural warnings, and an important new feature: low-g protection.”

The updated avionics system originated from the industry’s need for reduced pilot workload and a tool to recover from loss of control in low visibility. In the Bell 505, Charles simulated this experience to test its leveling capabilities – finding that the single light aircraft returned to a straight, level position at the press of a button. 

“If you stay at zero groundspeed, the hover assist mode automatically engages and does a brilliant job of holding the helicopter in your desired spot,” said Charles. The pilot also notes that the low-g feature keeps the Bell 505 autopilot flying smoothly by “gently rais[ing] the nose to increase positive g-force if it senses anything below .6g.” These added features enhance pilot experience in the single-engine platform to the point where Charles claims he “can’t imagine ordering a new Bell 505 without it.”

Bell is already fielding orders for the 600H and customers have the option to add it to new 505 orders.

About Bell

Thinking above and beyond is what we do. For more than 85 years, we’ve been reimagining the experience of flight – and where it can take us.

We are pioneers. We were the first to break the sound barrier and to certify a commercial helicopter. We were a part of NASA’s first lunar mission and brought advanced tiltrotor systems to market. Today, we’re defining the future of advanced air mobility.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas – as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., – we have strategic locations around the globe. And with nearly one quarter of our workforce having served, helping our military achieve their missions is a passion of ours.

Above all, our breakthrough innovations deliver exceptional experiences to our customers. Efficiently. Reliably. And always, with safety at the forefront.

About Textron

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Pipistrel, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, and Textron Systems. For more information, visit: www.textron.com.

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements which may project revenues or describe strategies, goals, outlook or other non-historical matters; these statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, changes in aircraft delivery schedules or cancellations or deferrals of orders; our ability to keep pace with our competitors in the introduction of new products and upgrades with features and technologies desired by our customers; changes in government regulations or policies on the export and import of our products; volatility in the global economy or changes in worldwide political conditions that adversely impact demand for our products; volatility in interest rates or foreign exchange rates; and risks related to our international business, including establishing and maintaining facilities in locations around the world and relying on joint venture partners, subcontractors, suppliers, representatives, consultants and other business partners in connection with international business, including in emerging market countries.

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