A Bell 505 Jet Ranger X in flight (Courtesy: Bell)
Texas-based Genesys Aerosystems is seeking FAA Supplemental Type Certification (STC) of a Visual Flight Rules (VFR) version of the Helicopter Stability Augmentation System (HeliSAS) autopilot for the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X, the company said March 19.
The less than 15-pound HeliSAS is already a retrofit option for the Bell 206B, 206L, and 407 models.
"We want to extend the enhanced capabilities to owners currently enjoying the versatility of the 505", Jamie Luster, director of Genesys Aerosystems, said in a statement. "The stability augmentation is ideal for the light-weight Bell platform, and decreases the workload significantly."
HeliSAS also provides "precise 'hands-off' control of the aircraft during all modes of flight - regardless of wind conditions or shifts in the aircraft's weight," according to the company.
The $70,259 system provides 2-axis autopilot and automatic recovery to near-level flight attitude at all air speeds throughout all phases of flight and is lighter and costs less than other stability augmentation systems, the company said.
Genesys Aerosystems said that it expects the system to receive FAA certification in the third quarter of this year and that European Aviation Safety Agency certification is likely to follow.
HeliSAS is also approved for the Airbus EC130T2, EC130B4, EC120 and AS350 series, and the Robinson Helicopters R44 and R66 models, according to Genesys Aerosystems, adding that the Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) version of HeliSAS gained approval for the Airbus EC145e last month.