Is your autopilot lacking the performance and safety you need? Both Garmin and Genesys/S-TEC have digital autopilots approved for installation in a large number of general aviation aircraft. We’ve installed systems from both manufacturers and each have features designed to add amazing reliability, safety, and performance to your aircraft.
We installed the Garmin G500 autopilot recently in a Cessna 182S and interfaced it with a pair of Garmin G5s. To aid in its ultra-smooth operation the Garmin servo motors are brushless DC motors that contribute to lower maintenance costs over the life of the system. The GFC 500 is also rate based adding to its safety and stability. When the GFC 500 is integrated with the G5, it provides input and display of altitude preselect, heading, vertical speed target, airspeed target, and Flight Director command bars for the autopilot. We also installed the optional GAD29 which allows the autopilot to interface with Garmin’s GTN 650 and 750 navigators. The GFC 500 allows pilots to select, couple, and fly various instrument approaches, including GPS, ILS, VOR, LOC, and back course approaches. It also has a level mode button that automatically engages the autopilot to return the aircraft to straight and level flight. The end result of this installation according to the owner is “silky-smooth operation”.
Our most recent installation is in-progress in a Cessna 177RG with the Genesys S-TEC 3100 digital autopilot. Along with the STEC 3100 autopilot the owner has opted to install Garmin’s G500 Txi touch screen flight display and a GTN 750 touch screen navigator. The G500 TXi includes HSI mapping capabilities which put an MFD-like perspective map view within the HSI portion of the PFD. In addition to the geographical map, the HSI map view can also support the overlay of NEXRAD imagery and weather inputs from ADS-B and SiriusXM® datalinks. The GTN 750 provides GPS/NAV/COMM/MFD capabilities and integrates seamlessly with the G500 Txi. The STEC 3100 is also a rate-based autopilot and has similar features to the Garmin GFC 500 autopilot. The 3100 like the GFC500 provides envelope protection – detects unusual attitudes and responds to correct them and has a straight and level button. It provides fully coupled approaches that are WAAS and NAV-based.
Both systems integrate with Garmin systems as well as many other manufacturers systems and are available for many Cessna, Piper, and Beechcraft aircraft. Give us a call to see if your model is included and let us get you on the schedule for your next upgrade!