Garmin® expands aircraft approvals for the GFC 600 and GFC 500 retrofit autopilots for general aviation aircraft
Garmin International, Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), today announced continued progress in aircraft approvals for the GFC™ 600 and GFC 500 autopilots. The imminent certification of several aircraft also add to the growing list of approvals for both autopilots. The Bonanza/Debonair (C33, E33, F33, G33), Cessna 210 and Grumman AA-5 series will soon be approved for the GFC 500 autopilot, while the Beechcraft Baron (58P, 58TC) and Cessna 208B will add to the list of the GFC 600.
In just under a year, Garmin has completed Supplemental Type Certifications (STC) on ten popular aircraft models between both autopilots, with more aircraft approvals in progress and many more soon to follow. The unique design of these autopilots deliver superior in-flight characteristics, self-monitoring capabilities and minimal maintenance needs when compared to older generation autopilot systems. With safety-enhancing technologies such as Electronic Stability and Protection (ESP™), underspeed and overspeed protection, Level Mode, Flight Director (FD) and more, pilots receive a suite of advanced autopilot capabilities that reduce pilot workload throughout all phases of flight.
“Since the introduction of the GFC 600 and GFC 500 to the market just one year ago, we have been working hard to complete a broad range of STC’s on some of the most prevalent aircraft flying today,” said Carl Wolf, vice president of aviation marketing and sales. “We are very humbled by the popularity and adoption of these game-changing autopilots as they have redefined the standard of what aircraft owners should expect from an autopilot and based on the overwhelming demand – our customers agree.”
The full-featured GFC 600 & GFC 500 autopilots provide thousands of existing fixed-wing general aviation aircraft with a simple, light-weight and cost-effective autopilot upgrade path. Designed as a standalone autopilot, the GFC 600 also has integration potential with the G500 TXi/G600 TXi and G500/G600 flight displays, Garmin navigators, as well as a variety of third-party flight displays, instruments and navigation sources. The GFC 500 uses the popular G5 electronic flight instrument, offering an economical autopilot and modern flight instrument. Adding to its flexibility, the GFC 500 and G5 will soon be able to pair with the G500 TXi or G500 flight displays.
The GFC 600 is intended for high performance piston and turbine aircraft that have a wide range of aircraft speed and performance characteristics, while the GFC 500 is intended for less complex piston single-engine aircraft. The GFC 600 & GFC 500 boast traditional autopilot capabilities such as altitude hold, vertical speed and heading modes, as well as the capability to fly fully-coupled GPS, ILS, VOR, LOC and back-course approaches. Indicated airspeed climbs/descents, control wheel steering, as well as built-in roll steering add to the extensive feature set. Both autopilots contain a brushless DC motor and a gear train that eliminates the need for a mechanical slip clutch, offering significantly improved performance and reducing maintenance requirements. The GFC 600 & GFC 500 also incorporate solid state attitude and robust self-monitoring capabilities to provide superior autopilot performance, greater reliability and safety benefits.
New to the GFC 600 & GFC 500, pilots can select the vertical navigation (VNAV) button on either autopilot mode controller to fly a fully-coupled VNAV profile when the autopilot is paired with the GTN™ 650/750 touchscreen navigators and the G5, G500 TXi/G600 TXi or G500/G600. Within the GTN, pilots can easily enter altitude constraints on the flight plan page to set-up a vertical descent profile. Using VNAV, pilots also experience a near-seamless transition to an arrival and instrument approach as step-down altitudes are automatically populated. When the GFC 600 & GFC 500 autopilot is fully-coupled on a VNAV descent, pilots receive the benefit of a smooth and controlled descent so they can focus on preparing for the approach to land.
Garmin continues to broaden its aircraft approval list for the GFC 600 & GFC 500 autopilots. Below is a list of aircraft that are currently approved. To view the most up-to-date aircraft STC list, to view certifications that are expected to begin in the next 12-months or to express interest in a specific aircraft make/model, visit www.garmin.com/GFC500 or www.garmin.com/GFC600.
Aircraft certified for the GFC 600 and GFC 500 autopilot:
- Beechcraft Baron (58, 58A, 95-B55, 95-B55A)
- Beechcraft Bonanza (36, A36, A36TC)
- Cessna 182 (P, Q, R, S, T, T182, T182T)
- Cessna 340/340A
- Beechcraft Bonanza (S35, V35, V35A, V35B)
- Cessna 172 (E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, P, Q, R, S, F172F, F172G, F172H, F172K, F172L, F172M, F172N, F172P)
- Cessna 182 (E, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, P, Q, R, S, T, T182, T182T, F182P, F182Q)
- Piper PA-28 (150, 151, 160, 161, 180, 181)
The GFC 600 autopilot is available starting at a suggested retail price of $19,995 for a 2-axis autopilot with electric pitch trim1. The GFC 500 starts at a suggested retail price of $6,995 for a 2-axis autopilot1. The GFC 500 can be purchased with the G5 electronic flight instrument for a suggested retail price of less than $10,0001. The GFC 600 & GFC 500 are also supported by Garmin’s award-winning aviation product support team, which provides 24/7 worldwide technical and warranty support. Garmin will be showcasing these autopilots at the 2018 EAA AirVenture fly-in, in Oshkosh, Wis., July 23-29, 2018, where the GFC 600 will be on display in a Beechcraft 58 Baron and the GFC 500 will be on display in a Cessna 172 at the Garmin exhibit on Celebration Way.
Garmin’s aviation business segment is a leading provider of solutions to OEM, aftermarket, military and government customers. Garmin’s portfolio includes navigation, communication, flight control, hazard avoidance, an expansive suite of ADS-B solutions and other products and services that are known for innovation, reliability, and value. For more information about Garmin’s full line of avionics, go to www.garmin.com/aviation.
For decades, Garmin has pioneered new GPS navigation and wireless devices and applications that are designed for people who live an active lifestyle. Garmin serves five primary business units, including automotive, aviation, fitness, marine, and outdoor recreation. For more information, visit Garmin's virtual pressroom at garmin.com/newsroom, contact the Media Relations department at 913-397-8200, or follow us at facebook.com/garmin, twitter.com/garmin, or youtube.com/garmin.
1. Installation not included.
Garmin International Inc. is a subsidiary of Garmin Ltd. (Nasdaq: GRMN). Garmin Ltd. is incorporated in Switzerland, and its principal subsidiaries are located in the United States, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. Garmin is a registered trademark and GTN, ESP and GFC are trademarks of Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries.
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