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Garmin recently announced it has received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) supplemental type certification (STC) in several aircraft models for the GFC 500 and GFC 600 autopilots. The GFC 500 and GFC 600 deliver superior in-flight characteristics, self-monitoring capabilities and minimal maintenance needs when compared to older generation autopilot systems. The GFC 500 is intended for piston aircraft, while the GFC 600 is intended for high performance piston and turbine aircraft that have a wide range of speed and performance characteristics.
New aircraft models approved for the GFC 500 autopilot include:
New aircraft models approved for the GFC 600 autopilot include:
The GFC 500 autopilot integrates with the G5 electronic flight instrument or a combination of both the G5 electronic flight instrument and G3X Touch, G500 TXi or G500 flight displays to provide pilots with an economical and modern autopilot solution. The GFC 600 is designed as a standalone autopilot and also boasts superior integration potential when paired with the G500 TXi/G600 TXi or G500/G600 glass flight displays, Garmin navigators, as well as a variety of third-party flight displays, instruments and navigation sources.
The full-featured GFC 600 and GFC 500 autopilots provide thousands of existing general aviation aircraft with a simple, light-weight, cost-effective autopilot upgrade path. The GFC 600 and GFC 500 incorporate solid state attitude with robust self-monitoring capabilities to provide superior autopilot performance, greater reliability and safety benefits that are similar to the popular GFC 700 autopilot. In addition to traditional autopilot capabilities such as altitude hold, vertical speed and heading modes, the GFC 600 and GFC 500 also include altitude preselect, VNAV, Level Mode, underspeed and overspeed protection and more. Pilots can also select, couple and fly various instrument approaches, including GPS, ILS, VOR, LOC and back course approaches when paired with a compatible GPS navigator.
As a standard feature on both the GFC 500 and GFC 600 autopilots, pilots receive Garmin electronic stability and protection (ESP), which works to assist the pilot in maintaining the aircraft in a stable flight condition. ESP functions independently of the autopilot and works in the background to help pilots avoid inadvertent flight attitudes or bank angles and provides airspeed protection while the pilot is hand-flying the aircraft.
For customers who already have a G5 electronic flight instrument, the GFC 500 starts at a suggested retail price of US$6,995 for a two-axis autopilot. The GFC 600 autopilot starts at a suggested retail price of US$19,995 for a two-axis autopilot with electric pitch trim. Pricing is for retrofit installations only. The GFC 500 autopilot will also be available as an option on new Aviat Husky aircraft.
Garmin continues to add additional aircraft models to the growing STC list for the GFC 500 and GFC 600 autopilots. To view the most up-to-date aircraft STC list, to view certification programs that are expected to begin in the next 12-months, or to express interest in a specific aircraft make/model, click this link for GFC 500 models, or this link for GFC 600 models.