The E2C (Experimental to Certified) wave of activity continues to change the value of older airplanes, and this week’s announcement by Garmin that it had earned FAA approval for its GFC 500 autopilot in a “wide range of” Cessna 172 and 182s is accelerating that trend.
The new autopilot is a digital model that features many of the envelope protection features of the company’s seminal GFC 700 product, an integrated version of which is part of the G1000 NXi flat-panel avionics suite. This time, owners don’t need flat panels at all, as the GFC 500 is designed to integrate with the company’s G5 instrument.
And the cost is remarkably low, less than $7,000 for a two-axis version of the autopilot for owners who already have a G5 and less than $10,000 with a G5 instrument. Garmin is already shipping the GFC 500 to is authorized dealers. Additionally, Garmin announced that it is targeting FAA approval for the GFC 500 very soon, in the first quarter of 2018, and it anticipates approval for Model 35 Bonanzas by this summer.
Learn more at Garmin.