Garmin has gotten approval to install its GFC 500 autopilot in some of the most popular light singles on the planet. The GFC 500 is a sophisticated digital retrofit autopilot available starting at around $7,000.
The autopilot is designed to integrate with the Garmin GI 275 or its G5 electronic flight instruments, and it can work and play with a combination of those instruments or the G500 TXi™ flight display or its popular G3X Touch flight display, so owners can tailor their solution to their panel and needs. Part of the installation is the autopilot controller, which features dedicated keys and knobs along with a control wheel for setting the plane’s pitch, airspeed and vertical speed. There’s also Garmin’s Level button, which with a single push returns the flight to straight-and-level flight.
Its capabilities go well beyond traditional autopilots, with envelope protection features including that dedicated LVL button, underspeed and overspeed protection, and more, all part of Garmin’s Electronic Stability and Protection (ESP) suite, which works in the background even when the autopilot isn’t engaged to protect from loss of control under a variety of flight conditions.
For more about the GFC 500, check out Garmin’s video on the product.