Garmin recently received EASA approval of the retrofit GFC 500 autopilot for fixed-wing general aviation aircraft in Europe
Claimed to deliver superior performance and precision, as well as self-monitoring capabilities, the GFC 500 incorporates a number of safety-enhancing technologies, including Electronic Stability and Protection (ESP), under-speed protection, overspeed protection, Level Mode, Flight Director (FD) and more.
The GFC 500 also offers aircraft owners with a ‘simple, light-weight and cost-effective’ autopilot upgrade path and promises lower cost of long-term ownership. Intended for SEP (single-engine piston) aircraft, the GFC 500 is available immediately and approved for installation in hundreds of aircraft throughout Europe.
When the GFC 500 is paired with a compatible navigator, pilots receive the capability to fly fully coupled instrument approach procedures, including Localizer Performance with Vertical (LPV) approaches. Vertical navigation (VNAV) allows pilots to generate vertical descent profiles.
An optional adapter allows the GFC 500 and linked G5 instrument to interface with select Garmin GPS or VHF navigators. The GFC 500 is also compatible with the G500 TXi and G500 flight displays.
For customers who already have a G5 electronic flight instrument, the GFC 500 starts at a suggested price of $6,995 for a two-axis autopilot for the Cessna 172 (installation extra; pricing for other aircraft models may vary). The GFC 500 can be purchased with the G5 electronic flight instrument for a suggested price of less than $10,000 USD. Aircraft approved today include select models of the Beechcraft Bonanza, Cessna 172/182/210, Grumman AA-5, Mooney M20 and the PA-28. To see the most up-to-date aircraft STC, visit: www.garmin.com/GFC500