Avionics News September 2020 - 34

processor and one monitor processor prevent it from doing
the unexpected. The AeroCruze 230 is actually better at
preventing unwanted occurrences than any autopilots
said. "Over time, we started to see a lot of issues with
we've made, and the servos are a big part of that.
component obsolescence and increasing repair costs.
"Servo sizing is a huge part of the safety analysis of
While 25 years may not be old for an airplane, it's
an autopilot. Once we know that, we can make sure any
ancient in terms of technology and electronics. Who has
malfunctions are within the requirements and that your
25-year-old electronics around any longer?
performance is adequate. By keeping the same servos, we
"But changing autopilots is expensive. We looked
were able to maximize performance because we already
at how popular the KFC-series autopilots were and
knew the speed/torque curves we would be handling.
decided that if we could replace
"We know so much more about
the legacy computers in these units
the way the airplane flies now than
with digital technology, we could
we did back in the 1990s. We now
...THE AEROCRUZE
breathe a lot of new life into units
have AHARS data and acceleration
while controlling upgrade costs.
230 WAS THE FIRST
data to draw from. When we take all
In addition, we could introduce an
that information into account, we
AUTOPILOT TO EARN
array of new features that weren't
can design the autopilot to fly much
AN FAA AML/STC FOR
possible with the old KFC-era
better and more safely than ever
analog technology.
SOME 60 DIFFERENT
before."
"The thing we hear from our
That data, along with some
AIRCRAFT MODELS,
customers is how much they like
serious rocket-science level analytics
WHILE ACTUALLY
flying with our autopilots. And
enabled BendixKing's engineers to
how much they did not like the
DOING FLIGHT TESTS
formulate a super-set of algorithms
idea of having to replace their
that the company used when
IN ONLY THREE
autopilots. Our goal was to develop
presenting the paperwork to the
AIRCRAFT TYPES.
an economical solution that would
Federal Aviation Administration for
keep these owners happy."
approved model list supplemental
As he explained, BendixKing's
type certificate approval.
new AeroCruze 230 digital autopilot
And approved it was. In fact, according to Dykmann,
was born to fulfill two missions: mitigate system
the AeroCruze 230 was the first autopilot to earn an FAA
obsolescence and meet its commitment to delivering new
AML/STC for some 60 different aircraft models, while
safety features and capabilities at an affordable price
actually doing flight tests in only three aircraft types.
point.
"This was no small task," he stated. "The FAA agreed
that the way we had architectured the 230 to make it fly
Save the servos
like the KFC 140/150 and KFC 200 was acceptable, so
Dykmann explained that one of the ways BendixKing's
we could use it to do our AML. This was a truly amazing
engineers were able to help increase the system's safety
accomplishment. We had some super-smart engineers
features and capabilities while reducing the overall cost
doing all this incredible work."
of the AeroCruze 230 upgrade was to make the system
compatible with the aircraft's current KFC-series servos.
AeroCruze 230: Safety meets functionality
What do servos have to do with safety, you ask?
Dykmann said that thanks to the combination of the
"One advantage you have with an analog-style autopilot
new-generation microprocessors and the engineers'
is you do simple analysis to make sure it's not going to
design analytics, BendixKing is able to do things it
do something you don't want it to do," he said. "The
couldn't offer with any previous autopilot system. Just
AeroCruze 230 digital autopilot is microprocessor driven,
so you now have dual processors in there. One command
Continued on page 36

BENDIXKING CROWNS ITS NEW KING OF GA AUTOPILOTS
Continued from page 33

34

avionics news

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september

2020



Avionics News September 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News September 2020

No label
Avionics News September 2020 - Intro
Avionics News September 2020 - No label
Avionics News September 2020 - Cover2
Avionics News September 2020 - 1
Avionics News September 2020 - 2
Avionics News September 2020 - 3
Avionics News September 2020 - 4
Avionics News September 2020 - 5
Avionics News September 2020 - 6
Avionics News September 2020 - 7
Avionics News September 2020 - 8
Avionics News September 2020 - 9
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Avionics News September 2020 - 12
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Avionics News September 2020 - 70
Avionics News September 2020 - 71
Avionics News September 2020 - 72
Avionics News September 2020 - Cover3
Avionics News September 2020 - Cover4
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