Avionics News September 2020 - 36

BENDIXKING CROWNS ITS NEW KING OF GA AUTOPILOTS
Continued from page 34

what kinds of features is he talking about?
"With loss of control being a major cause of accidents,
to me, the biggest by far is its level mode," he said.
"Should the pilot encounter an unusual attitude - pitch
and/or roll - the pilot can push a button, and the autopilot
will automatically return the aircraft to level flight. It's
the kind of safety feature that's worth the price of the
upgrade alone.
"Another is takeoff/go-around mode. When you
press the button, it provides a wings-level, fixed-pitch
reference to help the pilot execute a takeoff or go-around.
Like the level mode, it's all about helping the pilot
maintain control in high workload situations."
Another feature he stressed is the unit's newgeneration, hybrid user interface that includes dualconcentric knobs, soft buttons, color touchscreen display,
and a pair of dedicated controls for vertical adjustments.
"Because pilots of all experience levels will be flying
with the system, we worked hard to ensure that the
AeroCruze 230 is extremely easy to use," Dykmann said.
"Everything is logical and works just the way you think
it should. The digital microprocessors make all of this
possible."
Of course, the AeroCruze 230 provides a long list of
other features and enhancements that are too numerous to
list here. Visit the BendixKing website to learn more.
Upgrading at a down-to-earth price
So just how much is getting all of the AeroCruze 230's
all-digital performance and safety-enhancing features going
to set you back? Well, the current list price is $9,800. That's
just for the unit itself and does not include installation,
accessories or new servos should you need them.
While it's not chump change, it is getting aircraft
owners a new autopilot that will work with most types of
avionics in their aircraft. That can lead to big savings.
"We've created the AeroCruze 230 to work with the
majority of current and legacy avionics," Dykmann said.
"If you have the older KI 256 electromechanical, airdriven gyro, you will need to add a digital air data AHRS
unit. But, in most cases, owners want to get rid of their old
air-driven boxes anyway. They're getting unreliable and
are expensive to repair or replace. Digital is the way to go.
36

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2020

"So, during development, we felt it was safe to
assume that most installations are going to interface
with a digital display or some kind of GPS/navigator.
The AeroCruze 230 easily integrates with all the current
displays and navigators from Garmin and Avidyne. We
don't put any restrictions on whom we play with, so it's
easier and more affordable for our customers."
Another way BendixKing is helping its customers save
money is by offering a free, two-year warranty on any
installation that keeps the current servos.
"It's pretty easy," Dykmann stated. "If your avionics
shop verifies that you have a known working system,
we will provide a two-year warranty on the installation
that covers the AeroCruze 230, the wiring, and any
other new equipment you may need for the system.
Should the avionics shop identify any of the servos to be
inoperative, they can either be replaced or sent to us for
repair. If we do the repair, the servo and the system will
be covered by the two-year warranty."
AeroCruze 100:
The crowned prince of autopilots
While the new-generation, digital AeroCruze 230 sits
at the top of BendixKing's current autopilot hierarchy,
next in line is the AeroCruze 100 for certified aircraft
and xCruze 100 for experimental aircraft.
"We acquired the TruTrak line of autopilots last year
to complement our higher-end systems," Dykmann said.
"The certified, AeroCruze 100 is a great complement
to our AeroCruze 230. It's much less expensive and it
obviously doesn't offer the same level of performance as
the 230, but it's a very capable autopilot in its own right.
"It's good at what it does: GPS tracking, LPV
approaches, en route GPS tracking, roll steering - it does
a lot for a lower-cost unit. If you're not flying vertical nav,
or flying coupled ILS approaches, it's a good solution."
Dykmann said the XCruze 100 gives BendixKing
entry into the experimental market, which is an area the
company sees growing opportunities for noncertified
avionics with greater capabilities.
"Along with the XCruze 100 autopilot, we also offer
our xVue Touch primary flight display," he said. "We
view the experimental market as a great way to introduce
new products and capabilities and get real-world
experience. It's an exciting part of our business right
now." q



Avionics News September 2020

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