AEA Pilot's Guide 2020-2021 - 68

FLIGHT CONTROL SYSTEMS
Continued from page 67

GARMIN
Garmin's latest flight control systems, the GFC
500 and GFC 600 flight control packages, reflect the
company's embrace of digital sensing and control.
The revolutionary GFC 500 autopilot brings
unprecedented levels of capability, reliability and
affordability to light single-engine, fixed-wing general
aviation aircraft. The GFC 500 leverages Garmin's
advanced attitude-based flight control technology
developed for the GFC 700 autopilot, which drives
Garmin's most-advanced glass flight deck systems such
as the G3000 integrated flight deck.
Garmin designed the GFC 600 for aftermarket
installation on high-performance single- and twinengine piston aircraft, turboprops and light jets. Like its
companion GFC 500, the GFC 600 offers an array of
top-level safety and performance features.
Both offer envelope protection, automatic level
recovery from extreme attitudes using solid-state attitude
and air-data sensors in place of mechanical gyros.
The GFC 500 starts at $6,995, and the GFC 600 at
$19,995.
GENESYS AEROSYSTEMS
Those simple wing levelers seem to stay in demand,
though as the capabilities of low-cost autopilots grew, the
demand for wing leveler systems declined.
But a few remain on the market today, with Genesys
Aerosystems' well-regarded System 20, a popular choice
among certificated systems.
Typically listed among single-axis autopilots, the old
S-TEC model incorporates the flight control hardware,
sensing and switching electronics into a standard turn-andbank indicator, so it takes up no new panel space.
The System 20 is a rate-based system, which senses
when the wings roll out of level flight and applies opposite
roll input to level the wings through an electrically driven roll
servo.
Pilots can opt for a stand-alone altitude-hold capability
with the System 30 ALT. With this option added to the
System 20, it becomes the System 30. Trim the aircraft at
the desired altitude, push the altitude hold button and the 30
ALT holds the altitude flown at system activation.
Or the pilot can opt for the System 30, which incorporates
the altitude hold hardware to the same 3-inch case with the

other control electronics. The pilot need only trim the aircraft
at the selected altitude and engage the hold. An annunciator
light signals if the pilot needs to adjust the trim setting.
Genesys' newest, the S-TEC 3100 digital flight control
employs a raft of new functions and capabilities in a package
informed by digital MEMS sensors in its integral AHRS. The
S-TEC 3100 is a two-axis Digital Flight Control System, with
standard Automatic Pitch Trim. Whether the aircraft employs
a conventional analog six-pack panel or an advanced glass
EFIS panel, the S-TEC 3100 supports a wide variety of
cockpit setups.
The integral AHRS drives the precise movements of
the servos in aircraft lacking a digital EFIS display. The
3100 also provides such advanced features as envelope
protection and alerting, as well as a single-button recovery
function to protect against entering unrecoverable unusual
attitudes. S-TEC 3100 upgrades start at $9,995.
CENTURY FLIGHT SYSTEMS
Century's 4000 autopilot brings state-of-the-art flight
control to today's fleet of general aviation aircraft, done
in a way to allow each pilot the equipment needed to do
the job. Century made the 4000 expandable, so as new
requirements arise, the needed functions can be added
as desired.
Among the Century 4000's standard lateral axis
features are Heading Hold, Nav intercept and track, the
ability to fly fully coupled ILS approaches, localizer back
course, VOR approach outbound intercept and track,
lateral navigation steering and sequencing including en
route, terminal and approach segments with compatible
GPS receivers providing ARINC 429 steering commands.
In the pitch axis, Century gave the 4000 trim
prompting, pitch attitude hold, altitude hold, vertical
speed select and hold, glideslope capture and track
from above or below the glideslope. And the 4000 is
completely capable of LPV and LNAV/VNAV approaches
with compatible GPS WAAS receivers.
If needed later, automatic electric pitch trim, Flight
Director or yaw damper expansions may be added to
the 4000.
OTHER OPTIONS
Wing levelers remain available for experimental
aircraft and for basic aircraft, and many experimental
PFDs provide autopilot-control functions with the addition
of the appropriate servos.
Check those manufacturers for their available options. q

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