Garmin has recently been approved to use the GFC 500 autopilot in a variety of aircrafts. Some include the Cessna 172 as well as the 182. The GFC 500 autopilot is self-monitoring and allows for a lot of benefit while the aircraft is in flight. This GFC 500 is also a very low maintenance upkeep, especially when compared to other models and systems. While in autopilot, the pilot still has the ability to make manual adjustments on things like speed and altitude using keys and knobs. There is also a button that can level out the aircraft while in autopilot if needed.
Some other things the GFC 500 is capable of include presetting a flight altitude and speed, setting the GPS and course, and smoother steering. Even while the pilot is in control, the GCF 500 still provides benefits, such as under speed protection to prevent aircraft stalling and over speed protection to prevent speeding. If there is a missed approach while landing, there is a button to initiate a ‘go-around’ which uses the navigator to be efficient.
For Garmin International INC, the GFC 500 is not their end game, they plan to continue development not only on what the current models can do, but also expand the amount and type of aircrafts they can install these advanced autopilots in. Some of the aircrafts Garmin is currently working on are; Piper PA-28, and Beechcraft 35S/35V. These autopilots do not break the bank, considering their capabilities. If an aircraft already uses the G5 the upgrade cost less than $7,000, and for a brand-new unit the cost runs at around $10,000.
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