New certification for turbine-powered aircraft provides select owners and operators a modern and advanced retrofit autopilot solution
Garmin Ltd., today announced it has received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) approval for the GFC™ 600 digital autopilot in select Beechcraft King Air C90 aircraft and E90 aircraft1. The GFC 600 digital autopilot is optimized for turbine aircraft, delivering superior in-flight characteristics and new operational capabilities such as Vertical Navigation (VNAV), automatic Course Deviation Indicator (CDI) switching when paired with a GTN Series navigator, enhanced go-around capability and much more.
The GFC 600 certification for the Beechcraft King Air C90 and E90 provides owners and operators an autopilot upgrade that boasts superior integration potential with G600 and G600 TXi™ flight displays, the GI 275 electronic flight instrument, as well as the GTN™ and GTN Xi Series of navigators. The self-contained autopilot controller incorporates backlit keys and a bright, sunlight readable display that depicts autopilot status and mode selection. An intuitive built-in control wheel also provides convenient adjustment of aircraft pitch, airspeed and vertical speed modes. When the level button is selected, the aircraft automatically returns to straight-and-level flight.
Environmentally hardened autopilot servos designed for harsh operating conditions contain brushless DC motors offering improved performance and reducing maintenance requirements when compared to decades-old servo designs on the market today. In addition, these servos are optimized for turbine aircraft by offering more torque to help better command and respond to control demands required of turbine aircraft.
Standard mark-width (6.25-inch) design of the GFC 600 mode controller ensures the autopilot controller allows for routine installation into the aircraft’s avionics stack. Autopilot mode annunciation is available on the G600 TXi touchscreen glass flight display, as well as the G600 flight display. The addition of an optional autopilot annunciator panel also displays the selected autopilot mode in the pilot’s primary field of view and retains an identical footprint of third-party autopilot annunciators on the market.
In addition to traditional autopilot capabilities such as altitude hold, vertical speed and heading modes, the GFC 600 also includes:
• Premium functions and advanced capabilities such as altitude pre-select2 and indicated airspeed hold mode
• Pilots can select, couple and fly various instrument approaches, including GPS, ILS, VOR, LOC and back course approaches3
• Built-in GPS roll steering capability eliminates the need for external roll steering converters, allowing for smoother navigation tracking when installed with a compatible navigator
• Level Mode button, which automatically engages the autopilot to restore the aircraft to straight and level flight
• Underspeed protection helps prevent the pilot from stalling the aircraft
• Overspeed protection helps prevent the pilot from exceeding aircraft maximum speed (VNE)
• Yaw Damping (YD) mode minimizes yawing oscillations while also helping to maintain coordinated flight
• Flight Director command bars can be displayed on flight display such as the G600 and G600 TXi
• Pilots can fly coupled ‘go-arounds’ during missed approach sequencing. A remotely-installed go-around button commands the Flight Director to display the appropriate pitch attitude required for the missed approach procedure and activates a loaded missed approach when paired with a GTN 650/750 or GTN 650Xi/750Xi navigator
• Included pitch-trim servo adds automatic trim and improved manual electric trim
• Control wheel steering is available, which allows the pilot to adjust pitch, roll, altitude hold, vertical speed or airspeed references using the control yoke while the autopilot is engaged
As a standard feature, pilots receive Garmin Electronic Stability and Protection (ESP™) with the GFC 600 digital autopilot, which works to assist the pilot in maintaining the aircraft in a stable flight condition. ESP functions independently of the autopilot and works in the background to help pilots avoid inadvertent flight attitudes or bank angles and provide airspeed protection while the pilot is hand-flying the aircraft.
The GFC 600 digital autopilot for the Beechcraft King Air C90/E90 is available immediately through select Garmin authorized dealers. To view the most up-to-date aircraft STC list, to view certifications that are expected to begin in the next 12-months, or to express interest in a specific aircraft make/model for the GFC 600, visit www.garmin.com/GFC600. For additional information, visit: www.garmin.com/aviation.
Garmin’s aviation business segment is a leading provider of solutions to OEM, aftermarket, military and government customers. Garmin’s portfolio includes navigation, communication, flight control, hazard avoidance, an expansive suite of ADS-B solutions and other products and services that are known for innovation, reliability, and value. For more information, visit Garmin’s virtual pressroom at garmin.com/newsroom, contact the Media Relations department at 913-397-8200, or follow us at facebook.com/garminaviation, twitter.com/garminaviation, instagram.com/garminaviation or youtube.com/garminaviation.
1. STC approved for Beechcraft King Air C90, C90-1, C90A, C90B, C90SE, C90GT, C90GTi, E90, and does not include those aircraft equipped with Garmin G1000/G1000 NXi, or Collins Pro Line integrated flight decks.
2. Requires compatible flight display.
3. GFC 600 requires an external navigator for navigation and approach functions. See website for additional compatibility information.