Autopilot comparison chart

Discussion in 'Avionics and Upgrades' started by Flyingfanatic, Oct 12, 2020.

  1. EugeneR

    EugeneR Pre-takeoff checklist

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    There is also a Dynon option, but that’s if you want to go full glass at the same time AND Dynon’s AP is approved for your make and model. While their glass of certified for 600+ models, the autopilot is available only on P35-V35B Bonanzas and C172, with A36 Bo coming soon and Mooneys shortly after.

    But it’s a very nice install, and less expensive to purchase and to install than G3X + GFC500.

    Just finished installation in my Bonanza, waiting for the paperwork and W&B to complete before flying.
     
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  2. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    Did you get a quote for both the Dynon vs Garmin G3X? I briefly looked at equipment prices, didn’t seem to be a big difference.
     
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  3. Indiana_Pilot

    Indiana_Pilot Line Up and Wait

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    KCEV and First Wing Jet Center @KTYQ. They did a great job


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  4. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    As I recall, I think it was @Jesse Saint that mentioned that installation cost of the Dynon was much lower.
     
  5. David Megginson

    David Megginson Cleared for Takeoff

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    I'm glad that there's an alternative to the GFC 500, even if I do end up getting one eventually.

    I hate the look of the boxy G5 in a panel (that's why I didn't install one with my GTN 650 three years ago). I do like the round GI-275's look a lot better, but still, I don't want an autopilot to dictate what else I have to have in my panel.

    In the meantime, my old, single-axis STEC-20 is chugging along just fine, and is fully approach certified. With the STEC GPSS converter, it does a nice job flying RNAV approaches, holds, etc. using input from the GTN. I guess I'd save on at least one axis's worth of servos if I upgraded to the STEC 3100 when the STEC-20 finally gives up the ghost.

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Hang 4

    Hang 4 Cleared for Takeoff

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    One other thing to think about is what you are coming from. As @David Megginson mentions, if you have a competent 2 axis AP with GPSS, you get most of what you get with any of the other ones mentioned, except vertical guidance. I have an STEC 30 with Alt Hold and was thinking about the GFC500 or the Aerocruze. I have backed off either one as my STEC can do anything my GTN tells it to and I just have to adjust power and trim for the vertical portion of the approach.

    If I was starting with no AP or had one that was crapping out, I'd be all over one of the new ones.
     
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  7. CRQFlier

    CRQFlier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    OP, curious why you DQ'd the Trio.

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  8. EugeneR

    EugeneR Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I didn’t get a full quote for G3X as I decided to go ahead with Dynon already. However, the equipment cost for dual G3X + GFC500 was noticeably more than dual screen Dynon. Even single screen setup was more expensive, even though I had G5 AI already.

    What’s funny, I couldn’t even get quotes from any avionics shops in the area. They never called me back or replied to my emails. What is attractive (and contributed to my decision a lot) in Dynon installs is that any A&P is authorized to install it, and they sell directly to consumer (me).

    I was lucky that my shop got a good avionics guy already, so we could schedule the setup quickly and go ahead.

    In terms of installation efforts, Dynon wiring is much simpler (Ethernet in custom pin out and DB9 connectors) and it comes with most of the harnesses already pre-wired. That shaves a lot of time from the installation costs.

    It also comes with the avionics shelf that hosts the screen and most of the components (ADAHRS, ARINC, EMS and backup battery).

    Speaking of components - they are smaller than Garmin counterparts, so easier to mount.

    There are also install kits/brackets for servos, specific to the airframe, so that saves on install time too.

    Oh, and even the data subscription is free for nav data and $99/year for georeferenced approach plates, airport diagrams and VFR sectionals/IFR charts.

    This is the supplied avionics shelf/screen mount with ADAHRS/EMS/ARINC in the stack, backup battery (for one screen, both screens and backup EFIS have their own batteries) and ADS-B receiver on the side.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Llk

    Llk Pre-takeoff checklist

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    And that, to me, should be the future of GA. An A&P should be able to install it without the dealer crap brought in by Garmin.

    Crimping, lacing, troubleshooting, while difficult, shouldn’t be the super secret thing of certified dealers. This unnecessarily raises the cost of it all at a time when my grandmother can spell Ethernet and IP. RS232, high density connections, and god knows the newer protocols are already 20-30 years old. Screw Garmin, happily cheering for Dynon- Bendiwhat?


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  10. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    I assume you pulled the G5s since they won’t serve as a backup to skyview?
    Did you install the Dynon autopilot?
    I assume you meant you compared the dual G3X+GfC500 to dual skyview and it’s autopilot?
    What’s your ADSB IN box?
    TIA, Tom


    Tom
     
  11. EugeneR

    EugeneR Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yep, pulled the G5 (I had just one in AI configuration, so no magnetometer to pull out).

    I installed pretty much the whole enchilada sans Dynon transponder and radio:

    Dual 10” Dynon HDX
    3-axis autopilot (w/yaw damper but no auto trim yet as it’s not approved, however the trim controller is physically there and will work with any 3rd party electric trim).
    Dynon ADS-B in
    Autopilot mode control panel
    Knob control panel (heading/altitude/baro)
    Engine monitoring - replaces all engine/fuel gauges and instruments, including flap position and gear, although I kept my original gear lights there as well
    Wi-Fi module to connect Dynon to Foreflight (provides ADAHRS and ADS-B data + flight plan sync)
    ARINC module to connect to my 430W

    The equipment cost for all of that was $26K with all harnesses/brackets/etc.

    I kept my 430W, KX155 and KT-74 transponder, Aera 660 in dock and GDL39 hardwired to it and 430W. The rest is gone and replaced with Dynon. I also put PS Engineering 450B as “while we are at it” item :)

    Finished setup:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  12. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    I’ve already invested in a GDL88, JPI, and dual G5s. So the Garmin prices out differently because I have less to throw away.
     
  13. EugeneR

    EugeneR Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yeah, G3X without EIS + GFC500 makes much more sense for you then as you have most of the modules in place. You can reuse GMU11 and GAD42, temperature probe, don’t need EIS and can keep one G5 (or both). So your install cost would be mostly the screen itself and autopilot servos and control head.

    I had an old EI engine monitor, so it made sense to throw everything away.
     
  14. JohnAJohnson

    JohnAJohnson Cleared for Takeoff

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    On a GFC500 and G5 system, what actions, if any, must be taken on the G5? Is the G5 used to set barometric pressure, or to move a heading bug, etc.?
     
  15. WannFly

    WannFly Final Approach

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    The only thing I do on G5 AI is to set the altimeter. Everything is easier to do on the GFC control head. Mine sits right above the yoke, so I don’t bother touching the G5 anymore unless there is a altimeter change. Unless I am flying ILS , I also don’t touch the HSI.

    There are other things that you on G5 like adjusting brightness etc, but that’s about it. Bw G5 is the brain for GFC.
     
  16. JohnAJohnson

    JohnAJohnson Cleared for Takeoff

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    Thanks. I'm trying to determine my options. I have a Dynon HDX system in my Cardinal, and no autopilot. I would be willing to stick a G5 in the panel as a third attitude reference, and to provide attitude & heading to the GFC500, and I'd be willing to set the baro as required. I wonder if the Dynon's 429 output would drive the GCF500? I have an IFD540 for a navigator, and it talks to the Dynon via 429 bus.
     
  17. nrimmer

    nrimmer Pre-Flight

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    There seems to be a lot of misinformation here about the TruTrak Vizion with regard to approach and heading capabilities. It will take a heading from a G5 or an Aspen. It also flies LPV approaches with a 700’ AGL limitation. From the manual...
     

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  18. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

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    My STEC-20/G5/GNS-430W has been amazing flying GPSS commands. The only nit to pick is that the STEC is a little wobbly tracking in mild turbulence or in a crosswind approach, probably due to its rate-based nature. I can hand fly a bit smoother under those conditions. It's been utterly reliable.
     
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  19. WannFly

    WannFly Final Approach

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    I know IFD works just fine, most likely without a G5 GFC will not be a full fledged system. But I will let someone else comment. [mention]asicer [/mention] or [mention]flyingcheesehead [/mention] might know. Or [mention]bnt83 [/mention]
     
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  20. Ryan Klems

    Ryan Klems Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Check the AFMS, while it is _capable_ to fly an LPV and other approaches, it is not approved to do so.

    “This autopilot has not been evaluated by the FAA to meet the certification requirements for coupled instrument procedures, including coupled approaches. Therefore, these types of procedures are not authorized without further evaluation and approval.”
     
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  21. Ryan Klems

    Ryan Klems Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Without a G5 (or GI-275, or G3X), the GFC500 isn’t anything. Those units are the entire brains of the autopilot (you mentioned that in an earlier post), so there is literally nothing to drive the servos. The GMC507 is basically just a mode controller for the autopilot, unlike a more traditional autopilot where similar looking boxes are the autopilot computer.
     
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  22. Flyingfanatic

    Flyingfanatic Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It’s price is closer to the GFC 500, so I think we’d just go with that instead. I’ve heard the install is lengthy and I don’t have as much confidence in the STC group as I do BK or Garmin.
     
  23. David Megginson

    David Megginson Cleared for Takeoff

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    RNAV approaches are supported by the TT, but not authorised for IFR use (even above 700 ft AGL). It's fine to practice in VMC, of course, or even for IFR use in a genuine emergency.

    Update: It might also be a great option for long, straight-in VFR night approaches, to reduce the risk of falling into the black-hole effect. There's still lots you can do with an A/P that's not approach-certified.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2020
  24. Flyingfanatic

    Flyingfanatic Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Will a G3x drive a GFC 500?
     
  25. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    Yes
     
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