Bendixking AeroFlight (KI 300) and AeroCruze (KFC 230)

Discussion in 'Avionics and Upgrades' started by Steve P, Nov 13, 2018.

  1. Steve P

    Steve P Filing Flight Plan

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    The L was essential a freebie with the STC. The M, R, and S are coming about 3 months after the initial release with the second wave of airframes being added to the STC.
     
  2. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Because of the J and K, or something else?

    Very odd, because the L is more similar to the M/R/S in everything but horsepower than it is to the J/K.

    #curious
     
  3. Katamarino

    Katamarino Cleared for Takeoff

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    @Steve P - I, like many others, have read Peter's account. In case you don't know of him, he is an extremely well respected member of the European GA community, and I believe has a business designing and manufacturing electronics. If he says that BK are putting out junk products, I believe him; and his account of how the company completely refuse to support their product is shocking.

    I suspect I am not the only one who wouldn't even contemplate using BK products without a very thorough response to the issues he and other owners faced. As far as I can tell from his experience, nobody from the CEO on down has any interest at all in even responding or admitting there was a problem.

    You stated in your second post that "Bendix King needs to tackle concerns head on". This would be a good one to address. Would you care to comment?
     
  4. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man Pattern Altitude

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    While I appreciate BK making an effort to re enter the market, the products they had on display at Airventure aren't going to get them there. Compared to the segment leaders, the displays are pathetic and user interface was terrible and priced too high. If they expect to get back into the market they are going to have to do better for less to get some installations going again. Start with a slide in KX-155 replacement with actual buttons instead of touch screen. Then they need a knock out WAAS gps that undercuts Avidyne and Garmin then a proper G5 competitor. They need to focus on the Experimental market as those are the people most likely to go out on a limb and try something new. Frankly I am surprised BK is even still around. If they ever do come out with good products again I would be the first to go to bat for them as I like an underdog.
     
  5. tceq24443

    tceq24443 Pre-Flight

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    Steve, are there any plans to add wireless or full ADSB IN to the KSN770 or is the KSN770 going to be replaced with a new product. Besides charts it would be nice to upload flight plans from a tablet? Also, how exactly does the KGX130R interact with the KSN770?
    Thanks
     
  6. Steve P

    Steve P Filing Flight Plan

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    RFriesen,

    The KFC 230 received TSOII on 12/14 and we are continuing to push for the AML STC.

    So to answer your question. Yes, we are still on track for Q1 2019.
     
  7. Steve P

    Steve P Filing Flight Plan

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    I'm being told it was to do with horsepower, past that I don't have a much more information.
     
  8. Steve P

    Steve P Filing Flight Plan

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    Currently, flight plans can be loaded by using the KSN 770 PC Trainer (KSN Simulator) available to download from the BendixKing Website. At this time there are no plans to implement wireless or tablet loading. Full ADS-B in something engineering is trying to implement but there is no time frame for that update at this time. The KX 130R connects via ARINC 429 and provides some ADS-B in (TIS-A) to the KSN, but mostly the KSN is used as the GPS source for the KGX 130 series transponders. With some KGX systems, the ADS-B (including TIS-B) can be output to a tablet device using Foreflight and other apps.

    You can download the KSN PC trainer at https://www.bendixking.com/en/products/productitems/ksn-770 and scroll toward the bottom on the page.

    Cheers,

    Steve
     
  9. tceq24443

    tceq24443 Pre-Flight

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    Yes thanks for your reply. I have verified everything as stated. My 2cents worth, per my understanding it is a hardware issue so I do not believe they will ever be able to do ADSB-In without some major board upgrade or bypass to the KSN770 as the circuitry is just not there. TIS-A will being phased out? So basically the KSN770 is a comm radio,VLOC/GPS navigator equivalent to a Garmin 530W before Flightstream 210. IMHO, this unit should be selling for $7-9,000, the equivalent of a refurb G530W. Thanks for all your help
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
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  10. Eric Duberman

    Eric Duberman Filing Flight Plan

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    Steve P.

    If you need a test bed for a PA46-310P I volunteer. KFC150 with Aspen. STEC-3100 certified but early adapters on MMOPA not too happy. GFC600
    not yet certified but talking 32K installed with new Garmin servos. My servos are fine but altitude information from the KEA-130a is not ideal.

    Eric
     
  11. Bryan 2340

    Bryan 2340 Filing Flight Plan

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    Steve,
    I have been following your posts, so joined to be able to chime in.
    Mooney K model, KAP 150, Sandel 3308, Garmin 430/GDL39.
    Everything works well. ADS-B out required this year. Would like WAAS and more reliable AI. The guy paying a premium to have all his Garmin components match is not me. HW replacement units appeal to me, but pricing is not competitive. Right now my upgrade choice would be garmin. Garmin is a marginally better product at a lower price. HW’s prowess in jet market doesn’t translate to GA. You’re going to have to fight to get back in.
    Good Luck. It’s a tough crowd.
    Bryan
     
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  12. tceq24443

    tceq24443 Pre-Flight

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    Yes, when BK says their recommitting to GA, I think they meant commercial general aviation, but we shall see. Are they shipping the AeroVue Touch yet???
     
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  13. Steve P

    Steve P Filing Flight Plan

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    Eric,

    I appreciate the offer and I'll get it over to the flight test group ASAP. I'll PM you with further information.

    Happy New Year!

    Steve
     
  14. tceq24443

    tceq24443 Pre-Flight

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    Steve good to see that BK has some one visiting the light GA forums.
     
  15. Steve P

    Steve P Filing Flight Plan

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    Bryan,

    Thanks for weighing in.

    I think you're pretty much spot on, and we are working on bring our prices down. You can see this with our new autopilot releasing this quarter, and we've dropped the list price on the KI300 as well ($5330 USD with the autopilot adapter).
    It'll be a fight, but we're trying to create some much needed competition because that benefits everyone.

    Happy New Year!

    Steve
     
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  16. tceq24443

    tceq24443 Pre-Flight

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    even cheaper at Sarasota Avionics. (no affliation whatsoever btw)
     
  17. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yay! Now we're getting somewhere.

    Any chance you could include some more robust yoke switches with the KFC 230? Having replaced both the $800 trim switch and $300 disconnect, I'm not too keen on keeping them if they're going to continue to be unreliable (which, based on Peter's analysis, I can't see how they could possibly be reliable). They really need to be more beefy, and cheaper too.
     
  18. chartbundle

    chartbundle Line Up and Wait

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    Hopefully for the disconnect they use one of those fancy 'relay' things instead of just running all the power through the switch. You're not likely to get a switch that small that can handle that level of current properly.
     
  19. Steve P

    Steve P Filing Flight Plan

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    Engineering is looking at switch options right now. I'm hoping I can give some guidance for new yoke switches around the time of release.

    Cheers,

    Steve
     
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  20. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Excellent, thanks!

    How's the autopilot adapter for the KI-300 coming along? (KA310?)
     
  21. Steve P

    Steve P Filing Flight Plan

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    The government shutdown has put us in a tough spot, because the KA 310 is at the point where we need FAA resources for test flights and function verification. At the moment we've had to push the KA 310 back to Q2 2019 that could change if we can complete some of the FAA required activities in a timely manner.

    I just heard about this Friday, so I will keep everyone updated as soon as I get information.

    Regards,

    Steve
     
  22. JACO

    JACO Filing Flight Plan

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    Hello Steve

    This is great news

    I have a quick question if an aircraft upgrades to the KFC-230 and a KI300 will you still require a KA310

    When do you anticipate the Bonanza to get STC, approval?

    Regards

    Jaco Kelly
     
  23. Steve P

    Steve P Filing Flight Plan

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    Hi Jaco,

    What model of Bonanza do you have?

    Cheers,

    Steve
     
  24. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That's a good question. @Steve P, is the adapter still required if you get the new autopilot?
     
  25. Greg Gell

    Greg Gell Filing Flight Plan

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    Steve,

    I have a KFC200 in my P-baron. As of now there are no avenues open to 1984-1986 flat panel P-Baron owners to upgrade to any digital autopilot with vertical speed control. 1976-1983 P-Barons can do a GFC600. Will a 3 axis version be aml'd for us?
     
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  26. Greg Gell

    Greg Gell Filing Flight Plan

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    Will the 3 axis version with yaw damper of KFC225 be approved for my 1984 58P-Baron with vertical speed control?
     
  27. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Greg,

    Do you know why the approval for the older P-Barons won't extend to the new ones? They also don't show the GFC 600 as approved for the P-Baron yet, just that it's in progress. What's a 58PA anyway?

    The 58P is a heckuva nice bird, especially with the flat panel and the engine controls moved out of the way... I'd love to see pics! And welcome to the board!
     
  28. Greg Gell

    Greg Gell Filing Flight Plan

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    Yes, it has to do with the cabling differences hooking up to the servos with the old throw over (center) yoke versus the two yokes in the flat panel 1984 on versions. Everything about the airplanes is identical.
     
  29. Greg Gell

    Greg Gell Filing Flight Plan

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    It was my understanding that the STC'd KFC200 cabling/servo arrangement would be good to go regardless of which P-Baron panel was used, since that has been worked out with the original STC 30 years ago for the KFC 200. It is my understanding the KFC 230 will send signals via the same wiring to the servos to drive them and none of that mechanical part is to be changed. The wiring from the panel mounted KFC230 to the servo will be altered in some fashion compared to the wiring from the KFC 200 will it not.
     
  30. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Ah, that makes sense. So really it's a difference on the install, and not something they need to flight test?

    You might get away with a discount from Garmin if you volunteer to let them have your plane for a little while...
     
  31. Greg Gell

    Greg Gell Filing Flight Plan

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    I would rather just plunk a kfc230 into my panel. My understanding is Garmin is a hard no. I talked to them at Oshkosh and that was the response I got.
     
  32. peter-h

    peter-h Line Up and Wait

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    I haven't popped on here for a while but someone pointed me to it... I did that KFC225 "bench investigation" some years ago, after I got fed up with the smell of burning servos getting into the cockpit. Some random comments:

    The red disconnect switch is not easy to replace because (as stated above) it carries the clutch current of all three servos and with these being heavily inductive loads there is a lot of arcing. One would need to add some arc suppression arrangement (more than just a clamping diode because that will just clamp the arc to 28V). A switch which won't burn out for years will have to be a big one - too big to fit into the available space - and using a relay is adding a point of failure which you do not want.

    The KS27xC servos are mechanically pretty good. They will outlast the life of the airframe in most cases. What wears out is the motor and to a lesser extent its integral gearbox and especially the motor brushes. The motors are "cheap and nasty" motors made by Globe in the US and Globe refuse to enter into correspondence, or sell brushes, because ... HBK have contractually prevented them from doing so :) Why do HBK use Globe? Probably because Globe have put -55C as the bottom end temp on their datasheet so the motor ticks the boxes.

    There is an issue in the pitch servo where the torque sensing strain gauges (they use a cheap standard industrial part, worth about $5) are subject to too much strain (flexing) due to the cantilever being not stiff enough, so the glue breaks, or the strain gauge breaks. This is trivial to fix: a stiffer cantilever and a bit more gain on the torque circuit to get the 3V output back.

    There is also a problem with the Faulhaber tachometers but they are available, for about $60 :) Cheap and dirty, have as many as you want :) But a tachometer is a horrible solution!

    So there is no problem getting parts for the servos to fix them, or make new ones. Globe still make those motors. However, for the 21st century, a new (and plug-compatible) design should use a brushless system, which would most likely be a stepping motor (rather than a 3 phase brushless) because then you don't need a tachometer.

    The servos burn out not due to something inside the servo but due to the KC225 computer occassionally getting itself into a mess and sending in a fast waveform which the servo cannot follow and (because the current limit circuit limits at a current high enough to melt the armature winding in some tens of seconds) this kills the motor, which goes short circuit and this melts the MOSFETs which have no heatsink; they are just soldered to a PCB.

    One can prevent the burnouts in an obvious way (reduce the current limit by about 5x, just one resistor, plus some trivia) and I told some HBK reps about this years ago, including a meeting (which they requested) at Aero Friedrichshafen (EDNY) but nothing came of it. The latest SB for the servos just shorts out the current limit circuit which is the most dumb thing you can do.

    There is an almost incidental other issue: the KI256 signal decoding is badly done in the KC225. Also panel vibration of the KI256 is transmitted to the autopilot as pitch/roll and this all helps to wear out the motors a lot faster than it should.

    A proper fix is a fix for the KC225 software but since "everybody" left HBK c. 2003, I doubt there is anyone who can find the source code, let alone understand it, fix it, and recompile it. This is why other HBK autopilots which use the same servos don't burn them out. They don't have the dodgy software.

    To get any trust back, HBK need to recruit some real software and hardware engineers, not the old guys whose careers have been in paper pushing and who are counting the days to their old age pension. And they need to put an engineer in charge, not somebody who just uses one of the several corporate bull***t generators which you can find online.

    HBK should redesign the servos so that existing owners have a plug-compatible service path. They sell of the order of 1k servos a year (mostly to replace burnt out ones; the burnt PCB is declared BER) which is a nice business. Only then should they bring out a new computer.

    The KI256 is a hassle but Castleberry make an electrically driven equivalent. It is TSOd, but not STCd for anything. They used to make the KI256 for a while, many years ago. A good company. Anyway, an AHRS based KI256 replacement is not hard to do, although you would probably need to bring in GPS data to get it certified as a primary pitch/roll source.

    That said, the KFC225 is a great autopilot in performance terms.
     
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  33. Steve P

    Steve P Filing Flight Plan

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    Greg,

    I'll check to see what our timing is looking like for getting your airplane on the aml for the AeroCruze 230 (KFC 230). I know the straight 58 is on the aml for the KFC 225, but I'll check for the 58P.

    Cheers,

    Steve
     
  34. Steve P

    Steve P Filing Flight Plan

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    I think the answer is yes, because I had this question posed on BT as well. I'm just double checking for my own sanity.

    Cheers,

    Steve
     
  35. Greg Gell

    Greg Gell Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks Steve. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
     
  36. Steve P

    Steve P Filing Flight Plan

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    @Greg Gell

    The KA 310 will be required for connection between the KI300 and AeroCruze 230. In the future as new versions of the product come out the adapter box may just be needed for legacy installations.

    Cheers,

    Steve