Best “efis/pfd” for KFC200

Discussion in 'Avionics and Upgrades' started by Skymac, Jul 28, 2019.

  1. Skymac

    Skymac Pre-Flight

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    Anyone out there with hands on operating experience with new Garmin G5’s or Aspen Units, or others for that matter and how they integrate and work with the KFC-200? Attitude indicator is going flaky and so are the needles on the HSI so it’s time to spend some money...
     
  2. Vince R

    Vince R Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I have the G500/GTN750/GTN650 in my Bo with a KFC200...it works well, but with some quirks.

    On the plus side, it flies the plane very accurately and will fly whatever flight plan I program perfectly. I hit most waypoints within a small fraction of a mile, altitudes are always spot-on, and coupled approaches are always nearly perfectly flown.

    The negatives are that it's not fully integrated and operated from the G500, so you're sometimes going back and forth between the G500 and the KFC200 controls. Altitude changes, for example, require you to set the altitude on the G500, then setup your desired rate of climb on the KFC200. Same for setting up an approach...it's "load and activate" the approach, then hit the approach button on the KFC200. There's also no vertical speed select, etc from the G500, so you do have to monitor altitude changes a bit more.

    Still, I like the overall setup, and I think it would be better still on the G3X or Txi displays.
     
  3. Unit74

    Unit74 Final Approach

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    What’s in the rest of the stack and what are your plans for any future upgrades?
     
  4. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    @Jesse Saint was able to answer many of my avionics questions recently.... perhaps he can add commentary to this thread.
     
  5. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I have a KFC 150, which also suffers from being fed by the slowly-dying KI 256.

    The options when your KI 256 dies today, frankly, suck. There's basically three things you can do:

    1) Find another KI 256. Plenty of them are being pulled out right now... But who knows how long any of them will last, and then you're going to be right back where you started.
    2) Aspen Pro PFD with EA100 autopilot adapter. Probably pushes $20K with installation... And I'm not sure Aspen is going to be around much longer, they haven't really done anything new in quite some time.
    3) Garmin G500 TXi with GAD 43e adapter. $$$$$ (probably $25K-$30K installed) but really nice... Unfortunately, you're still going to be suffering with an old analog autopilot.

    Frankly, probably the best option is 4) rip out the KFC-200 and replace it with a GFC 500, with either a pair of G5s or a G3X Touch driving it. That'll cost the same or maybe even less than option 3, and you'll end up with a much nicer autopilot (though you won't have the nice EFIS for that price).

    Good luck.
     
  6. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Cleared for Takeoff

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    You can get the new Bendix/King KI300, which is a direct replacement for the KI256. I think it is a bit overpriced, around $5200, but it will save you money long term vs keeping a KI256 going. That is assuming you aren't planning on doing a full glass panel install at some point.
     
  7. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    No, no you can't. The KI-300 is for sale, but the KA-310 adapter that's required for it to drive legacy King autopilots is not.
     
  8. Skymac

    Skymac Pre-Flight

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    GFC500 is not certified for a baron either so $$$ on the 600
     
  9. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Cleared for Takeoff

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    But it's been approved, right?
     
  10. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Apparently I was given bad information by a guy I spoke to... At the King booth at Oshkosh. So yes, it just got approved a couple weeks ago.

    That said, the problem with the KI-300 is that it's a rebranded Sandia 340A, and those have had some really awful reliability issues:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Cleared for Takeoff

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    I'd rather spend $10k on an Aspen than $5200 on the KI300 and KA310.
     
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  12. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Well, given that Aspen hasn't exactly done anything inspiring lately, the options for us would be a TXi to drive the KFC, which is a lot of dough and still leaves you with an old, not-so-well-supported autopilot... Or just tossing the KFC in favor of a GFC 500.
     
  13. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Cleared for Takeoff

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    You can overhaul a lot of servos for the price of a GFC500
     
  14. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I don't consider two to be "a lot".

    Last time I had a bad servo I was quoted $9600 for an overhaul exchange, and there weren't even any available at that price. Luckily, the component-level guy at my avionics shop managed to bring it back to life... But that's the point at which we decided that if anything else goes wrong with the KFC, it's getting yanked.
     
  15. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Cleared for Takeoff

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    So a soup to nuts gfc500 installation is less than $20k?
     
  16. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Can be, depending on where you go and what equipment you already have.
     
  17. Initial Fix

    Initial Fix Pre-Flight

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    We have a quote for 2x G5 and the 500 at under 20k installed. It will be a tough decision when the 256 needs its next overhaul or a servo needs rebuilding.
     
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  18. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Not a tough decision IMO. Pour money into dead-end equipment, or pour (admittedly more) money into far better equipment? I'd rather my dollars take me at least partway toward a better place than just back to the same spot.
     
  19. Stephen Shore

    Stephen Shore Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I have an Aspen Pro 1000 with altitude select driving my KFC200. I have had it about
    6 months. No issues whatsoever. In fact, the plane is in the shop this week getting my MAX upgrade.

    GPS is a Garmin GTN750 and yes, I love that unit. I picked it out after comparing GPS units at Oshkosh 2018. I don't regret that decision either.
     
  20. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    15k installed here in ND
     
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  21. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Including the G5? If so, that's a steal.
     
  22. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    Ha, negative , that’s only GFC 500
     
  23. N1120A

    N1120A Line Up and Wait

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    I'd argue that the G3x is a nice EFIS. It is basically a less expensive TXi.
     
  24. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It's very nice, and it's what'll likely go into my plane in a couple years. But, it will not drive a KFC 200.

    Looking back at my post... I'm not sure what on earth I meant when I said it that way, though... Probably that the G3X Touch + GFC 500 combo is more expensive than keeping the KFC 200 with the G500 TXi, so if you're looking for an under-$35K solution, you'd have to choose between TXi + old autopilot, or new autopilot with G5s. The G3X + G5 backup + GFC500 combo is going to run somewhere north of $40K.
     
  25. Getonit

    Getonit Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Sounds like all of these solutions suck.....KI-256 owner.....
     
  26. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yeah, pretty much. I'm really disappointed that Garmin didn't release the rumored "G5+" at Oshkosh. I'd have been on that like white girls on pumpkin spice.