Century 2000 AP Installation

Discussion in 'Avionics and Upgrades' started by Rob58, Jan 7, 2021.

  1. Rob58

    Rob58 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Many threads have been written about the Century 2000 autopilot, which reflect about a 50/50 split between “it works great” and “it’s a real problem”. A used system does represent a bargain based on its feature set. It is also one of the few autopilots with my aircraft on the STC list. In speaking with the people at Century Flight they don’t seem too interested in helping and they are telling me that every unit they sell comes out of the factory configured for a specific aircraft model. Yet people buy used units and put them in aircraft different from the models that these units came out of. The servo install is not a problem but these so-called compatibility issues might be. Does anyone have some in depth knowledge of the installation challenges with the C-2000 system? If I purchase a used unit do I still need to go to Century to purchase the STC?
     
  2. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach Gone West

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  3. Bell206

    Bell206 Final Approach

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    FYI: any time you install an item under an STC you must have written permission from STC holder for the specific S/N aircraft regardless if new or used equipment. However, nothing prevents you from using the same used equipment and getting your own approval. Unfortunately I doubt the latter would be economically feasible in this case.
     
  4. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach

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    A used autopilot? Unless its removed from the exact same make/model/config airplane proposed to be installed into this is a non-starter. And you need all the brackets/pulleys/chains/cables and a fresh STC data package from Century to boot. Then you need to find someone with enough experience to do it, or find a an avionics shop willing (unlikely).

    In the end you'll have used autopilot with no warranty and paying about the same labor costs or more to install it.


    What really sucks, if you aren't a CessnaBeechPiper owner it takes forever for new autopilot equipment to get approved for your airplane, and many never will see it. Stech wouldn't commit to a new model airplane unless they could sell a minimum of 12 of them for example. I think Garmin can realistically only do about 8 to 12 STC projects a year. It seems like they expand the AML for the GFC 500 about every two months.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2021
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  5. Ryan F.

    Ryan F. Cleared for Takeoff

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    I would agree with the other respondents. For the most part, this is an economically infeasible (or at best, improbable) proposition.
     
  6. Rob58

    Rob58 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Brian, you've got it right. I have reached out several times to Garmin to promote the Bellanca Viking as an STC candidate for the GFC 500. Recently they did provide a personal response (nice surprise) acknowledging that this model is not high on their priority list, but they did provide some hope that it might be possible in 2022. I've offered to support them with engineering help and airframe availability. I'm hopeful, but would like to have at least an interim solution.
     
  7. Glen R

    Glen R Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My C2000 tried killing me on several occasions. Installed the GFC500 as soon as it became available. I had a Viking with an old Century iib. That one was rock solid.
     
  8. Mhkmark

    Mhkmark Filing Flight Plan

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    Great point, I have been an Avionics Tech for 46 years, STC use permission is needed, but man it’s got to be one of the most ignored aspect of DIY and sadly marginal shops. I don’t know if any policing, but have an accident and you own the liability, a manufacturer would be quick to point out, “not our fault, we didn’t give you authorization...” yikes, a litigious society.
     
  9. Rob58

    Rob58 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Agreeing with your comments, and intending to go down a legal path, I have tried reaching out to Century on several occasions willing to pay a rather steep price for the Century 2000 STC ($1600). Left phone messages and email... no response. I would think this would be easy money for them to sell an STC. Not sure about this company.