GFC700 v. KAP 140?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by jamie, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. jamie

    jamie Filing Flight Plan

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    Need to make a decision RIGHT NOW. Looking at a 2006 and 2008 T182T, 150 hours tt each. Price delta is huge: like $70k.

    I'm a 600 hr ir pilot who flies a lot of 1 hour hamburger missions. I rarely fly in IMC except for a few flights a year.

    Thoughts?

    Many thanks.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2010
  2. HPNPilot1200

    HPNPilot1200 En-Route

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    GFC700 is an awesome autopilot but for your mission and purpose, it doesn't sound like it's worth an extra $70k. For single pilot IFR in hard IMC, the GFC700 and flight director is definitely a nice feature. But if that's not what you're flying in, then why spend the money?

    Hope this helps.

    Best,
    Jason
     
  3. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

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    Spend the money - the better integration will result in lower avionics bills in the future. You'll also love the features. You're also getting a newer airplane.
     
  4. flyersfan31

    flyersfan31 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Me? I'd take the GFC700 in a heartbeat. Better resale, if nothing else. In the event you fly distances, or IMC, you will LOVE the GFC700.
     
  5. weilke

    weilke Final Approach

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    The difference in price reflects the fact that the market puts a 70k price on an installed GFC700. How much money does having 70k vs not having 70k in your pocket during the hold time of the aircraft cost you ? One could also argue that for hamburger runs, the 'T' is a bit of an overkill.
     
  6. jamie

    jamie Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks for the input boys. I believe I have a now have a deal on a 2008 Turbo 182 with 150 hours. No SVT, however.
     
  7. weilke

    weilke Final Approach

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    You'll see the hamburgers just as well in 2D.
     
  8. Trapper John

    Trapper John Ejection Handle Pulled

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    And when the next wonderbox comes out, the value of the GFC700 (and the rest of the panel) falls to what?


    Trapper John
     
  9. weilke

    weilke Final Approach

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    Given the extremely slow development cycle of stand-alone autopilots I don't see that as much of a concern. Certifying a new wonderbox costs a lot of money, even Avidyne with their Stec55 replacement is taking it one step at a time.
     
  10. Trapper John

    Trapper John Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I suppose you're right, but when one A/P in a fixed gear single is worth 70k more than another A/P, I'd go for the cheaper one and have enough left over to buy a whole 'nother plane.


    Trapper John
     
  11. weilke

    weilke Final Approach

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    That will cost you a whole other set of fixed cost, will depreciate by itself and won't keep its value for resale.

    How many planes can you fly at the same time ?
     
  12. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

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    I would be willing to bet 70K into a separate airplane would keep its resale value better than 70K more on a T182 just because it has a better autopilot.
     
  13. weilke

    weilke Final Approach

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    Barring some cataclysmic market-disruptive event such as TSO approval for a a Digiflight autopilot to replace the KAP140 or certification of the stand-alone R9 autopilot for the 182, I don't see why the historical difference between the kap140 and GFC700 planes should diminish.

    The same differential (about 50k) exists in the used DA40 market.
     
  14. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

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    Give it 10 years. That new airplane is going to depreciate a lot and those avionics won't be that fancy anymore. The depreciation is a lot lower on a 20 year old airplane that becomes a 30 year old airplane.
     
  15. weilke

    weilke Final Approach

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    Sure, and 100 years out they are both soda-cans :rolleyes2:.
     
  16. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

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    Okay? So how does talking about what happens to your money over 10 years compare to what happens over 100 years? Owning an airplane for 10 years is pretty damn common.
     
  17. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    A lot of 1 hour hamburger missions, and you're getting a turbo? Why? :dunno: Turbos don't do you much good unless you go high, and you won't go very high on a 1-hour burger mission... I made a spreadsheet to figure out the best altitudes to fly in a non-pressurized turbo bird (not a 182 tho), and came up with the rules of thumb that the fastest time would be had (neglecting wind) by climbing 1,000 feet for every 18 miles traveled, and the best efficiency by climbing 1,000 feet for every 20 miles traveled. 1 hour in a 182, you're not going to be going above 7,000 feet or so, where you can still develop good power in a normally aspirated bird, so the turbo really won't be any faster unless you push it hard, which will cost you big-time in maintenance, early overhauls, and fuel for very little speed advantage.

    That said, the GFC 700 is a very good autopilot, more sophisticated than the KAP 140. $70K worth? Only you can answer that question. Since the 140 climbs only with a vertical speed mode, you'll be constantly adjusting it when you go high with the turbo bird. The GFC's Flight Level Change mode will hold a constant airspeed, keeping your engine cool, your forward speed up, and your wing flying. (The KAP 140 can and will stall the airplane if you get too high to maintain the selected climb rate.)
     
  18. TangoWhiskey

    TangoWhiskey Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    You can add it later; software upgrade for that new of a 182.

    Congrats! That's what I'd be looking for, too.
     
  19. peter-h

    peter-h Line Up and Wait

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    If the cost diff is really $70k, somebody is making a load of $$$$$$$$$$$$ somewhere.

    The total cost of manufacturing a digital autopilot computer (e.g. my KFC225) is around $500 (about the same as a Garmin 430).

    The cost of manufacturing each of the three servos (e.g. my KS27xC) is around $200.

    The other 90% of the money goes on supporting a mountain of people (massive fixed costs) but they probably do make a lot of money on these products. Unless it is something like a KFC225 whose half-life is less than a lot of stuff on the periodic table :)
     
  20. flyersfan31

    flyersfan31 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Cost difference is due to depreciation. 2005 vs 2008.

    If you keep the airplane for a long time, you will be much happier with the GFC700. that technology will not be dated any time soon. Fly it and you'll see why.
     
  21. jason

    jason Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Well, when you have to get your stuff certified, it's an entirely different story. That's like when somebody is talking about drug companies and says "that pill only costs $.05 to produce". Yes, that's true. That one only cost that much. But the first one cost $15 billion.
     
  22. mry110

    mry110 Filing Flight Plan

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    Here is a potential issue for you. I have been looking at similar airplanes. Do both of your aircraft have WAAS? I am willing to guess the GFC700 one has it and the KAP140 doesn't. I think it costs $20k-$30k or so for the WAAS upgrade.
     
  23. weilke

    weilke Final Approach

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    This thread is not about the cost of the unit itself but rather the differential the market on used aircraft puts on KAP140 vs GFC700 equipped Cessna 182s (there is a bit more to that difference as the kap140 planes by definition are 1-2 years older and may have other goodies like the exploding seatbelts that got added later).

    A similar differential exists for DA40 with G1000 and KAP140 vs GFC700.

    At this point, the GFC700 is not available as a stand-alone retrofit.
     
  24. jamie

    jamie Filing Flight Plan

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    4 reasons.

    1. larger resale audience
    2. slight speed increase
    3. slight performance improvement on triple h days
    4. I have to cross the Appalachians a few times a year and it's sometimes much safer to do so at 17 as opposed to 11.

    In my haste, I forgot to mention the presence of WAAS in the newer plane.

    Thanks again for the thoughtful input.
     
  25. jason

    jason Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    That's a biggie...
     
  26. Trapper John

    Trapper John Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Isn't it hard to see the hamburger stand when you're 13,000 ft above the highest terrain?


    Trapper John
     
  27. HPNPilot1200

    HPNPilot1200 En-Route

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    Agreed. Scratch my earlier post. I'd take the WAAS over the non-WAAS'd airplane.
     
  28. Areeda

    Areeda Pattern Altitude

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    I think you've gotten good advice here.

    The GFC700, WAAS, and 3 years newer add up to 70K worth of goodies in my book.

    Joe
     
  29. n266bj

    n266bj Guest

    The deals on KAP equipped 182's were just too good for me to pass up. Bought a 2006 T182T for $80,000 less than the best deal I could find on a 2007 model. I guess I could have justified the higher price but in the end common sense prevailed. Don't get me wrong, if I had all the $ in the world, I would have bought a gfc equipped plane but for now my wallet is happy.
    BJ
     
  30. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Always gotta do what you gotta do. $70k was a pretty high delta for a year and a 700 A/P, although, the 700 has one important feature the rest do not, it will climb on airspeed rather than vertical speed. I'm pretty sure that that is what caused a couple of the early Cirrus crashes where they stalled in IMC, the A/P just kept pitching up to maintain vertical speed and WHOOPS! Since the A/P doesn't work the rudders and most people on A/P don't have their feet on the rudders they end up in an uncoordinated power on stall in IMC and spin in. If you don't have spin training and practice them frequently enough that the spin sensations in each direction have become ingrained in your brain so you respond correctly to feel rather than sight, the likely hood of a successful recovery is not good, so remember that in your 182 as well because the same thing applies.
     
  31. n266bj

    n266bj Guest

    Climbing on airspeed is certainly a cool feature. In regards to the cirrus crashes, I would argue that it was not the fault of the autopilot but rather improper pilot training. Autopilots have been like that as long as I can remember and if the pilot is properly trained they work great.

    I understand the safety and wow factor of the gfc but unless you are flying a lot of single pilot long X/C's in hard IFR, I just don't see the benefit. Again, if I had the money, I would have certainly bought a gfc equipped plane but the difference in price buys a lot of fuel and training.:thumbsup:

    I agree spin training is a great idea for all pilots. I did them during my training in the early 80's but I could probably use a refresher. I would also recommend tailwheel endorsements. Flying taildraggers for a couple of hundred hours did more for my stick and rudder skills than anything else in regards to flying.

    Bob
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2010
  32. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I flew a DA40/G1000 with the KAP140 yesterday. Integration of the KAP140 is lousy. In fact, it's nonexistent. With that type of plane, there's three places to set your altimeter baro setting (G1000, KAP140, backup steam altimeter), two places to set your altitude (G1000 and KAP140), and I had my first "What's it doing now?" moment as well.

    I haven't flown with the GFC700 yet (or if I have, I sure didn't use it), but eliminating the above two issues would be very nice, and I'm betting that the GFC700's alarms aren't as annoying as the KAP140. The KAP140 has a painfully loud beep when you disconnect it, and even after you disconnect it it still wants to function as an "altitude alerter" so you're flying along and start a manual descent and it goes nuts (although at least in this plane they changed it from the beep to the vocal alert).

    If I were going to buy a plane myself and keep it for a while, I'd definitely pay extra for the GFC700 if it was within my means.
     
  33. flyersfan31

    flyersfan31 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    No contest between the two. The GFC700 is light years ahead in terms of performance. I'd say the same with regard to the STEC 55x I fly with now. Great autopilot (the GFC700, that is). Captures courses and approaches much better. IAS climb is great if you aren't an idiot. KAP140 seemed to be kinda cranky too - don't know about the service history of the GFC but the KAPs aren't very robust.

    That being said, the new planes aren't very far down the depreciation curve so if you really want to buy now, clearly the KAP140 planes are a better value, especially post-WAAS (which is 2005 IIRC). I still look for another altimeter to set almost every time I fly and I haven't flown the T182T in 2 yrs.
     
  34. weilke

    weilke Final Approach

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    The beep is there for you not to die.

    Remove the lawyers from aviation and the beeps volume will become adjustable.
     
  35. Gsim Aviation

    Gsim Aviation Pre-Flight

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    I now have the GFC700 in my 182T 2007, before that I had the 2004 182T with the G1000 and KAP140 AP. I ended up selling the 2004 182 because I found out the KAP140 WILL NOT couple to the Glide Path on a LPV, if you upgrade to WAAS. I have never looked back, the KAP140 is a good AP but the GFC700 is way better and counting that and the WAAS you get with the 2007 and on $70k is well worth it and it makes the plane worth more and easier to sell in the long run.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2010
  36. Gsim Aviation

    Gsim Aviation Pre-Flight

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    Very unlikely because all the new G1000 planes are coming with the GFC700 and I have had mine for 3 1/2 years the 2007 is the same as the 2011 and my 2007 price has held steady now.
     
  37. Gsim Aviation

    Gsim Aviation Pre-Flight

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    That is it, but it can be adjusted with a laptop computer.
     
  38. dennyleeb

    dennyleeb Line Up and Wait

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    I have a 2005 T182T with kap 140 and love it. I have flown both. No way the diff. is worth 70k. However, what about the other options esp. WAAS? Do they both have WAAS that is a 18k upgrade on g1000. SVT install just 8k.
     
  39. dennyleeb

    dennyleeb Line Up and Wait

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    Sorry but a plane can stall at any airspeed so last statement not true. The GFC 700 can stall a airplane.
     
  40. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    True, a plane can stall at any airspeed - It's the angle of attack that causes a stall.

    Now, within the context of the GFC 700 - How are you going to get it to exceed the critical angle of attack in FLC mode?

    The GFC 700 can stall an airplane the same way a KAP 140 can stall an airplane - in Vertical Speed mode when the climb rate is set to something more than the plane can get at Vy in the conditions present. (Though the G1000 could theoretically just tell the autopilot not to drop below Vy or Vx, dunno if they thought of that.)

    However, the GFC 700 in FLC mode isn't going to stall you. :no: