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November 29, 2010
By Alton K. Marsh
Avidyne’s new DFC100 autopilot is expected to be certified by the end of 2010 for Cirrus aircraft that have the Entegra Release 9 glass cockpit system. The company recently detailed new features of the $14,990 DFC100.
The DFC100 provides fulltime flight envelope alerting, coupled VNav during descents and missed approaches, fail-safe dual attitude heading reference system (AHRS) inputs, flap position input, enhanced mode selection logic, support for the optional Cirrus Roll Servo, and integrated FMS Vectors capability. It also includes the straight and level button found on the DFC90 autopilot.
Avidyne’s DFC100 is an attitude-based autopilot with an integrated flight computer and control panel that is designed for Entegra Release 9-equipped Cirrus SR20 and SR22 aircraft. It has all the standard vertical and lateral modes of operation of a turbine-class autopilot system, a company press release said.
Fulltime envelope alerting provides speed-based and attitude-based alerting even when the autopilot is not engaged. Alerts are triggered when the DFC100 recognizes an underspeed, overspeed, or excessive bank condition. It was designed for scenarios like traffic pattern stalls. Alerts are suppressed in full-flap and near idle conditions.
Flap position input information is used by the DFC100 to improve the accuracy of the alerts. The autopilot uses knowledge of the flap position to compute true stall speed and providing better-defined underspeed protection and alerting.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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