Garmin’s GFC 500 autopilot has now been certified for nearly all Piper PA–28 and PA–32 single-engine airplanes following FAA issuance of a supplemental type certificate to install the unit in Piper PA–32RT-300 and PA–32RT-300T models, Garmin announced.
More approvals are expected soon under certification programs for single-engine Beechcraft, Cessna, Cirrus, and Mooney aircraft.
The autopilot also “uniquely integrates with the G5 electronic flight instrument or a combination of both the G5 and either a G3X Touch or G500 TXi flight display to provide pilots with an economical and modern autopilot solution.” A standard feature pilots receive with the autopilot is Garmin ESP, which works to help the pilot maintain the aircraft in a stable flight condition, functioning independently of the autopilot by operating in the background to help pilots avoid inadvertent flight attitudes or bank angles, the company said. Garmin ESP also provides airspeed protection while the pilot is hand-flying the aircraft.
Numerous premium functions and advanced capabilities include altitude pre-select and indicated airspeed hold mode. Pilots can fly fully coupled descent vertical navigation (VNAV) profiles throughout the en route and terminal phases of flight with a GTN 650Xi/750Xi or GTN 650/750 navigator. They can select, couple, and fly instrument approaches, including GPS, ILS, VOR, LOC, and back courses, and fly coupled go-arounds during missed-approach sequencing, Garmin said.
For customers who already have a G5, the GFC 500 starts at a suggested retail price of $6,995 for a two-axis autopilot. The GFC 500 and G5 can be purchased together for a suggested retail price of less than $10,000.
More information about the GFC 500 autopilot is available on the Garmin website.
Garmin also continues to expand the list of approved aircraft for the GFC 600 autopilot.