Garmin announced FAA supplemental type certificate approval for its GFC 500 autopilot for certain Rockwell Commander and (Textron Aviation) Cessna models, including its first STC approval for Cessna 175 models.
The GFC 500 has a listed retail price starting at $8,395, and was recently FAA-approved for installation in an extensive and still-growing roster of general aviation, light piston aircraft.
Designed to create an affordable digital autopilot retrofit option for legacy aircraft, the GFC 500 incorporates “solid state attitude with robust self-monitoring capabilities,” and enables modern functions such as altitude preselect, VNAV, and underspeed and overspeed protection. The digital autopilot is now available to retrofit in Rockwell Commander 112 and 112A models, as well as Cessna 172A, 172B, 172C, 175A, 175B, and 175C models, adding to the many previous approvals.
The GFC 500 also has traditional autopilot capabilities such as altitude hold, and vertical speed and heading modes. It is designed to integrate with Garmin's GI 275 and G5 electronic flight instruments interfaced with G500 TXi or G3X Touch flight displays. The GFC 500 allows pilots to couple and fly various instrument approaches, including GPS, ILS, VOR, LOC, and back course approaches.