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Author Topic: Garmin Auto Pilots and Engine Instruments  (Read 2213 times)

kent4142

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Garmin Auto Pilots and Engine Instruments
« on: February 03, 2022, 04:07:37 pm »
I have been pinging Garmin every 6 months or so about an autopilot for Commanders.  Max is the point man for this program.  This was his most recent response and he had a question at the end of his letter.

"Hi Kent,
 
The Twin Commanders have not risen very far up our autopilot priority list.
 
We are still working on aircraft families such as the remaining King Airs, 400 series twin Cessnaís and the Piper Cheyenne / Navajo Chieftainís.
 
There are two things that currently prevent the Commanders from moving up higher in our list. First off Ė there are readily available retrofit autopilots that can be installed in these aircraft and Garmin does not benefit from any first mover advantage. Next, the sheer number of Twin Commander variants would likely prevent us from getting coverage of the entire fleet with one program. This extends the duration and increases the costs of investing in this family.
 
If I use the Twin Cessnaís as an example. We have so far done 6 separate efforts to cover the 310R, 340, 414A, 421C, 425 and 441. We still have at least 3 effort to go to cover the 421B, straight 414 and the 310P/Q. Then we have to figure out what to do with the older 310s and aircraft such as the 402 and 404.
 
I guess this is a longwinded way of saying Ė the twin Commander is still on my list, but we are still working through some of the ďbread and butterĒ aircraft on our list and not ready to consider this aircraft just yet.
 
I do have a question for you Ė how much desire is there in the twin commander community to have a Garmin TXi EIS solution? What 3rd party glass engine instrumentation solutions are out there for this model?
 
Thanks,
 
Max"
 

donv

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Re: Garmin Auto Pilots and Engine Instruments
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2022, 05:07:36 pm »
If you want a fancy autopilot, what is wrong with the S-Tec 3100? I believe it does pretty much everything the Garmin autopilots do.

As for the engine indication system, yes, I'm pretty sure there is a lot of interest in that one. I could even see doing that myself, at some point.

As far as I know, the only other solution is the Meggitt system, which I don't think is available for purchase now. I've heard that it works fine, but there is a concern about parts support for it, so this would seem like exactly the sort of market they would like.

He is wrong about the coverage of the entire fleet with one program for the autopilot-- S-Tec did it for the 3100, all off of my installation.

donv

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Re: Garmin Auto Pilots and Engine Instruments
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2022, 05:10:10 pm »
Nice looking panel, by the way! Here is mine from the other night...


Steve binnette

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Re: Garmin Auto Pilots and Engine Instruments
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2022, 09:58:49 am »
I would be interested in the EIS.  The mixing of screens and dials makes interpreting  information more difficult particularly at night.  The illumination difference is not optimal.

It would be great if the EIS had a memory that MX could pull to help diagnose intermittent problems.

Adam Frisch

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Re: Garmin Auto Pilots and Engine Instruments
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2022, 03:04:37 am »
I think EIS would be very popular. Lot of old tired dials out there that are failure prone.
Slumming it in the turboprop world - so you don't have to.

Bruce Byerly

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Re: Garmin Auto Pilots and Engine Instruments
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2022, 09:31:23 pm »
If you want a fancy autopilot, what is wrong with the S-Tec 3100? I believe it does pretty much everything the Garmin autopilots do.

As for the engine indication system, yes, I'm pretty sure there is a lot of interest in that one. I could even see doing that myself, at some point.

As far as I know, the only other solution is the Meggitt system, which I don't think is available for purchase now. I've heard that it works fine, but there is a concern about parts support for it, so this would seem like exactly the sort of market they would like.

He is wrong about the coverage of the entire fleet with one program for the autopilot-- S-Tec did it for the 3100, all off of my installation.

S-tec did the 2100 separately on the various models back in the day. I believe they had the fight test data to enable the short wing planes to be modified with the new computer etc.  I spent days in Mineral Wells working with them to fix issues on the 690 models.  Hopefully they have made progress with the 3100. I have only flown one and we have another ready to go.  The one I flew was not service center installed and so has issues as every 2100 install not done by someone who knows Commanders has issues to sort. Itís a really good AP when all is sorted.

Garmin would have to start from scratch which means at least long wing if not 2 versions of long wing, short wing, and that leaves out the 695Bís.  I have always understood these factors plus the G950 debacle to mean the autopilot program is a non-starter.

donv

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Re: Garmin Auto Pilots and Engine Instruments
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2022, 10:22:06 pm »
What is the issue with the G950?

kent4142

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Re: Garmin Auto Pilots and Engine Instruments
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2022, 09:32:56 am »
Hi All,

Max did say that he would be happy to hear from Commander Pilots interested in a Garmin Autopilot.  I will probably go with S-TEC 3100 because of timing.  I was just trying to procure an all Garmin Panel.  But any interest Commander Owners Read Below:



"I do want you to know that you are not alone. There are other Twin Commander fans that have checked in.
 
We do allow you a voice and a place to register your interest (i.e. votes) and I do count the votes!
 
Have all your passionate Twin Commander owners go and volunteer their aircraft for our program here:
 
https://www.garmin.com/en-US/forms/autopilotcertification/
 
As mentioned Ė I do check the results from this and tally up these as votes regularly.
 
Max"

donv

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Re: Garmin Auto Pilots and Engine Instruments
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2022, 09:57:05 pm »
Unless you have a G-950, which it doesn't look like you do, I don't know that the Garmin autopilot gets you much over the 3100, in terms of integration. Maybe the Garmin autopilot can display mode annunciations on the G600 or something?

Otherwise, the 3100 works just fine.

Bruce Byerly

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Re: Garmin Auto Pilots and Engine Instruments
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2022, 06:57:12 pm »
What is the issue with the G950?

Iíve heard itís old tech, it takes over the airplane, itís expensive, difficult or impossible to upgrade, limited production, not fully sorted, not really sure what the future holds for that setup but I hope itís bright.

donv

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Re: Garmin Auto Pilots and Engine Instruments
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2022, 09:55:21 pm »
That is all fair (and why I wouldn't put a G950 in my airplane), but it's hardly a "debacle"-- I would save that for the Meggitt.

Bruce Byerly

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Re: Garmin Auto Pilots and Engine Instruments
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2022, 11:34:57 pm »
That is all fair (and why I wouldn't put a G950 in my airplane), but it's hardly a "debacle"-- I would save that for the Meggitt.

Well, if it wasnít for the debacle, weíd have had an easy G600 RVSM solution years ago. Now itís an uphill battle. Meggitt actually worked until it didnít and both systems seemed like a decent idea when conceived.  Hindsight is always 20/20 Ö

JimC

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Re: Garmin Auto Pilots and Engine Instruments
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2022, 11:39:57 pm »
Why not go section 9 for RVSM? I see 3 AC95s and one AC90 on the list.
500B, B200

TXGold

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Re: Garmin Auto Pilots and Engine Instruments
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2022, 03:05:20 pm »
Why not go section 9 for RVSM? I see 3 AC95s and one AC90 on the list.

Will you please explain this further? I have asked several avionics / commander experts about this and no one seems to know what it takes using Section 9 or even what it means. Is this to mean, you use a non-rvsm aircraft, request access from ATC for RVSM airspace for 30 minutes in cruise, and when you show up on the list, you are legal to fly NON-RVSM, no other expensive items, hardware or tests or RVSM Altimeter checks required?

Bruce Byerly

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Re: Garmin Auto Pilots and Engine Instruments
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2022, 01:33:26 am »
Why not go section 9 for RVSM? I see 3 AC95s and one AC90 on the list.

Well, at a glance I found 3 on the list, 2 of which I can confirm have RVSM equipment and so that leaves a certain 980 out of Philly. Mr. Allen, please pick up a white courtesy phone. Last I knew it didnít have an ALT preselector but Iím sure youíve upgraded it.

And the one I missed, Iíll have to look again.

But as I mentioned on the phone Jim, Iím all for it.  In fact, Iíd like to start my testing today. Having flown the RVSM trailing cone flight testing in all the models, I recall them being very good in the static system department but I donít have the data correction curves handy nor do I remember the errors that were documented. But I suppose it doesnít matter too much as itís either going to work or itís not.  And if itís not the equipment out of spec (I will occasionally tap on my altimeter and get a nice bounce out of it, probably not +/- 20í on that one!), it will at least be interesting to know the actual error and how all of this can be made to work.  And for the G600 planes that lost their RVSM, can they get back up there with little additional cost and without an STC?  That would be fantastic!