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Garmin pulls out the stops with autopilot and display upgrades
The GFC600 looks to be a popular piece of kit for business aviation, and it is now approved for the Cessna 421C, Piper PA-46 310P and 350P. Garmin is introducing G500 TXi and G600 TXi display enhancements too.

Garmin is continuing to roll out autopilot aircraft approvals at an increasing rate for the GFC600 autopilot. Several popular aircraft such as the Cessna 421C and Piper PA-46 are among the latest additions to a growing list of aircraft approvals, allowing these aircraft owners to experience the benefits of a modern Garmin autopilot.

In just three years, Garmin has completed 42 STCs on over 30 popular aircraft, spanning nearly 200 aircraft models between both autopilots, with more aircraft approvals in progress and many more to follow. Each aircraft undergoes a comprehensive flight test programme at a Garmin flight operations facility, which includes flight testing at a variety of aircraft weight and centre of gravity limits, as well as a full range of altitude and airspeed tests. In addition to standard autopilot functions, features such as underspeed and overspeed protection, electronic stability and protection, vertical navigation and take-off and go-around modes are also thoroughly evaluated for each individual aircraft. These complex and rigorous certification processes demonstrate Garmin's commitment to bring highly capable, state-of-the-art autopilots to its customers.

“As we increasingly expand our portfolio of aircraft approvals, demand for the GFC600 continues to achieve significant growth,” says Carl Wolf, VP of aviation sales and marketing. “We are humbled by the popularity of these game-changing autopilots as they have redefined the standard of what aircraft owners should expect from an autopilot and based on the overwhelming demand; our customers agree.”

New aircraft models approved for the GFC 600 autopilot include the Cessna 421C, Piper PA-46 310P and 350P.

Garmin has also announced that the GI 275 electronic flight instrument can now be interfaced with the GFC500 autopilot to deliver superior in-flight performance and added redundancy when multiple GI 275s are installed in an aircraft. In addition to GFC 500 compatibility, the GI 275 can serve as a replacement attitude indicator and/or horizontal situation indicator (HSI) to legacy Century II/III autopilots. Additional features of the latest GI 275 upgrade include the display of outside air temperature, groundspeed, true airspeed and wind on the attitude indicator, as well as data field enhancements on the multi-function display (MFD) page.

“The new GI 275 has revolutionised fixed-wing general aviation aircraft instrument panels, and today we're excited to grow its capabilities and compatibilities even further to include support for our incredibly popular GFC 500 autopilot,” explains Wolf. “The GI 275 is capable of providing a staggering amount of flight display information in a lightweight and compact design that is easy to incorporate into a variety of cockpits and with its expansive autopilot interface possibilities, it's a must-have in every cockpit.”

A single GI 2751 electronic flight instrument can now be used as the attitude source to drive the GFC 500 autopilot, while also displaying mode annunciations and flight director indications. The GI 275 electronic flight instrument is capable of displaying outside air temperature (OAT) and true airspeed (TAS) using a temperature probe. Similar to other Garmin products, OAT is displayed along the bottom of the airspeed indicator on the GI 275, while TAS is displayed on the top of the airspeed indicator. Wind speed and direction is also displayed above the heading and autopilot annunciations on the attitude indicator. Additionally, MFD data field enhancements allow pilots to easily edit and change data fields on the MFD page.

Finally, Garmin is introducing G500 TXi and G600 TXi flight display enhancements that bring more capability to cockpit upgrades. Additional enhancements to the TXi flight display series include DFC90 autopilot compatibility, new multi-function display (MFD) configurations, the display of additional engine parameters such as percent power and more. Also new, the Piper PA46-500TP Malibu Meridian is now compatible with the Engine Indication System (EIS) on the G500 TXi and G600 TXi flight displays.

“We are excited to continually expand the compatibility of the modern TXi touchscreen flight displays,” says Wolf. “The TXi family also adds a tremendous amount of display flexibility, allowing pilots to operate more efficiently and with superior accuracy and confidence, reducing overall pilot workload and improving the overall enjoyment and pilot experience, particularly with the GFC 500 autopilot.”

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