Garmin International has received FAA STC approval for the GFC 600 digital autopilot in select Beechcraft King Air C90 aircraft and E90 aircraft. The GFC 600 digital autopilot is optimised for turbine aircraft, delivering superior in-flight characteristics and new operational capabilities such as Vertical Navigation (VNAV), automatic Course Deviation Indicator (CDI) switching when paired with a GTN series navigator and enhanced go-around capability.
The GFC 600 certification for the Beechcraft King Air C90 and E90 provides owners and operators with an autopilot upgrade that boasts integration potential with G600 and G600 TXi flight displays, the GI 275 electronic flight instrument, as well as the GTN and GTN Xi series of navigators. The self-contained autopilot controller incorporates backlit keys and a bright, sunlight readable display that depicts autopilot status and mode selection. An intuitive built-in control wheel also provides convenient adjustment of aircraft pitch, airspeed and vertical speed modes. When the level button is selected, the aircraft automatically returns to straight-and-level flight.
Environmentally hardened autopilot servos designed for harsh operating conditions contain brushless DC motors offering improved performance and reducing maintenance requirements when compared to decades-old servo designs on the market today. In addition, these servos are optimised for turbine aircraft by offering more torque to help better command and respond to control demands required of turbine aircraft.
The standard mark-width (6.25-inch) design of the GFC 600 mode controller ensures the autopilot controller allows for routine installation into the aircraft's avionics stack. Autopilot mode annunciation is available on the G600 TXi touchscreen glass flight display, as well as the G600 flight display. The addition of an optional autopilot annunciator panel also displays the selected autopilot mode in the pilot's primary field of view and retains an identical footprint of third-party autopilot annunciators on the market.
In addition to traditional autopilot capabilities such as altitude hold, vertical speed and heading modes, the GFC 600 also includes: premium functions and advanced capabilities such as altitude pre-select, with a compatible flight display, and indicated airspeed hold mode; pilots can select, couple and fly various instrument approaches, including GPS, ILS, VOR, LOC and back course approaches; built-in GPS roll steering capability eliminates the need for external roll steering converters, allowing for smoother navigation tracking when installed with a compatible navigator; level mode button, which automatically engages the autopilot to restore the aircraft to straight and level flight; underspeed protection helps prevent the pilot from stalling the aircraft; overspeed protection helps prevent the pilot from exceeding aircraft maximum speed (VNE); yaw damping (YD) mode minimises yawing oscillations while also helping to maintain coordinated flight; flight director command bars can be displayed on flight display such as the G600 and G600 TXi; pilots can fly coupled go-arounds during missed approach sequencing. A remotely-installed go-around button commands the flight director to display the appropriate pitch attitude required for the missed approach procedure and activates a loaded missed approach when paired with a GTN 650/750 or GTN 650Xi/750Xi navigator; included pitch-trim servo adds automatic trim and improved manual electric trim; and control wheel steering is available, which allows the pilot to adjust pitch, roll, altitude hold, vertical speed or airspeed references using the control yoke while the autopilot is engaged.
As a standard feature, pilots receive Garmin electronic stability and protection with the GFC 600 digital autopilot, which works to assist the pilot in maintaining the aircraft in a stable flight condition. ESP functions independently of the autopilot and works in the background to help pilots avoid inadvertent flight attitudes or bank angles and provide airspeed protection while the pilot is hand-flying the aircraft. The GFC 600 digital autopilot for the Beechcraft King Air C90/E90 is available immediately through select Garmin authorised dealers.