The GFC 700 is an attitude-based autopilot that integrates with the G1000 avionics systems and provides excellent stability and control of the aircraft. All certification testing has been completed and FAA approval is expected later this summer. Deliveries of the KODIAK with the Garmin GFC 700 are slated for October.
The GFC 700 provides flight director, autopilot, yaw damper, automatic and manual electric trim capabilities and brings a high level of digital sophistication to general aviation flight control. The system provides additional coupling to vertical navigation and airspeed hold.
“The GFC 700 is well-suited to the variety of missions our customers fly,” said Sam Hill, Quest President and CEO. “Designed from inception to fly on turbine aircraft, the GFC 700 incorporates the safety and performance features found in this class of aircraft and complements the G1000 avionics system that is standard equipment on the KODIAK.”
The KODIAK was the first turboprop installation of the G1000 avionics suite.
Some of the standard features of the new autopilot include Electronic Stability Protection (ESP), which assists the pilot in maintaining the airplane in a safe flight condition. Through the use of the GFC 700’s sensors, processors and servos, ESP provides control force feedback, i.e. a “soft barrier,” to maintain the aircraft within the pitch, roll and airspeed flight envelope by automatically engaging one or more servos when the aircraft nears unusual attitudes.
Also included in the GFC 700 AFCS on the KODIAK is underspeed protection, which prevents the airplane from decelerating below established minimum airspeeds and allows for coupled go-arounds. With a takeoff and go-around button conveniently located on the side of the power lever, the pilot merely presses the TO/GA button and pushes the power lever forward during a missed approach. This greatly reduces workload during a critical phase of flight.
As part of the systems enhancements, Quest is also introducing a large Level button or “LVL” to provide the pilot with a simple way to place the AFCS into wings level and altitude-hold mode with a single press of a button.