The STC Group has received approval from the FAA to add the Cessna 177, Cessna 180 and Cessna 185 to its Supplemental Type Certificate model list for the Trio Avionics Corporation’s Pro Pilot autopilot.
With these additions, the autopilot STC now extends to Cessna 172, 175, 177, 180, 182, 185, and Piper PA-28 models, according to company officials.
Applications for approval are nearing completion to add Cessna 195, Piper PA-32 Cherokee Six and Lance (non-T-Tail), and Grumman-American AA-5 types (Traveler, Cheetah and Tiger) to the STC before SUN ‘n FUN in early April, officials add.
The Cessna 195 and Grumman type clubs have been instrumental in providing technical assistance accelerating addition of those types to the approved model list, officials noted.
The Beech and Mooney single engine type clubs have adopted this same approach and similarly are volunteering to do support engineering work and to provide the prototype aircraft to get their types in the approval queue.
Thanks to a number of individual Comanche owners and technical gurus, the Piper Comanches are in mid-design phase with test flights planned for March, officials report.
Further, with the help of individual aircraft owners, design work on the Cessna 206 and 210 types is also scheduled to begin in March.
The STC Group — a virtual company — exists to deliver the capabilities and price points of the autopilots serving the Experimental market to the certified segment of general aviation, according to officials.
Established in 2000, Trio has delivered some 3,000 autopilots around the world. The two-axis Pro Pilot model uses roll and auto-trim pitch servos to provide horizontal and vertical navigation capabilities. Altitude control includes climb and descent functions with altitude pre-select. Vertical navigation can be flown at pilot-selected speeds.