The GFC 500 is intended for single-engine piston aircraft, while the GFC 600 is intended for high performance piston single/twin-engine and turbine aircraft that have a wide range of speed and performance characteristics, company officials explained.
New aircraft models approved for the GFC 500 autopilot include:
- Cessna 210: Models 210K, T210K, 210L, T210L, 210M, T210M, 210N, T210N
New aircraft models approved for the GFC 600 autopilot include:
- Cessna 208B (cargo pod-equipped only)
The GFC 600 and GFC 500 incorporate solid state attitude with self-monitoring capabilities to “provide superior autopilot performance, greater reliability and safety benefits that are similar to the popular GFC 700 autopilot,” Garmin officials said in a prepared release.
In addition to traditional autopilot capabilities such as altitude hold, vertical speed and heading modes, the GFC 600 and GFC 500 also include altitude preselect, VNAV, Level Mode, underspeed and overspeed protection, and more. Pilots can also select, couple and fly various instrument approaches, including GPS, ILS, VOR, LOC and back course approaches when paired with a compatible GPS navigator.
As a standard feature on both the GFC 500 and GFC 600 autopilots, pilots receive Garmin Electronic Stability and Protection (ESP), 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 provides airspeed protection while the pilot is hand-flying the aircraft, company officials noted.
For customers who already have a G5 electronic flight instrument, the GFC 500 starts at a suggested retail price of $6,995 for a 2-axis autopilot. The GFC 600 autopilot is available for a suggested retail price of $19,995 for a 2-axis autopilot with electric pitch trim. (Installation costs not included).