Garmin has received FAA Supplemental Type Certification (STC) in the Beechcraft Bonanza and Baron for its GFC 500 and GFC 600 autopilots.
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.
The GFC 500 autopilot has been approved for the Beechcraft Bonanza F33A, while the GFC 600 has been approved for the Baron Models 58P, 58PA, 58TC, and 58TCA (1983 model year or earlier only).
The GFC 500 autopilot integrates with the G5 electronic flight instrument or a combination of both the G5 electronic flight instrument and the G500 TXi or G500 flight displays.
The GFC 600 is designed as a standalone autopilot and can be paired with the G500 TXi/G600 TXi or G500/G600 glass flight displays, Garmin navigators, as well as a variety of third-party flight displays, instruments and navigation sources, according to company officials.
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, VNAV1, 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, Garmin officials note.
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.
For customers who already have a G5 electronic flight instrument, the GFC 500 starts at a suggested retail price of $6,995 for a two-axis autopilot. The GFC 600 autopilot starts at a suggested retail price of $19,995 for a two-axis autopilot with electric pitch trim.