EAA’s Pioneering Affordable Safety STC Process Has Another Success Story: TruTrak Autopilot

The supplemental type certificate process that the Experimental Aircraft Association pioneered in 2016 has set the stage for another success story, as EAA affiliate EAA STC, LLC has received an STC for installation kits for the TruTrak Vizion autopilot in a select group of aircraft.

The STC approval means that installation brackets and hardware for the TruTrak autopilot can be installed for the Vizion autopilot in Cessna 172 (F through R models) and all Cessna 177s. TruTrak received its parts manufacturing approval for the Vizion autopilot on April 3. Continue reading "EAA’s Pioneering Affordable Safety STC Process Has Another Success Story: TruTrak Autopilot"

Test Flying the TruTrak ECO Autopilot

TruTrak Eco Autopilot connects to a trim tab.
TruTrak Eco Autopilot connects to a trim tab.

I just got back from a test flight with TruTrak Flight Systems' Andrew Barker in their company's RV-10. The purpose - to get a chance to fly their latest autopilot, the ECO. Now most of the time, when a new avionics box is announced, it increases the total number of features over previous products - but in this case, less is more. And that "less" includes the price. Targeted to cost right at $1,000, the ECO does just a few things - and does them very well. It will hold a heading, track the NAV source, and hold altitude – That makes it a useful, but simple, autopilot. Most of the time, who actually needs more on a VFR cross-country? (If you want to automatically do a teardrop entry to a hold while descending and capturing a new altitude, TruTrak will be glad to sell you one of their more capable units.) Continue reading "Test Flying the TruTrak ECO Autopilot"

Dynon Builder Support Team and Advanced Quick Panels Offer Complete Solutions for Homebuilders

Skyview The Advanced Flight Systems Quick Panel System
The Advanced Flight Systems Quick Panel System

[sc:ad180]Two complementary programs from Dynon provide the most complete avionics solutions possible for Experimental aircraft homebuilders. The new Dynon Builder Support Team’s goal is to guide pilots from “first dream to first flight” by eliminating obstacles that builders face as they create their dream panel. Debuting at Oshkosh 2015 are the first wave of accessory products that complement major avionics purchases. These include an autopilot level button, dual ADAHRS mounting kit, pitot/static/AOA pneumatic installation kit, panel module faceplate blank, ADS-B harness, transponder harness, and transponder and ADS-B antennas.

Pitot Static AOA Installation Kit
Pitot Static AOA Installation Kit
Dual ADAHRS Mounting Kit
Dual ADAHRS Mounting Kit

For those who would rather leave their whole panel to the experts, Dynon’s Advanced Flight Systems division offers the Quick Panel System. Each Quick Panel is a fully-engineered and integrated panel of avionics that is professionally wired, configured, tested, and ready to install.

Autopilot Level Button
Autopilot Level Button

Quick Panels include all switches and harnesses, which all connect through the exclusive Advanced Control Module. For more information visit http://dynon.aero/quickpanels.

Garmin® Team X Introduces Three New Products and Adds New Capabilities

New GPS 20A Provides Cost-Effective Path For Meeting ADS-B Requirements In EAB/LSA

OLATHE, Kan. July 16, 2015 — Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), today announced the GPS 20A, an ADS-B Out compliant WAAS GPS position source for experimental amateur-built (EAB) and light sport aircraft (LSA). For experimental aircraft owners that already have a Mode S Extended Squitter (ES) transponder such as the GTX 23ES, the non-certified GSP 20A provides aircraft owners with a simple, rule-compliant WAAS position source, which meets the TSO performance requirements set forth by the FAA. Additionally, the new, more capable GMC 307 autopilot control panel provides complete autopilot mode control, now including heading and altitude select knobs, while the GSU 25B ADAHRS provides high-performance aircraft with highly accurate air data, attitude and heading information for display on G3X™ and G3X Touch. In addition to these three new products, new software for the GTN™ 650/750 touchscreen series products also enables pilots to tune the GTN COMM/NAV radio(s) from the G3X Touch display.

“We continue to be aggressive in this market by developing innovative products that our customers are asking for and are excited about,” said Carl Wolf, vice president of aviation sales and marketing. “We’re also thrilled to take advantage of our heritage in developing rule-compliant WAAS GPS systems to bring the GPS 20A to this market. This simple, cost-effective solution is ideal for thousands of VFR pilots who own experimental and LSA aircraft that need to meet ADS-B Out requirements.”

GPS 20A ADS-B WAAS Position Source

GPS 20A ADS-B WAAS Position Source
GPS 20A ADS-B WAAS Position Source

The GPS 20A provides thousands of experimental amateur-built and LSA customers with a simple, low-cost ADS-B Out position source. Highly accurate WAAS/SBAS position information is provided by the GPS 20A and is compatible with a wide range of 1090 ES transponders, so customers have an economical path to meet the ADS-B Out position requirements of 14 CFR 91.227. Aircraft owners looking for a simple path to 2020 compliance are provided a timely solution that meets the necessary performance requirements.

Garmin and G3X Touch customers who have incorporated the GTX 23ES Mode S transponder or a GTX 330ES transponder in their EAB/LSA aircraft, can easily install the GPS 20A by connecting a single RS-232 interface to provide Garmin ADS-B data to the transponder to make their system ADS-B Out compliant. The GPS 20A communicates with all installed G3X and G3X Touch displays to provide a source of high quality WAAS GPS data to the system.

The GPS 20A may also be paired with compatible third-party Mode S transponders. Additionally, a secondary interface can optionally provide industry standard GPS data to third-party systems, which can be utilized as a highly accurate WAAS GPS data source.

The GPS 20A is not an FAA-approved product and thus is not eligible for installation in certified aircraft.

GMC 307 Autopilot Control Panel

Garmin GMC 307
GMC 307 autopilot control panel

Expanding upon the popular GMC 305, the new GMC 307 autopilot control panel gives pilots additional features most-requested by customers. The addition of heading and altitude select knobs combines all of the autopilot controls into one efficient control panel to reduce pilot workload. Similar to the GMC 305, a built-in control wheel also supports pitch, vertical speed, altitude and airspeed adjustments. Standard functions with the autopilot control panel include airspeed hold, yaw damper, independent flight director and an advanced Level (LVL) mode button, which helps restore the aircraft to straight and level flight. Contributing to an easy upgrade path, the GMC 307 connector and wiring is identical to a GMC 305, so customers who have provisioned for the GMC 305 can easily upgrade to the new GMC 307 autopilot control panel. Because the autopilot servos interface directly with the ADAHRS, the GMC 307 allows for standalone operation of the autopilot as part of the G3X and G3X Touch system.

GSU 25B High-Performance ADAHRS
GSU 25B High-Performance ADAHRS

GSU 25B High-Performance ADAHRS

For high-performance aircraft that exceed 300 knots indicated airspeed, the new GSU 25B provides highly accurate air data, attitude, heading and angle of attack information for display on G3X and G3X Touch systems. Airspeed up to 465 knots indicated is supported by the GSU 25B. For added redundancy, G3X customers may optionally install up to three ADAHRS systems.

Additional G3X Touch Functionality

In addition to these new products, pilots receive added functionality between G3X Touch and the GTN 650/750 touchscreen navigators. The latest GTN software provides G3X Touch owners the option to tune the COMM/NAV frequency, control radio volume and swap active/standby COM frequencies of the GTN, from the G3X Touch display.

Team X is committed to offering industry leading avionics and ADS-B solutions to the experimental market, which are backed by Garmin’s award-winning aviation product support team. The GPS 20A WAAS GPS is expected to be available for $845*. The GPS 20A, GA 35 WAAS antenna and install kit is available for $1,225*. Additionally the GMC 307 is expected to be available for $1,099* and the GSU 25B is expected to be available for $1,499*. All three new products are anticipated to become available Q3 2015. For additional information, visit: www.garmin.com/experimental.

TruTrak Announces ECO Autopilot


TryTrak-iLevilTruTrak Flight Systems announced the all new ECO autopilot. The autopilot was created in cooperation with Levil Technologies. ECO (pronounced ēkō) is introductory priced under $1000. An interest list for ECO will be taken beginning July 20, 2015, to coincide with opening day of EAA AirVenture. Also on opening day at 10:30, there will be an unveiling of the ECO in building C booth 3030. Shipping of ECO is planned for September 2015.

The ECO is designed to be an affordable, simple, two-axis autopilot with automatic envelope protection (AEP). AEP allows the pilot to set a safe bank angle and pitch angle they wish to fly within. When AEP is armed, the system automatically inputs a light force into the controls to move the aircraft back inside the desired envelope. ECO, instead of attaching to the primary aircraft controls, uses a robust, fast, light-weight servo and tab assembly. This allows for a much lighter weight autopilot system and saves drastically on system cost. Typical complete system install weighs less than one pound.

TruTrak Logo“The things that we are able to do in the aircraft using such small and light-weight servo tabs are just amazing.” said CEO Andrew Barker “AEP is a wonderful safety feature and the way it works in this system is just incredible.”

More information on the TruTrak website.