Garmin GFC 600 Digital Autopilot Now Certified for King Air F90

New certification for turbine-powered aircraft provides select owners and operators a modern and advanced retrofit autopilot solution

August 23, 2023 – Garmin announced it has secured FAA certification to allow installation of its GFC 600 digital autopilot into Beechcraft King Air F90 aircraft.  The GFC 600 digital autopilot is optimized for turbine aircraft, delivering superior in-flight characteristics and new operational capabilities such as Vertical Navigation (VNAV), automatic Course Deviation Indicator (CDI) switching when paired with a GTN Series navigator, enhanced go-around capability and much more.

The GFC 600 certification for the King Air F90 provides owners and operators with an autopilot upgrade that boasts superior integration potential with G600 and G600 TXi flight displays, the GI 275 electronic flight instrument, as well as the GTN and GTN Xi Series of navigators. The self-contained autopilot controller incorporates backlit keys and a bright, sunlight readable display that depicts autopilot status and mode selection. An intuitive built-in control wheel also provides convenient adjustment of aircraft pitch, airspeed and vertical speed modes. When the level button is selected, the aircraft automatically returns to straight-and-level flight.

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Environmentally hardened autopilot servos designed for harsh operating conditions contain brushless DC motors offering improved performance and reducing maintenance requirements when compared to decades-old servo designs on the market today. In addition, these servos offer more torque to help pilots better respond to demands required of turbine aircraft.

Standard mark-width (6.25-inch) design of the GFC 600 mode controller ensures the autopilot controller allows for routine installation into the aircraft’s avionics stack. In King Air F90 aircraft, GFC 600 will require a G600 TXi or G600 flight display.

In addition to traditional autopilot capabilities such as altitude hold, vertical speed and heading modes, the GFC 600 includes:

  • Premium functions and advanced capabilities such as altitude pre-select and indicated airspeed hold mode.
  • Ability to select, couple and fly various instrument approaches, including GPS, ILS, VOR, LOC and back course approaches.
  • Built-in GPS roll steering capability eliminates the need for external roll steering converters and allows for smoother navigation tracking when installed with a compatible navigator.
  • Level Mode button, which automatically engages the autopilot to restore the aircraft to straight and level flight.
  • Underspeed and overspeed protection.
  • Yaw Damping (YD) mode minimizes yawing oscillations while also helping to maintain coordinated flight.
  • Flight Director command bars can be displayed on a flight display such as the G600 and G600 TXi.
  • Coupled ‘go-arounds’ for pilots to fly during missed approach sequencing. A remotely installed go-around button commands the Flight Director to display the appropriate pitch attitude required for the missed approach procedure and activates a loaded missed approach when paired with a GTN 650/750 or GTN 650Xi/750Xi navigator.
  • Included pitch-trim servo adds automatic trim and improved manual electric trim.
  • Control wheel steering is available, which allows the pilot to adjust pitch, roll, altitude hold, vertical speed or airspeed references using the control yoke while the autopilot is engaged.

As a standard feature, pilots receive Garmin Electronic Stability and Protection (ESP) with the GFC 600 digital autopilot, 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 provide airspeed protection while the pilot is hand-flying the aircraft.

With the approval of the GFC 600 digital autopilot, the King Air F90 will receive Low Bank Mode to help increase passenger comfort by automatically lowering the autopilot roll limit at higher altitudes. A separate switch may also be used by the pilot to activate/deactivate Low Bank Mode at any altitude. Additionally, GFC 600-equipped King Air F90 aircraft will feature Emergency Descent Mode (EDM).4 In the event an aircraft loses cabin pressurization, EDM is capable of automatically descending the aircraft to a preset altitude without pilot intervention to help avert hypoxic situations.

The GFC 600 digital autopilot for the Beechcraft King Air F90 will be available in early September 2023 through select Garmin authorized dealers, such as Forge Flightworks.

Aircraft Models Currently FAA Approved for GFC 600 Installation (source: Garmin):

  • Beechcraft Baron
    • Models: B55, B55A, C55, C55A, D55, D55A, E55, E55A, 58, 58A, 58P, 58PA, 58TC*, 58TCA*
    • Smart Rudder Bias Approved: 58, 58A, B55, B55A
  • Beechcraft Bonanza
    • Models: 36, A36, A36TC
  • Cessna 182
    • Models: P, Q, R, S, T, T182, T182T
  • Cessna Grand Caravan
    • Model: 208, 208B
  • Cessna P210
    • Models: P210N
  • Cessna 310R
    • Models: 310R*, T310R*
    • Smart Rudder Bias Approved: 310R, T310R
  • Cessna 340
    • Models: 340, 340A
    • Smart Rudder Bias Approved: 340, 340A
  • Cessna 414
    • Model: 414A
    • Smart Rudder Bias Approved: 414A
  • Cessna 421
    • Model: 421C
  • Cessna 425
    • Model: 425
  • Cessna 441
    • Model: 441
  • Cessna CitationJet
    • Model: 525
  • Beechcraft King Air
    • Models: C90, C90-1, C90A, C90B, C90SE, C90GT, C90GTi, E90
  • Beech King Air 200
    • Models: 200, B200
  • Beech King Air F90
    • Models: F90, F90-1
  • Pilatus PC-12
    • Models: PC-12/41, PC-12/45, PC-12/47*
  • Piper PA-31
    • Models: 300*, 310*, 325, 325CR, 350
    • Smart Rudder Bias Approved: 300, 310, 325, 325CR, 350
  • Piper PA-46
    • Models: 310P, 350P, 310P JetPROP, 350P JetPROP, 500TP Meridian
  • Socata TBM
    • Models: 700, A, B, C1, C2, N (TBM 850)

GFC 600 Certification Programs Currently In-progress:

(Subject to change.)

  • Cessna 421
    • Models: 421B

GFC 600 Certification Programs Planned to Begin in the Next 12-months:

(Not currently under development and subject to change.)

  • Cessna 310
    • Models: 310P, T310P, 310Q, T310Q
  • Piper PA-31T
    • Models: Cheyenne II

Please note that G1000 equipped aircraft are excluded from the list above.

Contact Forge Flightworks, renowned autopilot experts, to learn more about how this innovative digital autopilot can help you get more from your flying.

 

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