Garmin last week received an FAA supplemental type certification (STC) for installation of the GFC 500 autopilot on select Beechcraft Bonanza and Debonair aircraft including models 33, A33, B33, C33, C33A, E33, E33A, E33C. Some F33, F33C and G33 serial numbers are however, excluded from the approval list. Garmin said it’s working on a GFC 500 STC for the F33A Bonanza and expects certification in the coming months.
Garmin said the GFC 500 autopilot integrates with the G5 electronic flight instrument or a combination of both the G5 and G500 TXi flight display to provide pilots with an economical and modern autopilot solution. The autopilot’s mode controller contains large dedicated keys and knobs, a control wheel for easy adjustments to aircraft pitch, airspeed and vertical speed and a level button. Garmin’s electronic stability protection (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.
Customers who already own a G5 electronic flight instrument, can add the GFC 500 beginning at a suggested retail price of $6,995 for a 2-axis autopilot. When the GFC 500 is purchased together with the G5 electronic flight instrument, suggested retail prices begin at less than $10,000. Installation costs are not included.