BendixKing to Offer Autopilot for Mooney M20-series Airplanes

The AeroCruze 100 comes in three shapes: a two-inch round, a three-inch round and a rectangular. BendixKing

BendixKing announced that it is working on a supplemental type certificate for its AeroCruze 100 autopilot system for Mooney’s M20 series. The system was developed by TruTrak, which was acquired by Honeywell, BendixKing’s parent company, two years ago. BendixKing already has STCs for this autopilot system for Cessna 172, 175, 177, 180, 182 and 185 models, as well as Piper’s PA-28 and PA-32 series aircraft.

Since first introduced to the market in the mid-50s, the M20 has morphed from a small four-seat single engine piston with manual gear and flaps to a true utility airplane. While the latest versions, the M20V Acclaim Ultra and M20U Ovation Ultra, are equipped with an integrated avionics suite—the G1000 NXi with the GFC700 autopilot—there are still many M20s that are potential candidates for the AeroCruze 100. There are approximately 6,200 M20s flying today, according to Kevin Hawley, chief engineer for Mooney International Corporation, many of which could benefit from the increased safety and ease of operation an autopilot system provides.

BendixKing is nearly finished with the ground and flight tests required for the STC, and the company expects to have the approval from the FAA within the next few weeks. The STC will cover the M20B, M20C, M20D, M20E, M20F, M20G, M20J, M20K, M20L, M20M, M20R, M20S, M20TN, M20U and M20V.

The current price for the AeroCruze 100 system is $5,200 including the system itself and the installation kit. The system is available in a two-inch round, three-inch round and a rectangular configuration.

Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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