The FAA has approved Aspen Avionics‘ new software that allows integration of the Garmin GFC600 autopilot with Aspen’s EDF1000 Pro MAX primary flight display, the company announced.
The software also provides selected altitude support for Trio and Bendix/King AeroCruze autopilots, and extended runway centerlines for Aspen’s MFD500 and MFD1000 MAX multi-function displays. Aspen said the software is available through its authorized dealers for $1,995.
The approval is good news for owners and pilots of Aspen-equipped GA aircraft who want to upgrade to the latest Garmin autopilot. Mixed panels are a fact of life for older aircraft that have been through numerous rounds of avionics upgrades. Many have been fitted previously with combinations of electronics from Aspen, Garmin, and other manufacturers. Any increase in compatibility across different brands of equipment offers the possibility of cutting the expense of panel improvements.
“Aspen’s Pro MAX PFD coupled with the Garmin GFC600 autopilot enhances and expands the basic autopilot function and streamlines the controls, reducing workload and removes the need for some external adapters. When combined with all the features and benefits of Aspen’s glass panel technology, flying becomes easier and safer, especially for single pilot IFR missions,” said Mark Ferrari, vice president of sales and customer support.
“We have been working diligently to ensure the owners who currently have a digital autopilot or are considering replacing their analog autopilot have a cost-effective, highly robust, and easy-to-use glass display at an affordable price point,” he said.
Aspen said it has been working with a number of digital autopilot makers including Garmin, Genesys, Avidyne, Trio, and Bendix/King AeroCruze, and is “always seeking opportunities to advance collaboration” with all manufacturers to give aircraft owners more autopilot integration options.