April 2015 Issue

Now what’s it Doing?

Complete integration of autopilots into avionics system—formerly seen only in large transports—is becoming common in general aviation. For example, rather than a central autopilot computer/controller design as shown in Figure 1 on Page 13, the “intelligence” of Garmin’s GFC 700 flight control system is distributed among separate servos controlling pitch, roll and trim (and yaw damper in some installations). A G1000, for example, issues pitch and roll commands to a flight director (FD) depicted on its PFD’s attitude indicator.

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