I’ll post an update on my install. I had a set of other work done at the time, so I don’t recall the cost of the work done specifically for the autopilot.
I previous had a century 2000 with integrated electric trim, and century altitude pre-select.
While the system was functional, I considered it a bit mickey mouse. When tuned properly, it would hold an altitude without much in the way of porpoising.
The up and down adjustments were terrible. The switches were pressed and the time pressed was supposed to translate into increments of 100′. It was basically non-deterministic in my plane.
The electric trim worked well enough. it basically wraps a gear around the drive shaft in the tail. Given the fact that my manual trim system was not smooth, I think it did a fine job.
When they did the install of the GFC500, they reused the electric trim setup from the century install. AFAIK, this is the only way they (steinAir) would do the electric trim install, though that might change at some point.
Now onto the GFC500: I love it.
While I have had two excursions (uncommanded descending right turn) early in the install, I’ve never seen them since. Looking at this thread, I wonder if they might have been exacerbated by a significant fuel imbalance. I’ll have to go out and test that theory. I feel confident it wasn’t anything I did myself…but who knows.
The autopilot flies the plane really well. I typically push the TakeOff/GoAround button prior to take off as a reference, but don’t engage it until I’m well underway. I’ve flown approaches with the system, and while there is a learning curve for avionics integration (like realizing you need to set target altitudes lower to get it to fly down even though you have a vertical path programmed for an approach), once you understand it, it does an amazing job, even in turbulence.
Some of the features, like setting climb ias vs climb vertical speed are really nice.
I should point out that it is really useful to watch a bunch of the random videos people have uploaded that demonstrate the system functions. it made things are lot more clear when I finally got in the plane and started using it.
I had my system installed with the gi275, which was also a nice addition. When installed correctly, there is cross fill of altimeter settings, vs, and altitude preselect from the g500. it is annoying that the headings aren’t completely aligned at this point, but that’s an swing error.
Since I had a mini “nelson harding device” installed in my ear, I typically only use the autopilot periodically to avoid the automated “turn off that damn hinky dinky autopilot and fly the damn plane…sheesh” when I use it too much. 😉
That’s probably enough for now. Questions?