Avionics Report

February 2008 Issue

Garmin GFC 700: Jet Quality Performance

The integrated G1000 autopilot offers a powerhouse of performance and features, but not without a few kinks. Serious training is a must.

The correct name is the Garmin GFC 700, but most buyers think of it as the built-in autopilot for the Garmin G1000 flight deck. Youíll find essentially the same system installed on aircraft from Citation Mustangs to Diamond DA40s. That could mean that the jets have an inadequate system or that the light pistons get jet-level equipment. Itís the latter. The GFC 700 is, in a word, impressive. Because the system is deeply integrated into the G1000 flight deck itself, itís hard to simply describe the autopilot. Itís also tough to make global statements because the exact implementation varies with different makes and models. Weíll focus primarily on how the GFC 700 works in a piston-powered airplane, but understand that its performance is largely similar for the kerosene crowd.

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