But experimental aircraft are not subject to
the same limitations, so the market is much
more wide open. The top manufacturers of
EFIS for the experimental market, including
Dynon, GRT Avionics, and Advanced Flight
Systems, all offer autopilot options. It really
comes down to supplying control servos and
programming the software to drive those
servos in accordance with the ADAHRS
units associated with the EFIS. These autopilots go far beyond simply holding heading
and altitude and following a GPS course.
Driven by software, they are capable of programming climbs and descents, flying
precise instrument approaches, and even
judging when to lead a turn at an en route fix
to avoid “overshooting” the turn.
But should you trust one of these non-
certified autopilot systems to guide you
down an instrument approach on a dark
and stormy night?
But should you trust
one of these non-certified
to guide you?
well-known among EAAers for his stunning
replica racers from the golden age of avia-
tion in the 1920s and ’30s. What some people
don’t know, however, is that all those beauti-
ful airplanes were Jim’s retirement projects.
His primary career was spent as an electrical
engineer designing autopilots for Century.
When he retired, he started building the air-
planes of his fantasies. But the introduction
of today’s ADAHRS sensors and precision
GPS guidance were too much for Jim, and he
was seduced by the opportunity to build the
autopilots he could only dream of when he
was at Century.