Piper PA28R-201T, GI275 EFIS and GFC500 autopilot

In this installation the complete VAC system including the electrical standby VAC system was removed. The existing VAC driven attitude indicator and King KCS55A compass system was replaced with 2 x GI275 EFIS and optional GSB15 USB charger/data loader. The old Century II autopilot and Piper pitch trim system was replaced with Garmin GFC500 pitch, roll and yaw axis autopilot with pitch trim option. This installation also includes a Flight Stream 210 bluetooth interface for the existing Garmin GNS430W COM/NAV/GPS.

uAvionix AV-30-C in Diamond DA40

Some early Diamond DA40 had electrical attitude indicator and directional gyros. When these units fail they may be quite expensive to repair so a good alternative is the uAvionix AV-30-C. Panel space and in particular depth behind the panel is very limited in the DA40 series. Hole spacing is not enough to accommodate 2 ea Garmin G5’s, and the G5 when installed as a directional gyro (HSI) requires a magnetometer.  The AV-30-C in its simplest installation requires nothing more than power and when installed as a directional gyro the pilot will manually “slave” the compass card on the AV30 to the correct magnetic heading using the magnetic compass as the reference. In this installation we removed the old OAT indicator and connected the existing OAT probe to the AV-30-C attitude for OAT and true airspeed. We also connected the existing King KLN90B GPS to both units so that we get additional information such as GPS track, ground speed etc.

uAvionix AV-30-C (certified)

For those looking for an additional attitude indicator that can be installed “anywhere in the panel”, then the uAvionix AV-30-C could be  an option (at least for GA aircraft). The AV-30-C may be installed in most GA aircraft using an existing EASA AML STC. The unit fits in a standard 3 1/8″ hole but the maximum 6-32 screw length protruding the unit is limited to 3-4 threads?!! Initial startup indicated a failed battery right out of the box but after an hour or so and after several restarts it seems that the battery came back to life, started to charge and finally got to 100% charge. The D-Sub connector included in the installation kit including the back shell made out of plastic, possibly the cheapest uAvionix could find?  The installation manual states that the unit is factory calibrated to highest standards but our unit displayed 48kts when the test set Barfield, Aspen E5 and analogue ASI were almost spot on 40kts. The altimeter was of by about +30ft or so. This unit is not TSO’d (technical standard order) but should be equivalent as it is approved for installation in certified aircraft. We were able to “adjust” the ASI and altimeter to be within spec’s. Now its time to hand over the instrument for real world flight testing and see what the owner’s think.

Piper PA28-161 and Garmin upgrade

Piper PA28-161 with upgraded with a standard Garmin package including GMA345 audio panel, GTN650Xi COM/NAV/GPS, GNC255A COM/NAV, GTX330ES (ADS-B out), GFC500 autopilot pitch/roll/trim and dual G5’s attitude and HSI with OAT option. GSB15 USB charger port on the pilot side.

Garmin G5 EFIS in a Piper PA28-140

In 2018 this aircraft got a new avionics package but the original VAC driven attitude indicator and directional gyro was kept in the panel. Due to failing instruments it was decided to replace the existing instruments for 2 ea Garmin G5 EFIS attitude and HSI. The STC defines in which position the instruments must be installed but in this case – since basic T could not be achieved we decided (after consultation with Garmin) to install the G5’s in the same location were the old attitude indicator and directional gyro was installed. The installation includes an OAT module GAD13 and there is still room for a Garmin GFC500 autopilot in case the owner wishes to add this later on.

Garmin GI275 ADAHRS + AP

Repairing old vacuum driven instruments like the Bendix/King KI256 attitude indicator and KG107 directional gyro may become quite expensive. For those who have a fully functional working autopilot like in this case the King KAP100 the vac gyros may be replaced with 2 ea Garmin GI275 EFIS displays. The GI275 ADAHRS + AP version is able to emulate the KI256 attitude indicator signals required by the KAP100 series autopilots.  The acronym ADAHRS +AP means AD – Air Data, AHRS – Attitude Heading Reference System and finally, AP – autopilot. With dual GI275 ADAHRS instruments it is possible to remove almost all other instruments except for the ADF indicator (the GI275 is not able to display ADF bearing). In this case most of the old analogue instruments remain installed including the NAV2 CDI.

G5 EFIS and GFC500 autopilot in PA28-181 Archer III

This aircraft already had a G5 installed as an attitude indicator and now it was time to replace the VAC driven directional gyro for a G5 HSI, remove the mechanical VAC system and the electrical standby VAC system. The installation includes a GAD13 OAT interface for true airspeed and a Garmin GFC500 2 axis autopilot with automatic pitch trim.

Garmin G3X EFIS in a Piper PA28-181

Garmin G3X EFIS display with a Garmin G5 EFIS display configured as a backup for the G3X. GMA345 audio panel, GTN650Xi COM/NAV/GPS, GTX335 ADS-B out transponder and GFC500 pitch/roll autopilot.

The GNC255A COM/NAV2, King ADF/DME was already in the panel. The GTN650Xi, GNC255A and GTX335 may be remote controlled directly via the G3X touch screen (both active and standby frequencies and database lookup is visible on the G3X). The G3X also displays which COM1/2 has been selected on the audio panel. The G3X includes synthetic vision and either a full or split screen function with the map on the right hand side of the PFD.

The G3X has Garmin Connext functionality (Bluetooth) so that the Pilot may use the Garmin Pilot application to upload flight plans to the G3X and GTN650Xi. (The G3X Connext does not support wireless database updates ).

The existing King DME was connected to the GNC255A COM/NAV2 for remote channeling and is also able to display DME data in its display. A Garmin GSB15 USB charger for portable devices was installed on the pilots panel.

Garmin GI275 EFIS, EASA STC Rev 1.

Our latest completed project in a Piper PA28-140 includes a GMA345 audio panel, GTN650Xi COM/NAV/GPS with FS510 WiFi/Bluetooth module, GFC500 pitch/roll autopilot and dual Garmin GI275 ADAHRS units with internal battery backup in both units. The existing King KT74 transponder was connected to the GTN650Xi for ADS-B out. The latest revision of the GI275 EASA STC’s allows that all analogue instruments may be removed (except the magnetic swing compass).

Garmin parts and extended lead times

Garmin recently announced extended lead times for many of their baseline aviation parts such as GTN, GNC, GTR, GNX, GTX345 etc due to parts supplier issues. Currently all existing and new orders are subject to a 6 month lead time (that might be extended). Other parts like G5, GI275, GFC500, G3X, GTX335 were parts are available still suffer from extended delivery times, in some cases up to 14 weeks.

Garmin also states that dealers should not start any installations until it is confirmed that all necessary parts have been shipped from Garmin.

This means that we will need to re-evaluate our waiting list and prioritize customers that are looking for parts that are available like Garmin G5 and GFC500 installations.