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Flight Design C4 & Tecnam P2010 & non TSO avionics in certified aircraft

USFlyer wrote:

EASA and the FAA Part 23 rewrite allow the Garmin G3x to be used because the method for certifying aircraft and the avionics has changed.

I know that you can put G3X into a certified aircraft, I have seen it, but only in VFR-only machines and all the necessary instruments were there in certified form. But non-certified autopilot? Can you elaborate? Are you talking about the lightweight CS-23?

In principle any manufacturer can certify an uncertified item under its TC.

For example Socata buy in loads of stuff from obscure French homebuilt gear makers (e.g. the brake master cylinders) and certify it in-house.

Maybe this is the route somebody used? It would be a lot of work. But e.g. Eclipse ponzi scheme developed their own avionics which were eventually certified, so what is preventing somebody doing the same with avionics made by somebody else if they can be shown they meet the TSO or whatever specs? It would actually be quite funny because the whole world would then know the G3X does actually meet TSO but Garmin don’t tell anybody, because they want to maintain product differentiation

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

One interesting factoid on Flight Designs website :

— Engines
Gasoline Engine:
• Continental IO-360-AF (Alternative Fuels) CHECK THIS VIDEO!
• 6–cylinder, 180 HP @ 2,550 RPM, fuel–injected, low–compression, naturally–aspirated
• Capable of operating on both 100LL avgas and lower octane alternative fuels
• 2,000 hour TBO, fuel consumption: 7-10 GPH (26.5 – 38.0 l/hr) depending on power setting

So they de-tuned and lowered the CR on the IO-360 from 210Hp to 180Hp so it’ll run on MoGas or UL I suppose …

Interesting. Wonder how many others will take this route ?


@Peter Yes, an organization with DOA can do that, but the more complex the component and certification of it the less it makes sense when there are already certified alternatives. If there was a change that allows this, I would like to hear more.

I fully expect the Garmin gear to meet the standards, it’s just not certified. That autopilot is based on GFC700 AFAIK and I expect other non-certified products from them to utilize codes and designs from their certified range. Why develop again what you already have? And I think they openly state this (that the team that does non-certified stuff, they are called Team X I think, has free access to their certified portfolio and can pick bits and pieces they want – could be just marketing because to me it’s certainly nice to hear).

In the US, a DER (a rough equivalent of EASA 21 DOA) can certify a kettle to be used in your King Air, etc.

Obviously the economics (or not) depends whether you can buy a TSOd kettle and how much (you can – for the bizjet market – and I have seen one; a 110V stainless steel thingy). If the retail kettle costs €50 and the DER fee is €10k and a TSOd kettle is €1k, then, well if you need more than 10 of them, it’s worth using the DER route

Uncertified avionics are vastly cheaper than certified avionics – even if you have to disable or forego loads of features. For example a G3X cannot host the Jeppesen approach databases, so you get no RNAV approaches, no overlays of navaid approaches, etc. A certified G3X is good only for VFR, or IFR enroute. Or of course any IAP loaded with user waypoints but I never wrote that

I don’t for a moment think Garmin did the G3X from scratch. The software is probably based on their certified stuff. They would be mad not to do that. You always leverage your assets going forward

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

The looks of the plane are subjective. Carbon fiber allows more efficient aerodynamic shapes. The lack of wing struts is a big deal IMHO. Until you have flown in a Flight Design you cannot appreciate the incredible views the high wing no strut design provides. Just one more part of the plane to not hit your shoulder or head on.

The specs of the C4 are radically better than the 172 (useful load, fuel efficiency, avionics) and that is why once it’s in production, Cessna will need to redesign, retool and re-imagine or they will only sell planes to people who are fine spending more money for less product. Competition is neat, huh?

Last Edited by USFlyer at 09 Dec 17:22

USFlyer wrote:

The specs of the C4 are radically better than the 172 (useful load, fuel efficiency, avionics)

Lot’s of assumptions based on marketing bumf here. Hell, they haven’t even chosen the diesel engine yet !


Further: that Conti IO-360 , six cylinder is a bit heavier than a 180Hp Lyco, so that in itself is a penalty for the C4

So the airframe is much lighter to make up for it ? OK, then what about robustness ? Any idea how tough it’s built ?


Peter wrote:

For example a G3X cannot host the Jeppesen approach databases, so you get no RNAV approaches, no overlays of navaid approaches, etc.

Maybe that’s what the GTN750 is for.

A kettle doesn’t come with a boatload of code and updates. I would expect you would need support from Garmin for something like this. And I wouldn’t expect Garmin to be interested. I could be wrong, maybe they see potential for something under G500 (instead of pushing you into G500). I would have to know more about this change.

Last Edited by Martin at 09 Dec 17:54

The specs of the C4 are not marketing hype, they are specs that have been verified in flight testing. The engine was selected long ago, it is not a diesel, it is a multi-fuel gas engine…the Continental IO-360AF (2200 hr TBO, detuned to 180hp, 6gph cruise burn).

Both the Garmin GTN 750 and the G3x touch use Garmin FliteCharts, Garmin FliteCharts, Standard + Jeppesen JeppView.

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