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Exchange Autopilot options for a TB20

Crazy money. 20k to exchange a (working, I assume) King AP for an STEC AP!

And that I guess is net of VAT. Plus these are US prices. Nobody in Europe is going to go for that, at say 25-30K€. Even in the US, only a handful of those „must always have the latest and greatest“ owners will do it. And I wonder: are there really any „must always have the latest and greatest“ type TB20 owners at all? I would assume these all have sold their TB long time ago and got a Turbo SR22…

Mainz (EDFZ), Germany

A lot of truth in that

GT owners are the least likely to sell and get out, but they have the KFC225 which works really well, probably as well as any other autopilot, especially if you wire up ARINC429 roll steering. So long as the servos aren’t burning out (a long topic).

The TB fleet is quite reasonable though, at best part of 2k airframes, and with a high % flying IFR. But the old autopilots (KAP150 etc etc) do work well enough.

So the market is probably small, why is why Genesys is determined to test the market by getting the committment demonstrated. Talk is cheap (as anybody doing e.g. Robin STCs has found out).

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

This can be very interesting for people who have the 55x currently as only the exchange of the computer with an adapter piece is required plus the new computer needs to be hooked up to some new sensors I understand. Also if you have another S-Tec AP the servoes can stay where they are and can be used in an upgrade. I was quoted about 9000$ for the material on this exchange. Given what the 55x is, it is an upgrade I would consider if Mooney gets the STC (same deal is going on there btw but I have not followed up whether the 15 people have been found. ) .

LSZH, Switzerland

Also the STEC market is reduced by the possible future product here which although somewhat crippled is likely to cost less, and may be more accpetable in the US where the lack of ILS is more acceptable.

This is quite relevant… it’s a bit of a mug’s game to do it this way.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

The TB fleet is quite reasonable though, at best part of 2k airframes, and with a high % flying IFR.

In todays time, who would ever even think to develop something for such a tiny overall market? 2,000 airframes, realistic maybe 10 percent market share for retrofit, spread over at least 10 years = min. 25-35k price tag for economical survival, no great profit in it and no installation shop ever to gain any expertise on such one-off installations. I believe addressing such market is darn stupid.

Germany

I believe addressing such market is darn stupid.

So this guy is writing nonsense?

What would you say would be a suitable size market?

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

So this guy is writing nonsense?

What would you say would be a suitable size market

No, definitely not nonsense. I talked to the Trio and Tru guys at AERO and they are a bit strange indeed. While Trutrak was just another vendor, Trio seem to focus more on the engineering challenges with no or little commercial profit target. Maybe they don‘t have to make money off the business?

Given the engineering and certification, My estimate would be at least five digit numbers of airframes of a kind to be a suitable market for retrofit avionics. At a ten-ladder this would be 100 a year sold, two a week maybe ok to carry a small survivable manufacturing company.

Germany

What is your exact involvement in the autopilot business, “Markuus”?

Do you by any chance happen to be familiar with the character previously known as “Dejwu”?

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I am currently into maybe buying a TB10 and this one has no autopilot.
No, I am not familiar with the character you are pointing to, why?

Markus

Last Edited by Markuus at 07 May 14:21
Germany

Markuus wrote:

I believe addressing such market is darn stupid.

S-Tec / Genesys basically have that market to themselfs. And obviously the 3100 series as well as others they had before are not designed only for refitting or upgrading existing airframes, they hope also to get them into new airframes. 25 to 30k is the normal price for such a set for a long time, even though recently the prices have come under pressure. Even the upgrade market is not a bad deal, those with the 55x can upgrade fairly easily, anyone with an S-Tec pre-installed AP can re-use the servos and the change is in the cockpit wiring primarily and for those who have no AP it is a very capable system. Much better than the 55X by the first reports and it has the Level Change modes and some protections that Garmin and Avidyne offer.

The Trio AP for me is a toy, unsuitable for the serious IFR market. It is in the region of the S-Tec 30 and the old Piper Autocontrol with simple Alt Hold. If you make such an upgrade it is usually for the purpose of flying IFR and there without full Approach Coupling it simply won’t do. The market for VFR planes also has relatively economical solutions such as the S-Tec 30 or 50. The 3100 series targets operators which need a 60-2 or 55x or the capabilities of a KFC225 or 150 which are not available as refits.

Clearly Garmin has the market well under control and almost all new airplanes now feature Garmin, but that has to do with the lack of competition. Personally I would stay away from those integrated flight decks for the reason that you will be fully dependent on that one manfacturer so they can totally screw you over as Garmin has done with the WAAS upgrades. For people with conventional flight decks the 3100 can be a rather attractive option, particularly as Avidyne as far as I know has no comparable system, it requires a pre-installed 55X.

LSZH, Switzerland
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