Ah, yes, the King KFC230 Autopilot.
The Garmin GFC500 Autopilot.
Sure, with every year that Honeywell / Bendix-King waste, they become ever more irrelevant, due to other autopilots eating their lunch – even if only on some airframe types due to a lack of STCs.
However this is a KFC230 thread
Sure, but the GFC500 is an EXISTING autopilot with STCs in the making for a lot of GA airplanes, and the KFC230 is a ghost. Just saying.
Can someone explain why this new (currently work-in-progress) KFC 230 autopilot from Bendix King will only replace legacy KFC- autopilot head units and not the same age KAP- autopilots? What is different in the installations of the old KFC systems compared with the KAP systems, apart from the control unit?
(I have an old KAP150 in my plane)
could it be the flight director ?
The FD signals are generated by the autopilot computer (e.g. the KC225 in a KFC225 system) and they go to the AI (a KI256 in a KFC225 system). They are nothing to do with the servos.
I do have the info around in my huge avionics manuals database and we probably did it here somewhere in years past but I suspect the servos are not all the same.
I am told the KFC230 will work only with the KS27xA (“A”) servos which are used by the KFC150. The KFC225, for example, uses the “C” servos.
that’s good news thanks (for me :))
Just got this, from someone close to the business:
The KFC230 should replace the KFC150 but not that easily as BK says “Slide-in replacement for KFC 150” . The 230 will need a digital (A429) attitude source and a digital (A429) air data source. The KFC230 has no internal sensors (unlike the 225) and therefore will need certified digital sources for this data. There are none at BK now and might not be for a while. I’m not sure how many makers (if any) provide the complete digital A429 ADAHRS data set for external consumers/APs. “Attitude input from AeroFlight (KI 300) primary attitude indicator or another approved source” – BK’s wet dream that the KI300 will be certified for this purpose. The KFC230 will drive 27xA servos only and has a form factor of the KFC150.
I think the company has totally lost the plot. They manage to carry on presumably because they make money on repairs. The autopilot component business just carries on, with Garmin being seemingly disinterested in doing more STCs, and Avidyne being dramatically under-resourced to do … anything.