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Digital, Attitude-Based Autopilot for Cessna 414 and 421

MINERAL WELLS, TX - The Twin Cessna Flyer (January 2016) reports on the Genesys Aerosystems IntelliFlight 2100, an ideal 3-axis digital autopilot and flight management system for owners of Cessa 414 and 421 aircraft.

Editor Bob Thomason writes: "I lust for an attitude-based autopilot and now 414 and 421 owners have a good option. Recently a new one became available for Cessna 414 and 421 owners: the Genesys IntelliFlight 2100."

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Bob sets the scenario in the beginning of his piece: "One of the most amazing things about viewing the many pictures I get of fully-restored Twin Cessna instrument panels is that often everything is replaced with the latest electronic glass. But still there, looking so out of place at the bottom, will sit the original 40-year old analog autopilot. Why is that?

"Yes, many of these original Cessna 400 and 800 autopilots still work reasonably well and you can still get them serviced. But owners spending big bucks on a new panel (easily $100,000 plus) would like a new, modern autopilot if there were good choices available. Recently a new one became available for Cessna 414 and 421 owners: the Genesys IntelliFlight 2100. The 2100 is a fully digital, attitude-base autopilot. It has been in service on larger aircraft for some time and is a proven performer.

"One downside is that it requires dual attitude inputs. That used to mean something like two Garmin G600s. This really ratcheted up the installation cost. But with the advent of much less expensive backup attitude indicators, the cost of that second attitude input has dropped considerably. 

"By the way, Genesys is the new name for a combination of the old S-TEC and Chelton companies, which were spun off from their parent company, Cobham Avionics, a few years ago. They also still sell some of the legacy products, including the S-TEC 55X, which I have in my 303.

"The 55X is a decent autopilot, particularly for the price, but as a rate-based autopilot its performance is no match for a true digital, attitude-based autopilot. This plays out as a little bit of wandering and S-turning on ILSs, particularly with tight turn ons by ATC.

"I lust for an attitude-based autopilot and now 414 and 421 owners have a good option. And, as you’ll read in the article, Genesys will certify the 2100 for 340s (original and A models) if they get at least ten orders. Based on what I’ve heard, I suspect they might. If you’re interested be sure to contact them at the email address provided in the article."

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