Digital autopilot for Twin Otter aircraft is here. After several months working with Genesys (S-TEC) to gain approval for a new digital three axis autopilot, final flight testing was completed last month in Calgary, using one of Rocky Mountain Aircraft‘s Twin Otters.
The new system was put through its paces in all modes and aircraft configurations and performed flawlessly throughout the flight testing.
With a list price of just under $25,000 for a full three axis autopilot, the 3100 is cheaper that the two axis limited functionality System 65 autopilot it replaces.
All the components are on condition only, eliminating the costly and time-consuming overhaul of servos that blighted the OEM Collins autopilots installation.
The System is a digital three-axis attitude-based Digital Flight Control System (DFCS), and is designed for installation in aircraft equipped with a dual or single Air Data and Attitude Heading Reference System (ADAHRS), and/or DFCS computer internal sensors.
The System provides roll, pitch and (Optional) yaw modes along with an integral autotrim feature. The autopilot includes a straight and level recovery feature, as well as envelope protection/alerting features.
The Programmer/Computer provides a means to engage the autopilot, select modes of system operation and to annunciate system modes and status. The Programmer/Computer consists of two sections: roll and pitch. The roll section accepts steering inputs from the navigation radios and the ADAHRS or internal sensors and uses this information to drive the Roll Servo. The pitch section receives signal inputs from the Primary Flight Displays and ADAHRS or internal sensors, and uses this information to drive the Pitch Servo. Yaw axis stabilization is provided by drive commands to a remote mounted Yaw Servo.
The Elevator Trim is automatically controlled by the Trim Servo, which also provides trim annunciation.
Rocky Mountain Aircraft has just completed a major inspection and avionics upgrade project to one of our B1900 aircraft prior to its sale to Tropic Air.
This tip to tail phase inspection, along with a replacement engine will enable the new operator to quickly integrate the aircraft into their fleet with minimum delay. The main factory legacy avionics equipment has been removed and a Garmin G950NXi Integrated Flight Display System installed along with ADS-B Transponders and TCAS II.
The new integrated avionics system will add operational flexibility, weight savings and eliminate the parts obsolescence issues with the legacy systems. The G950NXi Integrates virtually all avionics, bringing high-resolution glass displays, faster processing, smooth flight control, and HSI mapping to the flight deck.
Not only does the Garmin G950 NXi suite bring the latest avionics capabilities to the Beech 1900D cockpit, but it also removed, approximately 250 lbs. of hardware and wiring. That’s enough weight savings to carry an additional adult passenger. Or more baggage and freight. Or more fuel, for longer flights or multi-leg routes.
Our avionics department has completed many G950/1000 installations but this was the first on the B1900. As with any first-time major project, there was a steep learning curve and a few surprises encountered. However, the confidence to complete future B1900/G950 modifications quickly and professionally is now high and we are looking forward to the next aircraft.
This pressurized, spacious and fast turboprop will now be operating in a region of the world much different than the wild expanse of Canada, as it starts its’ Island hopping routine in the Caribbean.
With our aircraft operated by various airlines in Canada from coast to coast to coast. The B1900 is Rocky Mountain Aircraft’s second most numerous leasing aircraft after the Twin Otter.
Providing tailor-made solutions, we have a complete range of services and parts available to support your aviation needs. Contact us to see how we can help you.