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Thread: Auto Pilot ?

  1. #1

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    Happy Auto Pilot ?

    I have an SLSA (EuroFox), and I would like to have a two axis autopilot installed without spending more than the airplane is worth. I just want a unit that will hold altitude and hold a heading. Tracking an entire approach is not necessary.

    My budget for this, including installation is $38. (;>) .....Well....maybe a little more than that.

    Suggestions ???

  2. #2
    steveinindy's Avatar
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    Here's my question....why would you need an autopilot for an LSA? I mean, it's not a "get up and go" sort of aircraft and that sort of plane tends to attract folks who are doing it for the "love of flying", etc. Having an autopilot tends to take away that. Even as someone who dreams of the day of having an aircraft where when I'm at top of climb, I can punch the autopilot on and relax (relatively speaking) until time to descend a couple (or several) hours later, I just don't see the purpose behind one in an LSA. To me it would be like installing training wheels and cruise control on a moped.
    Unfortunately in science what you believe is irrelevant.

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  3. #3
    kscessnadriver's Avatar
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    An LSA is just as much of a traveling airplane as a 172 is. I've flown a CTSW with an autopilot and it was great. Very smooth, like on rails. The problem with putting an autopilot in an SLSA is that you are going to have to go back to the manufacture to get it approved. Best bet would be to call the manufacture and see if they have something they already have approved, and if not, perhaps see if they are willing to work with you to get one approved.
    KSCessnaDriver
    ATP MEL, Commercial Lighter Than Air-Airship, SEL, CFI/CFII
    Private SES

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by steveinindy View Post
    Here's my question....why would you need an autopilot for an LSA? I mean, it's not a "get up and go" sort of aircraft and that sort of plane tends to attract folks who are doing it for the "love of flying", etc. Having an autopilot tends to take away that. Even as someone who dreams of the day of having an aircraft where when I'm at top of climb, I can punch the autopilot on and relax (relatively speaking) until time to descend a couple (or several) hours later, I just don't see the purpose behind one in an LSA. To me it would be like installing training wheels and cruise control on a moped.
    Well, Steve...Lemee tellya... In order to minimize drama in the forum, I'll just try to explain:

    I've flown a lotta airplanes in my 50+ years of flying. The Fox is extremely sensitive. That makes it fun to fly when yer jes punchin holes in the sky. But if yer distracted fer jes a few seconds, the plane decides to go all over the sky. Ya see; that makes it harder to keep on course when yer distracted with various things, goin X-country. It would be nice if it stayed on course while I'm looking at maps, checking frequencies of the next airport, etc.

    Does that answer yer question?

  5. #5

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    Thanx for your input, Cessna. - Good thought.

  6. #6

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    The three main players in the LSA (Experimental?) field are Trutrak, Trio and Dynon. Dynon makes sense if you have a D100 or Skyview installed already although an entire AP system including a D100 EFIS rivals the cost of a comparable Trutrak system. Trio is probably the lowest cost standalone AP at around $3K for a 2-axis system. YMMV.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by S3flyer View Post
    The three main players in the LSA (Experimental?) field are Trutrak, Trio and Dynon. Dynon makes sense if you have a D100 or Skyview installed already although an entire AP system including a D100 EFIS rivals the cost of a comparable Trutrak system. Trio is probably the lowest cost standalone AP at around $3K for a 2-axis system. YMMV.
    Thanx, Flyer...Very helpful

  8. #8

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    For $38 or so, you might be able to get a old used "wing leveler" outa of an old Cessna, but you'll have to install it yourself. The next question is can you actually legally modify a SLSA?

    Joe

  9. #9

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    Makes sense to me. At times, I wished for one in a single seat sailplane. A lot of the helos that I flew had various levels of automation. Something like the old Mooney wing leveler would be nice.

    I am sure that there is little or no lattitude in upgradeing a SLSA. I did check out the web site for Aerotrek that assembles and markets the US version of your plane and they have an option for the Tru Trak Gemini ADI. They could put it in your panel for a bit more than a grand. I guess that it may be possible to upgrade the Tru Trak to an autopilot. But only if you lived in a third world country far from the FAA.
    Bob

  10. #10

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    Eurofox site I saw had a line item entry for a Dynon autopilot so that would strongly imply they would approve it for a field upgrade. The worst part about getting LOAs for an SLSA is typically the time it takes (and some charge an admin fee of a few hundred bucks) not in getting approved. You also have the option of taking your plane ELSA and then can do pretty much whatever you want provide you stay within the LSA standards and FAA regs.

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