Integrated Autopilot Add an Affordable AFCS
All it takes is the addition of Garmin’s affordable GSA 28 “smart” servo units to give your G3X a range of autopilot capabilities similar to those provided by our top-end flight control technology. You have the option of purchasing 1 servo (roll only), or 2 servos (pitch roll) to add the level of capability you want. Even better, the Garmin servo provides a built-in interface to drive a customer supplied trim servo at no extra cost. When the autopilot is off, the servo provides speed scheduling for the manual trim commands. When the autopilot is on, the servo adjusts to constantly keep the aircraft trimmed. It also features a gear train with engagement clutch and the ability to back drive the brushless DC motor, providing multiple levels of safety without the use of a shear pin. Plus, servo software updates are done over the CAN bus using the G3X SD card, eliminating the need to send the servo back to the manufacturer for updates.
The optional GMC 305 control panel is a dedicated interface unit that provides advanced autopilot modes like indicated airspeed hold, independent flight director, and third axis yaw damper (when installed with appropriate servos). A control wheel integrated into the GMC 305 makes for easier pitch, vertical speed and airspeed adjustments. Plus, for added safety, the panel’s advanced LVL mode button commands the autopilot to help restore your aircraft to straight-and-level flight. And because the servos interface directly with the ADAHRS, the GMC 305 allows for standalone operation of the autopilot in the unlikely event of a display loss. Installation of the system is simple and straightforward, with industry-standard servo mounting kits available — as well as airframe-specific versions for the popular Van’s RV series (RV-4/6/7/8/9/10 models).
With installation of the G3X autopilot servos, you’ll also obtain Garmin Electronic Stability and Protection (ESP-X) to provide assistance in maintaining the aircraft in stable flight. When you exceed user-selected pitch, roll or airspeed limitations while hand-flying the aircraft, ESP-X provides gentle nudges on the flight controls to lessen the aircraft’s pitch attitude or bank angle—and that correcting force grows stronger as those exceedances increase. In addition, you’ll see visual cues on the displays of G3X and G3X Touch indicating that ESP-X is engaged: Yellow chevrons provide visual pitch guidance, and configurable roll-limit indicators indicate where ESP-X engages to provide bank guidance. As you take corrective action, ESP-X fades, and it turns off when you return to a normal flight envelope. Conversely, if the system activates for more than fifteen seconds—for example, if you become incapacitated—the autopilot engages with the flight director in Level Mode, bringing the aircraft to level flight until you command otherwise. While ESP-X will not recover an aircraft in all in-flight situations, the system does provide your experimental and light sport aircraft an extra safeguard.
But ESP-X goes beyond providing pitch and bank envelope protection to also offer high- and low-airspeed protection. In a high-airspeed situation, ESP-X engages the G3X autopilot servos to increase your pitch attitude, while built-in parameters further prevent the aircraft from exceeding G-limit load factors. In low airspeed situations, ESP-X engages to provide a gentle pitch-down force to reduce the likelihood of a stall—and ESP-X automatically disables when the aircraft is operating within 200 feet of the ground. In addition, pitch, roll and airspeed envelope protection parameters are all customizable, and for flight training or aerobatics, you can easily inhibit Garmin ESP-X within the automatic flight control system menu of G3X and G3X Touch, or with an optional switch in the panel.
Autopilot Options for G3X
Configured with 1 GSA 28 integrated servo for roll only autopilot
Configured with 2 GSA 28 integrated servos for pitch and roll autopilot
Optional GMC 305 Control Panel
A separate autopilot control panel for dedicated mode selection, as well as access to additional autopilot modes including Indicated Airspeed Hold (IAS), Level Recovery (LVL), independent flight director and Yaw Damper (YD)
Optional GMC 307 Control Panel
A separate autopilot control panel for dedicated mode selection with heading and altitude knobs, as well as access to additional autopilot modes including Indicated Airspeed Hold (IAS), Level Recovery (LVL), independent flight director and Yaw Damper (YD).