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Thread: Autopilot or not

  1. #1
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    Default Autopilot or not

    What is it like to hand fly a CC long distances? I'm thinking about ordering an EX3 kit and wondering if the autopilot is worth it. I am currently flying a 182 with an autopilot and rarely use it, but it's a much heavier airplane and hand flying is easy. how much does the autopilot/servos weigh? Reasons pro and con?? Thx

  2. #2
    Senior Member ceslaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Autopilot or not

    Get it.

    in the broad scheme of things, not that expensive.

    i use mine only occasionally, but it is nice when you want it.

    I use the G3X to control the autopilot function and therefore there is no separate control unit using up valuable panel space. A casual ovserver would not know it has AP.

    And it should help with resale value.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Autopilot or not

    Quote Originally Posted by ceslaw View Post
    Get it.

    in the broad scheme of things, not that expensive.

    i use mine only occasionally, but it is nice when you want it.

    I use the G3X to control the autopilot function and therefore there is no separate control unit using up valuable panel space. A casual ovserver would not know it has AP.

    And it should help with resale value.
    Got it. Sounds like a no brainer and yes I would get the G3X. Thx

  4. #4
    Senior Member chipallen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Autopilot or not

    Resale value! Absolutely!!!
    Chip Allen
    SWT Aviation, Inc.
    Cubcrafters Southeast Sales Center
    Marietta, GA
    www.swtaviation.com

  5. #5
    Senior Member cityrancher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Autopilot or not

    I just ferried a Carbon Cub from Dallas to Walla Walla that had the Garmin auto pilot. I was impressed with it's abilities and with the exception of choppy air it worked well. Considering the light weight of aircraft, I thought it was very effective. The aircraft was highly optioned which diminished the legal useful load. I am not sure how much weight the autopilot system added.

  6. #6
    Senior Member John Hodges's Avatar
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    Default Re: Autopilot or not

    Correct that it's a no-brainer. We fell in love at first flight.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Autopilot or not

    actually it works great in choppy air too. There are settings you can adjust easily to tell it how fast/slow to react as well as how tight the tolerances are before it react.......so the stick won't beat you to death in choppy air.

    QUOTE=cityrancher;22366]I just ferried a Carbon Cub from Dallas to Walla Walla that had the Garmin auto pilot. I was impressed with it's abilities and with the exception of choppy air it worked well. Considering the light weight of aircraft, I thought it was very effective. The aircraft was highly optioned which diminished the legal useful load. I am not sure how much weight the autopilot system added.[/QUOTE]
    Dave Embry
    "You only live once.....
    ..but if you do it right.....
    ....once is enough."..

  8. #8
    Senior Member ceslaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Autopilot or not

    Dave:

    Any tips on where one can find more info on fine tuning the AP?

    I asked the guys at the Garmin booth at OSH and they were clueless.

    The manual provides little guidance.

    I have played with the settings a little bit, and will play a bit more, but some nice instructions would sure be nice.

    In the meantime it works great in smooth air.

    Chuck

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Autopilot or not

    Yes Chuck. https://support.garmin.com/support/m...o=010-00G3X-00. Go here and download the almost 900 page G3X Touch Installation manual. Start reading around page 540 and on down where they show the configuration and settings of the servos.

    Essentially the torque should be set to move the servos but not too high that you canít easily over power it. The gain adjustments determine how aggressive the AP reacts to aircraft attitude changes. Less gain makes it react more slowly and better if very turbulent so the stick isnít trying to chase every move quickly. You can do this while in the air. I just adjust mine to a good medium. If it reacts too slowly (not correcting fast enough) then increase the gain for either the pitch or roll servo. I flew in a friends FX2 once and hit the autopilot and it would drive you crazy swinging that stick back and forth and back and forth rapidly. A simple adjustment will stop all that.

    Many people may not know also that the disconnect button on the stick can also be enabled for CWS in the config system. This is the ďControl Wheel SteeringĒ. If you press and release the disconnect button, it will disconnect the AP but if you press and hold it, you can manually steer the plane up or down and when you release it, it will resume (so it doesnít disconnect the AP, only temporarily suspends it).

    There is also another setting for the lead time for it to hit the altitude you are looking for. IE, you set altitude for it to go to and if it tends to overshoot/undershoot that altitude, you can tell it to lead the decrease/increase of pitch earlier or later so it levels out right on the set altitude.

    Hope that helps.

    Quote Originally Posted by ceslaw View Post
    Dave:

    Any tips on where one can find more info on fine tuning the AP?

    I asked the guys at the Garmin booth at OSH and they were clueless.

    The manual provides little guidance.

    I have played with the settings a little bit, and will play a bit more, but some nice instructions would sure be nice.

    In the meantime it works great in smooth air.

    Chuck
    Last edited by Daveembry; 10-29-2018 at 08:45 PM.
    Dave Embry
    "You only live once.....
    ..but if you do it right.....
    ....once is enough."..

  10. #10
    Senior Member ceslaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Autopilot or not

    Thanks Dave. Went back and took another look at that 900 page manual - guess I did not spend enough time on the pages mentioned. Anxious to get up and fine tune those settings! Thanks.

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