Auto flight for rotorcraft

July 24, 2023
Garmin's new autopilot for the AStar smoothes out the rough edges, Julie Boatman writes for Flying.

SALEM, Ore. - As we’re walking out to the 1996 Eurocopter AS350 B2 perched on the pad outside Garmin AT’s offices in Salem, Oregon, I naturally head for the right seat. Because to my fixed-wing pilot brain, that’s where the observer sits, the copilot. And as one with only a handful of hours in rotorcraft in total, that’s what I guess I had expected to do on this demo flight—my introduction to Garmin’s GFC 600H for the AStar, Julie Boatman reports for FlyingContinue reading original article.

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

24 July 2023 - Boatman says that when Garmin's flight test engineer Jack Loflin (also a rotorcraft instructor), with the help of Garmin's FGC 600H "turned me-for a couple of amazing hours - into a helicopter pilot."

"I’m not saying this is its intended application—or even a good one—but it’s an indication of just how incredible the advances in autoflight have come to the rotorcraft world, that I can even fathom what I’mabout to see and do in the AStar," Boatman writes.

In Boatman's lengthy experience with Garmin's avionics onboard a Eurocopter AS350 (now Airbus' H125), she explains how the flight control system lends "enormous safety benefits" as the helicopter comes in for a landing. It's an interesting and informative read as Flying explores auto flight in rotorcraft.

Related: H125 performance increase certified by EASA

Related: SAF orders three H145s for EMS missions in France

Related: Garmin announces its Autoland and Autothrottle avionics available for retrofit market in select Beechcraft King Airs

Jamie Whitney, Senior Editor
Military + Aerospace Electronics

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