Group works to STC Trio Avionics next gen autopilot
Lower cost safety and reliability for Cessna 172/182
El Cajon, CA, Nov. 28, 2016– Trio Avionics, longtime manufacturer of autopilots for the Experimental-Amateur-Built(EAB) aircraft market, is working with the FAA and a team of industry leaders to develop an STC for its proven Pro Pilot Autopilot in the Cessna 172 and 182, with other certified, production models to follow. Paul Odum, CEO of The STC Group, LLC, is leading the initiative to bring affordable autopilots from the EAB world to production airplanes.
“Trio’s Pro Pilot autopilot has a proven record of reliability in the amateur-built and warbird fleets. As such, the Trio Pro Pilot is an excellent off-the-shelf choice to retrofit into the legacy GA fleet based on its record of safety and reliability,” said Odum, who will own the STC for the autopilot. The company is planning on developing the STC for most variants of the Cessna 172 and 182 from the earliest models through the 2006 models. STCs for additional makes and models will be developed later.
Trio was established in 2000 and has been delivering autopilots around the world for more than a dozen years with some 3,000 systems flying. The two-axis Pro Pilot model utilizes roll and auto-trim pitch servos to provide precise horizontal and vertical navigation capabilities. Altitude control includes climb and descent functions with altitude pre-select. Vertical navigation can be flown at pilot-selected speeds.
When connected to a WAAS-enabled GPS, Pro Pilot can fly the lateral and vertical portions of RNAV approaches and other procedures. The digital autopilot also provides flight envelope protection, nudging the flight controls away from an overspeed or stall situation. An “automatic 180-degree turn” feature can guide VFR pilots out of inadvertent weather encounters—a feature that has been credited with saving lives in EAB aircraft. Chuck Busch, Trio Avionics president and designer of the Pro Pilot, said, “As experimental aircraft builders, our primary design goal has always been safety of flight. We are especially proud that our Pro Pilot incorporates many safety features that are unique in the industry.”
The STC Group is seeking approval for the STC using a process similar to one EAA leveraged earlier in 2016 to earn approval to install a Dynon D-10 digital attitude indicator in a variety of light general aviation airplanes.
The STC Group’s effort is aligned with statements made by AOPA, the world’s largest aviation association, that the availability of lower cost autopilots is an important element in improving the safety and reliability of legacy airplanes. In fact, AOPA has said that it hopes to upgrade its 2017 sweepstakes airplane, a remanufactured Cessna 172, with a new-generation, affordable autopilot before it is awarded to some lucky pilot at EAA AirVenture.
According to Odum, the STC Group is well along in its efforts to demonstrate the capabilities of the Trio autopilot when installed in Cessna 172 and 182 models. An autopilot STC is likely in the second half of 2017.
Trio Avionics designs and manufactures autopilot products engineered for outstanding performance, while keeping them attractively priced for the Experimental, LSA and Warbird aircraft market. Innovative design and the use of modern solid state sensors provides superior navigation capability at a price that was not possible until now. Our products are designed by pilots for pilots, and we fly them every day.
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If you would like more information about the Trio STC project, please contact Paul Odum at 805-304-5246 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.