Autopilot maker S-Tec announced last month it has received FAA technical standard order (TSO) authorization for its IntelliFlight 1950 digital flight control system, incorporated as a standard feature in the SmartDeck cockpit from L-3 Communications Avionics Systems in Grand Rapids, Mich. Greg Plantz, S-Tec’s vice president of sales and marketing, said the IntelliFlight 1950 autopilot is the first S-Tec digital flight control system to have a flight control computer fully integrated into the avionics suite. “This is the way cockpits are evolving and we’re excited that S-Tec is in the forefront of providing this capability,” he said.
L-3 designed SmartDeck as an intuitive avionics system that “puts everything a pilot could want at his fingertips,” said Larry Riddle, the manufacturer’s vice president of business development. Autopilot functions such as airspeed hold and nav/GPS (roll steering) mode work seamlessly with SmartDeck’s advanced navigation system, he said. “You can literally fly a full instrument approach all the way through the missed approach and hold using this autopilot.” SmartDeck has been selected for the development phase of Cirrus’s single-engine VLJ program.