Genesys Aerosystems is nearing the home stretch on a program it announced two years ago to develop the S-Tec 5000 autopilot system for Part 25 airplanes. The first TSO for the system is expected in the first half of 2017, according to Jamie Luster, director of sales and marketing.
One program is a forward-fit autopilot for Ruag’s Dornier 228 NG twin turboprop; and another is a retrofit program for the military Airbus CASA C-212 Aviocar. Genesys is targeting older business jets and regional airliners for retrofit applications of the new S-Tec 5000 autopilot, and these include the Bombardier Dash 8, Fokkers, Hawker 800 series and older Falcon 900s, Gulfstreams, Citations and Learjets.
“We’re hoping to target older aircraft in situations where the autopilot is costing significant dollars to repair,” Luster said. Genesys also offers LCD upgrades for old CRT-based avionics displays, and could offer combined LCD and autopilot upgrades. For airplanes where the autopilot is getting more costly to repair and upgrades aren’t available, switching to a new Genesys digital autopilot makes sense, Luster said. Instead of spending tens of thousands of dollars to repair an old autopilot, she said, “we’ll sell a new one for $150,000, a three-axis full digital system with envelope protection, straight-and-level button and software upgradeable.” Genesys plans to add more features later such as automatic descent as a software upgrade. The price includes servos and pitch trim, and options will include roll and yaw trim.
Here at NBAA 2016, Genesys (Booth 1012) is highlighting the new S-Tec 5000 autopilot as well as cockpit upgrades. “Our next step is to identify the primary markets for autopilot STCs,” Luster said. Certification flight testing of the new autopilot system begins this month in the C-212, followed by flights in the Dornier 228 in February.
Genesys Aerosystems purchased S-Tec and Chelton Flight Systems, which were operating as Cobham Avionics, from Cobham in April 2014. S-Tec has shipped more than 40,000 autopilot systems since its founding in 1978, and Chelton certified the first synthetic vision system and GPS-WAAS navigator as well developing the first highway-in-the-sky display