AUTOPILOT

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AUTOPILOT

Postby N2984D » Thu Jan 24, 2019 4:40 pm

Paul Odum has autopilot stc's for different aircraft. Paul needs someone on the west coast preferably, to let him use their C-170 for an stc. The cost to develop the stc is around 11K. If we could get some of the C-170 owners to pitch in, Paul will put together an stc. Paul uses the Trio Avionics autopilot and already has stc's for C-172's, 175's, 182's, 180's, 185's, PA-28's, PA-32's, AA-5's & AG-5B's. You can contact Paul at (231) 220-9296 or paul.odum@thestcgroupllc.com . I believe he may need the plane for only a short time. The cost to develop the autopilot stc is around 25K but Paul is willing to pay have of this cost out of his pocket. He is asking anyone interested, to contact him and pledge a $500.00 refundable deposit, but the deposit will not be required until he decides to go forward with the stc. He is just trying to find out how many owners would be interested in the autopilot. You can also find information about Paul on AOPA/YouTube.
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Re: AUTOPILOT

Postby flyboy122 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:35 am

Somebody smarter than me can probably verify (or invalidate) this, but isn't an early 172 just a 170 with a squared off tail and a training wheel? Mechanically are their any other differences? Flying wise are their any other differences? As long as the autopilot isn't expected to work on the ground, this one outta just be a pencil whip. I would argue minor change based on similarity and push the paperwork through.

DEM
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Re: AUTOPILOT

Postby ghostflyer » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:57 am

Totally agree with you flyboy122. Some people get their knickers in a knot “trying” to be super legal. Talk to the guys in cessna , send them a email, tell them your issues and there response might surprise you.
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Re: AUTOPILOT

Postby n3833v » Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:46 pm

I have a Century to install for some years and due to the "48" style cableing, I couldn't install without Mineral Wells doing some high tech testing. It seems that the "48's" with the cables up the back center are so easy to access but never STC'd, but the later models with the cables up the door posts have been STC'd. There have been some bootleg installations that are flying but I wasn't going that route so I have the unit on the shelf for some distant future.

John
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Re: AUTOPILOT

Postby GAHorn » Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:19 pm

flyboy122 wrote:Somebody smarter than me can probably verify (or invalidate) this, but isn't an early 172 just a 170 with a squared off tail and a training wheel? Mechanically are their any other differences? Flying wise are their any other differences? As long as the autopilot isn't expected to work on the ground, this one outta just be a pencil whip. I would argue minor change based on similarity and push the paperwork through.

DEM


Easy answer. Appearances aside,... Are the two airplanes on the same Type Design Certificate?

No?

.... looks like a separate certification is required for a Supplemental Type Certificate, ...Heh?

John, the 172 Century autopilot places a servo-box (which holds the clutches and pilot-cables that grab the airframe's flight control cables) in a location which does not match the 170/170A and some 170B models. That means the servo box has to be located differently for the 170 series and despite "similar" flight characteristics requires the entire series of flight tests to be done all over again to insure that cable tensions and applied-forces are not exceeded yet are adequate to control the aircraft.

There are numerous flight control "feedback" issues with the many different model variants over the years. Fly a 1956 thru 1960s 172 and compare that to any of the 1970s model or any of the later, higher horsepower models and you will easily see that flight control forces and feedback are quite different. (Why,...there's not likely a single autopilot model that can be installed into that long-range of various 172s under the same process due to those differences. (Remember a "172" is not a single airplane nor is a Century IV autopilot a single autopilot...there are numerous variations necessary in each to meet the different needs/certifications.) An electro-mechanical autopilot device must be able to be adapted/adjusted to each difference. This makes it uneconomical to develop a new-design autopilot for an older airframe. (And, exceptionally-few of the airplanes were ever equipped with autopilots when they were new. How many would be logical candidates for a newly certified autopilot that cost even more (due to modernity) and would be required to work in symphony with the incredibly-wide range of obsolete-thru-recent avionics which comprises the 170-fleet?

I.E., Let's cut to the chase in this discussion: How many of you are willing to place your airplane into a shop you don't know out in California for an autopilot-installation which requires them to remove your interior and dig into your instrument panel for the experimental installation after-which that shops pilot will fly your airplane through a series of flights which stress your airframe to the limits of its original design in low and high-speed, high-G manuevers (the particular brand and model autopilot not yet known) for $11,000 bucks....after which your airplane MAY be allowed to keep the autopilot installed?... or not...?

....and did I mention that your airplane will FIRST be very closely inspected and maybe flown by FAA authorities or their designees BEFORE the work begins to determine it meets the original design completely?
OK now... How Many?

As for the "minor alteration" suggestion: As anyone who's flown a 170B and a 172 can tell you, the rudder-control pressures are quite different between the two aircraft. The 170B feels "light" while the 172 feels "heavy" due to the centering-cam/bungee arrangement in the nosewheel which keeps the nosewheel centered in-flight regardless of pilot input. Further, the idea a 172 is just a 170B is simplisitic. There are 172s, 172As, Bs, Cs,.... all the way thru the 172S, and those do not include the TGs, RGs, and XLs or any of the Reims (French built) aircraft.

Don't get mad at the messenger. :wink:
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Re: AUTOPILOT

Postby N2984D » Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:57 pm

Guys, I don't think this is a fly by night shop at all. Do your homework and make a good decision. It appears others have trusted Paul and it has paid off. I have told Paul, that I'm will to put up $500.00 to help with the development if he could get a few others to pitch in also. He hasn't asked anyone to send money at this time, just who would be interested. Talk to others that have used him, I'm sure you can get a list of aircraft that have gone through the process. Also, ask around, I'm sure you can get feedback, good or bad. Ask some of the people in the area where Paul works, they should be able to tell you something about him. Paul said he is working on a 1956, C-172 now. Give him a chance. If I wasn't in Alabama, I certainly would let him take a look at my 170.

As to the FAA, it is true, they may take a look at your airplane, but they may find something that could save your life or that of others. I would hope our member's are not worried about there planes passing inspection. Also, we all have trusted ones we didn't know, think about this you next trip to the doctor, hospital, driving down the road or when your plane decides to let you down somewhere other than your home airport. We try and make these decision with good faith and a lot of research.

What I had asked the Cessna 170 Association to do (good or bad), is write a letter of encouragement to some of the manufactures. Asking them to consider us for some of the new development in avionics, such as the autopilot's. I talked with Garmin, Dynon, & S-tec last year at Sun-N-Fun & Air Ventures, and they said the Cessna 170 was not in the works anytime soon. Paul is the only one that has shown interest.

Cost, lets face it, aviation isn't good for your retirement plan, but we do enjoy it.

Call Paul and talk with him. After all, he's the pro.

http://cessnaowner.org/stc-group-trio-p ... r-190-195/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8BUydvOAAI

https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all ... st-expands
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Re: AUTOPILOT

Postby GAHorn » Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:09 pm

Let me say this: I never accused Paul or his associates of being "fly by night".

Let me repeat the question (which is what this is all about): How many are willing to pony up dollars to install an autopilot in your 170 under the scenario stated in the AOPA link which was provided? ("...installation kits sold by The STC Group cost $2,500 or $3,000, plus shipping, which typically costs $60 to $80, Odum said. The Trio autopilots have dropped a bit in price, Odum said, to $3,495 (excluding shipping), and the actual installations completed so far have typically run to 30 or 40 hours of shop time,".... total cost (if finally approved) somewhere in the vicinity of $10,000? ($2500 install kit + $3500 hardware + $3500 install labor, taxes and freight addt'l).

How many?


PS: It would be a mistake to assume I'm "down" on this project. I'm just attempting to place some monetary reality into the picture by asking the question.
'53 B-model N146YS SN:25713
50th Anniversary of Flight Model. Winner-Best Original 170B, 100th Anniversary of Flight.
An originality nut (mostly) for the right reasons. ;)
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Re: AUTOPILOT

Postby hilltop170 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:14 pm

$10,000 for a Trio autopilot is half of the $20,000 for an S-Tec, if they are even STC'd for the 170.
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Re: AUTOPILOT

Postby hilltop170 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:24 pm

n3833v wrote:I have a Century to install for some years and due to the "48" style cableing, I couldn't install without Mineral Wells doing some high tech testing. It seems that the "48's" with the cables up the back center are so easy to access but never STC'd, but the later models with the cables up the door posts have been STC'd. There have been some bootleg installations that are flying but I wasn't going that route so I have the unit on the shelf for some distant future.

John



John-
The S-Tec autopilot in my C195 was installed per the STC. The 195 has similar control cables running vertically behind the standard baggage area so that has already been addressed. The pitch and roll servos are installed in that area. When I had the extended baggage installed on the 195 (which is listed in the TCDS so logbook entry only), the IA got a field approval to move the roll servo up higher out of the way of the extended baggage access opening. Bill Milton at The 195 Factory up at Fulton County Airport, NY0, Johnstown, NY had no trouble getting the approval.

If you still want to install the autopilot, Give Bill a call and discuss it with him. He loves to tackle challenges like your's.

Yes, I know the C170 and C195 are on different Type Certificates, but you never know until you ask, field approvals have been issued for much weirder things than this. The credibility and ability of the submitter as well as their relationship with their FSDO have a LOT to do with approvals.
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Owned from 1973 to 1984.
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Re: AUTOPILOT

Postby c170b53 » Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:50 am

Cost, lets face it, aviation isn't good for your retirement plan, but we do enjoy it.

Can’t believe it, I’m only months away and now you tell me !
Jim McIntosh..
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Re: AUTOPILOT

Postby jyokom » Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:24 pm

The STC Group looks like a viable option. This clip from AOPA Live, https://youtu.be/sutybAuNaLw explains more.
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Re: AUTOPILOT

Postby GAHorn » Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:32 pm

So the price has gone UP since the conversation began. (Instead of Mr. Odum’s previous comment in which he said the Trio autopilot price will drop ....). ...The autopilot, instead of $3500 is actually increasing from his prediction, expected to be $7000, to be added to the $3000 STC-Group installation kit, plus labor of $3500 bringing the price to the $13000 range.
Back to the real question: How many are willing to put this into their $40K C170?
'53 B-model N146YS SN:25713
50th Anniversary of Flight Model. Winner-Best Original 170B, 100th Anniversary of Flight.
An originality nut (mostly) for the right reasons. ;)
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Re: AUTOPILOT

Postby jyokom » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:12 pm

It looks like they read your post. The autopilot is listed at $3495 on thestcgroupllc.com
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Re: AUTOPILOT

Postby Jimmyjoster » Fri Dec 06, 2019 3:15 am

I'm all in. My '54 170 has 175 wings but if that isn't a problem I would be first in line to pursue a decent autopilot. I spoke to someone (I think Paul) and the price was higher unless a bunch of us pitch in on the r and d. Someone let me know if we can get together on this.
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Re: AUTOPILOT

Postby epeter786 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 3:19 pm

I would also be very interested. I contacted the STC group as well to add my name and support for a core group to get the STC in process.
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