Autopilot, Trio Pro Pilot or Century 1

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Autopilot, Trio Pro Pilot or Century 1

Postby Coolin170 » Wed Jan 27, 2021 8:23 pm

Hi Guys, as a 170 owner I’ve been watching this website for years but haven’t previously participated, but have some information to share and a question.

I upgraded my 170B with an IO-360, new panel, including Aspen & Garmin 650, but, as many of you, I’ve wanted an A/P for my trips, between Colorado and northern Idaho.

After email conversations with Paul Odum off and on for a couple years, with some positive inputs, it turned to email conversations with Jeff Odum, who took over from Paul. STC group was only A/P installer that showed any interest in the 170, at least to me.

Last summer I thought I was within a month of taking my 170 to Oxnard for the Trio installation to get the 170 STC project started. They even added the 170 to their website as a future STC. Their plan was to get it STC’s for both the A and B models.

They delayed me several times, and then Jeff let me know they had other aircraft model groups that were put in front of us, as they had more deposits come in for them.
He said he would like to see 10 to 20 170’s sign up at this point. Looking at his web site recently it was showing seven (7) 170 aircraft signed up.

I asked the current price of the 170 installations on Jan 4th, 2021, his answer:
Bill,
Our systems are $5595.00 USD and install is usually 30-40 hours. This time can be cut down a lot by having an A&P do the install and/or doing it during annual.
Thank you!
Jeffrey P. Odum

I will stay on the list with the STC group for their A/P, but at this point looking at installing the only A/P (Wing Leveler) that is currently authorized for the 170B, which is the old Century 1. Does anyone have an unused Century 1 available?
Century Flight systems says they no longer have one to sell, and believe it or not, if I find one, they want an expensive STC fee for me to install in my aircraft.
Thanks,
- Bill in Colorado
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Re: Autopilot, Trio Pro Pilot or Century 1

Postby GAHorn » Thu Jan 28, 2021 7:31 pm

This particular AutoPilot has been discussed in another thread as well. It boils down to a matter of development for approval-basis versus cost. To install this AP will run in the vicinity of $12K-$15K for a “basic” installation which may/may-not communicate with on-board avionics, and due to pre-development time-frames may put the airplane out-of-service for months and as well as subject it to detailed FAA scrutiny of it’s existing airworthiness status prior to actual work.
To spend 1/4 the value of the airplane’s value on a convenience-item is a stretch for most owners of 170s and the marketplace isn’t attractive to developers due to small number of likely buyers.
Here’s the earlier conversation:
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=14493&hilit=Stc+group
'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, Trio Pro Pilot or Century 1

Postby Coolin170 » Thu Jan 28, 2021 8:25 pm

I agree, since its been so long since the subject was brought up, thought I’d see if there was any interest at their current pricing.
Jeff says would need aircraft up to two weeks, probably less, owner can do the flight tests, then take the plane home with A/P disabled, and wait maybe seven months for the FAA paperwork approval.
No deposit required getting on the waiting list, and maybe not until FAA approval.
With that said, that’s why I’m looking for a Century 1 wing leveler, if there is one at reasonable price as it’s a long commute between my destinations.
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Re: Autopilot, Trio Pro Pilot or Century 1

Postby lcranton » Fri Jan 29, 2021 3:17 am

Yesterday I received an email from Jeff Odum and he stated that they have received requests from 10 interested parties for a Cessna 170 autopilot. They will reach out to all interested parties when they are ready to start the project. Looks like there may be a modern digital autopilot in the 170’s future.
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Re: Autopilot, Trio Pro Pilot or Century 1

Postby GAHorn » Fri Jan 29, 2021 1:41 pm

Coolin170 wrote:.... Jeff says would need aircraft up to two weeks, probably less, owner can do the flight tests, then take the plane home with A/P disabled, and wait maybe seven months for the FAA paperwork approval.....
... No deposit required getting on the waiting list, and maybe not until FAA approval.....


Can you explain that further..?? Do you mean to say that no money be paid...until after the work, after the installation, after flying it home with it disabled...after months of waiting for FAA approval.... that IF the FAA approves it.... THEN one would pay for it?

That’s probably not what is meant... I’ll bet...

:?: :?:
'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, Trio Pro Pilot or Century 1

Postby counsellj » Fri Jan 29, 2021 3:24 pm

How hard is it to just trim the airplane and gently use the rudders as needed to maintain wings level and on desired heading? I though small airplanes were for flying, not managing systems. If you have an extra $15 you want to waste or just get rid of, I can send you an address and account #.
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Re: Autopilot, Trio Pro Pilot or Century 1

Postby Coolin170 » Fri Jan 29, 2021 6:28 pm

You are absolutely right, A/P not necessary, 170’s trim up beautifully, and I’ve been flying that way for over 50 years, since my first (1/3 owner of) Cessna 140 in 1966. In fact I had my 2nd C140 based at Snohomish in the 70’s, great airport restaurant.

But it depends on the mission, although I no longer intentionally fly through clouds or at night, filing IFR flight plan with this IFR certified 170 is a nice option to have, especially flying cross country. If I someday have to fly actual IFR approach single pilot, an A/P is invaluable and could pay for itself on that one flight.

The 170 is a great aircraft, with my IO-360 and Sportsman’s Stol I was able, on my last trip from Gig Harbor to Denver, cruise at 17.5 and pick up a 65 kt tailwind. At 7.5 to 8 gph. Modifications were a fraction of the cost of a new 172, for example. (in 2018 Skyhawk in the range of $369,000 to $438,000) 170 out performs that new a/c in every way. An A/P would also be helpful at that altitude, allowing for eating a sandwich, for example, and other necessary duties with a long flight, if you know what I mean, and still allows using the grass runway just about anywhere. I know, preaching to the choir.

And yes, owner can be the pilot during the flight tests, last I heard, but would have company in the a/c with him, of course. Good question about deposit, sent Jeff an email asking when and how much a deposit would be, will let you know when I get answer.
By the way, he recently mentioned they had a software project ongoing for Aspen and G5.
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Re: Autopilot, Trio Pro Pilot or Century 1

Postby counsellj » Fri Jan 29, 2021 8:14 pm

Coolin, Wow, You make some unique uses and take advantage of some great capabilities in your 170. I can see you desire for an A/P much more clearly after that explanation.
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Re: Autopilot, Trio Pro Pilot or Century 1

Postby Coolin170 » Fri Jan 29, 2021 10:29 pm

Bill,
We are exploring a "group buy" for the 170 models. There will be a sliding scale for how many people participate. $500-$1000 deposit would be required before the project begins.
Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Thank you!
Jeffrey P. Odum
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