Installing Autopilot on 172

Installing Autopilot on 172

I am considering having an autopilot installed on my 172M.  I have the KLN 94 GPS.  Any suggestions?  I have very little experience with using an autopilot feature in that I have never owned a plane that had it installed.  Can someone give me the expected cost for a basic unit with wing leveling and constant heading?  Is it significantly more to add altitute?

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Re: Installing Autopilot on 172

Hello DS:

Just to give you some idea of cost, I bought a used Navomatic 300A with the intention of installing it in my 1978 C-172N.  I bought the computer, servo actuator, directional gyro, and turn coordinator for about $1,000.  I then started looking into installation, and discovered that there were significant modifications required to the right wing to install the servo actuator.  I priced out the parts for that at about $1,100.  I am estimating another $2,000 to $3,000 to install everything, as the wing needs to be modified and all the wiring needs to be done to connect all the components and integrate it into the current navigation equipment.  So about $4-$5K to install a 30 year old serviceable autopilot in a 30 year old airplane.

I am assuming your airplane has never had an autopilot and so will need the same equipment and installation as mine.  Much of the same modifications will need to be made to install a new autopilot, such as an S-Tec or Century.  I had inquired into installing a new S-Tec 30 a few years back, and got an ballpark estimate of $9K-$10K, and the 30 is very a basic unit.

It all seems pretty expensive, but I am giving it serious consideration as I am now flying IFR and the autopilot would be a real help in managing the extra workload.  Just another word of advice, if you do go forward with it,  check Preferred Airparts and the salvage yards for parts.  Parts from Cessna will double the cost, and the parts from Preferred are in many cases new stock. As a comparison, the bellcrank you will need to purchase for the Navomatic install is an $1,100 special order part from Cessna, but I found one for $600 from another parts house.

Hope the information helps.

Jon

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Re: Installing Autopilot on 172

would you know how I reach
jplaxton00
01/19/2009
22:12 CST
Posts: 140

If he leaks out on this autopilot prject I would like to buy all the parts

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Re: Installing Autopilot on 172

I can answer pretty much all of your questions
Give me a Call 941-360-6877 ext 109
I have some as removed units but I suggest a new system myabe a STEC system 30 around 13,000 installed that would include a Directional Gyro with a Heading bg
Kirk
Sarasota Avionics

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Re: Installing Autopilot on 172

As a correction to my earlier posting, I meant to say that the S-Tec 20 is a basic single axis system.  The 30 is two-axis and is more expensive.  I would be interested in hearing from Kirk or anyone else in regards to the cost of installing a new S-TEc 20 in a late model C-172.  What I am finding is the major cost is in the wing modifications to mount the servo and the wiring to connect up the system.  Are the same modifications required for the S-Tec autopilots?

The Navomatic 300A functions as a basic wing leveler, but also has the ability to fly a selected heading, and intercept and track a VOR radial or localizer.  What would be the minimum S-Tec system required to provide the same features?  I still haven't decided weather to go forward with the project or not, but would be interested in comparing the cost of installing a used Navomatic to the cost of a new S-Tec since it seems much of the cost is in the installation, and not the hardware.

Jon

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Re: Installing Autopilot on 172

I'd like to find a 2 axis autopilot to installin my 1959 C 182B. Can't afford alot???  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   Thanks

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Re: Installing Autopilot on 172

I have just bought a 172M/1975 and I am considering to install an AP like yours. My aircraft used to have an AP in the past, but It was removed in 1985. D you think I will have to make all the adaptation you mentioned?

Best Regards,

Andre

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