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Thread: Anyone have autopilot in their cub?

  1. #1

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    Anyone have autopilot in their cub?

    Have autopilot in my Skylane and really like it. Anyone have one in their cub? Thinking of installing a single Axis Trio in my experimental cub.
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  2. #2

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    Yes. My G3X Touch drives a 2-axis AP. I can think of a few other members here who have the same.

  3. #3
    FdxLou's Avatar
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    I had one of the first autopilots in a Cub back in 2005. It was a TruTrak. I have helped a number of folks since get one installed in their Cubs. I also put a certified TruTrak in my C-180 recently. Based on the feedback I’ve received from friends putting a Trio in their 180’s, I would not put one in a Cub. My money is on TruTrak. A very quality product with great customer support.
    Just my 2cents.
    Lou

  4. #4
    C130jake's Avatar
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    I put the Garmin servos in this spring in my G3x carboncub. Kicking myself for not doing it during the build. I use it way more than I thought I would.

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  5. #5
    Farmboy's Avatar
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    Jake, are you controlling it via the G3x interface, or did you put a 507 head in as well?


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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C130jake View Post
    I put the Garmin servos in this spring in my G3x carboncub. Kicking myself for not doing it during the build. I use it way more than I thought I would.

    Sent from my SM-G970U using SuperCub.Org mobile app
    I see three more engines and some grey paint in the near future.

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  7. #7
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    I see three more engines and some grey paint in the near future.

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    ??!????????????


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  8. #8
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    He's a C-130 pilot.

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    Life's tough . . . wear a cup.

  9. #9

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    I have a 2 channel Dynon with AP74 head, it's nice to be able to confirm how many axis are live and cut out the roll axis with one buttton. I use it for altitude hold mostly. The roll can only dip a wing, it's a reminder to the human to rudder back to heading.
    What's a go-around?
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  10. #10
    SJ's Avatar
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    On the 1000+ mile ride to Idaho from Kansas City, an AP in the Super Cub would sure be a nice tool. I don't think there is one certified for the PA18 yet. I wonder if the FAA (who know believes every plane should have one) is loosening up their field approval rules around them?

    sj
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  11. #11

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    Has anyone added a yaw damper to their Cub AP? I didn't consider it because the G3X won't run it without a dedicated controller added. I sorta wish I had the 305 or 507 controller. The AP would be more functional. No plans to upgrade mine. It does enough as it is.

  12. #12

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    My friends would love it if I had one when I am lead, I tend to fly like a drunk sailor most of the time just because I like to look at stuff. I am afraid I would just fall asleep if I used one.
    DENNY

  13. #13
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by don d View Post
    Have autopilot in my Skylane and really like it. Anyone have one in their cub? Thinking of installing a single Axis Trio in my experimental cub.
    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    Has anyone added a yaw damper to their Cub AP? I didn't consider it because the G3X won't run it without a dedicated controller added. I sorta wish I had the 305 or 507 controller. The AP would be more functional. No plans to upgrade mine. It does enough as it is.
    Not in my Cub, however I went through this years ago with my 185. One axis at a time. While each axis does make life a bit easier, it also makes things more difficult since the pilot has to share the controls with the autopilot. It actually raises the fatigue factor. Use two axis as a minimum or not at all. A yaw damper helping to keep the controls coordinated would be most welcome, particularly on a plane which needs the rudder to be moved when the ailerons are moved in order to maintain a comfortable ride. Three axis on a long trip would make you more likely to take your Cub on long trips.
    N1PA

  14. #14

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    Share controls? Are you talking about hand flying with the AP on or resistance from the servos with AP off? The latter is a non issue with Garmin. You won't know the servos are there. The former? That depends on the torque and gain settings you entered at setup. My servos can be set so high that I can't overpower them. Clearly not the right way to do it but those little motors are surprisingly powerful.
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  15. #15
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    I am referring to an airplane with a single axis autopilot or a two axis autopilot. Airplanes fly with three axis controls. Some can be flown with ailerons alone giving a smooth ride. Some with rudder alone, and some need all three to maintain a semblance of a smooth ride. When an airplane which needs more than one control to fly comfortably, that airplane should have autopilot capabilities to manage all of those controls. The human pilot has to handle the controls which the autopilot does not. SO the human pilot must coordinate his actions with the autopilot. I've never noticed any interference from any make of autopilot servo when the autopilot was disengaged.

    During the times when I was flying my 185 on amphibs diagonally across Canada to Alaska a 32+ hour ride, it was tiring without an autopilot. I installed a single axis (ailerons) with a navigation coupler. That was a help, however I still had to have my hand on the elevators particularly when flying in thermally induced rough air. SO I added an S-tec pitch control. That was a big help (in smooth air only) and would even do coupled approaches. I still needed to keep my feet on the rudders to eliminate fishtailing created by the ailerons. SO, I installed a yaw damper. Now I finally could relax a bit (in smooth air). The S-tec sucked, to be blunt in turbulence. It doesn't sense pitch to control pitch. It actually makes things worse than no auto-pitch control at all. It uses pressure changes coupled with a G force sensor. IMO any pitch control autopilot should be able to sense pitch changes in order to control pitch. I removed the S-tec and replaced it with a TruTrak pitch control.
    N1PA
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  16. #16
    C130jake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farmboy View Post
    Jake, are you controlling it via the G3x interface, or did you put a 507 head in as well?


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    Thru the G3x, just tap the FMA (flight management annunciation) bar on the top edge of the PFD and the autopilot window pops up. Saves wiring and panel space.


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  17. #17
    C130jake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    He's a C-130 pilot.

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    Was....retired in 2012 with 6000 hours of loud and slow.


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  18. #18

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    Three systems for three axis', I like having a trigger on the stick to get the whole plane back right now. It's bigger than and above the transmit button.
    What's a go-around?

  19. #19

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    I have a G3X with 2-axis autopilot in my Carbon Cub. I control it with a 305 head, and while autopilot in a Cub seemed sacrilegious to me at first, it really comes in handy on those 3-hour cross country flights in Wyoming. Sometimes I shut it off in turbulence (easier to hand fly than having the AP chase altitude while I jockey with the throttle).

  20. #20
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PandaCub View Post
    Sometimes I shut it off in turbulence (easier to hand fly than having the AP chase altitude while I jockey with the throttle).
    Can you turn off the altitude hold function leaving the rest of it operational? Your description sounds as though the autopilot is attempting to hold the altitude rather than just the attitude. Holding attitude, letting the altitude float makes for a smoother ride.
    N1PA

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    Can you turn off the altitude hold function leaving the rest of it operational?
    Yes, I'll try that next time - especially through the Laramie<->Fort Collins corridor which always seems to have significant up and downdrafts. The Garmin G3X (which I'm still getting to know) prompts me to "Trim Up" or "Trim Down" in such cases, but I agree that floating the altitude may be the better way. As I recall it's just one button (ALT) on the 305. Thanks for the suggestion.

    ~PandaCub
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  22. #22
    C130jake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PandaCub View Post
    Yes, I'll try that next time - especially through the Laramie<->Fort Collins corridor which always seems to have significant up and downdrafts. The Garmin G3X (which I'm still getting to know) prompts me to "Trim Up" or "Trim Down" in such cases, but I agree that floating the altitude may be the better way. As I recall it's just one button (ALT) on the 305. Thanks for the suggestion.

    ~PandaCub
    Without electric trim wired in, the manual trim up or down warning is countered with manual trim or throttle. I found using the throttle works pretty good in occasional up and down drafts around Minnesota and leaving it trimmed for cruise. YMMV

    Jake

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  23. #23

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    I know with external control heads you can deselect altitude hold with the ALT button. I don't know if the GDU allows deselecting the vertical component but I'm pretty sure there's a button for it. Jake? I have a few more months before I can find out.

  24. #24
    C130jake's Avatar
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    All the features on the control head are built into the touch screen. The vertical speed just takes an extra step vs the control head. Touch the VS button then set the rate with the right hand control knob.

    You can select or deselect all the modes. Altitude hold, heading, vertical speed, track, vertical nav, etc.

    I will try to post a picture tomorrow.

    Jake

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    Last edited by C130jake; 12-11-2019 at 10:57 PM.

  25. #25
    C130jake's Avatar
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    I took a screen shot from a garmin webinar
    https://youtu.be/b3V4ZeCi4Oo
    Click image for larger version. 

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  26. #26
    Scouter's Avatar
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    My CC has the 507 head with the Garmin AP. It’s a wonderful piece of electronics. I was always impressed by the Trutrak in Lou’s cub and it’s capabilities but said what the heck I will never use it. Wrong, it’s a really powerful piece


    our new grain dryer crapped out a VFD drive on the #2 burner motor. It’s either shut 2 combines and wait for FEDEX overnight or fly 300 miles to NY and be back by noon with the part
    i set up the FD with the destination to nav to, climb the cub at 700 FPM, and capture 4500 altitude. Blasted out of my strip in the dark at 5 am, cleared the trees and hit the AP button, and hit the AP disconnect 3 hours later in NY. Pretty geewhiz stuff for this hack

    I gave the boss a ride to pickup her car the other day and showed her how the blue WLbutton works. Rolled into about a 65 degree turn and showed her how the wings level button will bring the plane back to level attitude I love to hear her howl in those turns. She said something about a blue button in the back of my head
    jim
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  27. #27
    Resisting-a-rest's Avatar
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    I have just completed a 2 axis Trutrak Gemini AP installation in my Super Legend Cub. It took about 40 hours total to do the install. The installation time was prolonged a few hours for fabrication of the brackets for servo mounting plates. The "kit" Trutrak sells for the Legend Cub is not all inclusive of the correct parts and the engineering department replied in an email "to be creative but safe in the fabrication of the brackets" since they were not going to supply the correct parts. Trutrak as many of you know has been bought by Bendix-King. Its no longer the small one-on-one customer service as in the past. They are working hard at getting folks trained up on the Trutrak line. I made a couple of calls during the process of setting the parameters in the control head (since there were none supplied for the Legend) and found them helpful in finding the best settings for the aircraft.
    There is little residual resistance of the servos when the AP is off. I have only flown in some semi turbulent air and it handle it well. Once I set for cruise trim, I used the throttle to satisfy the trim during up or down drafts. As others have said, AP in a Cub? but now wish I had done it before it ever left the factory. I take a lot of pictures during flight and with the " Control Wheel Steering" on the Trutrak, if there is something I see off-course, it is easy to wonder over and then return to course

  28. #28
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    I'm always amazed more don't drivers don't use their cruise control on the interstate. You know the ones, who haul ass up behind you, then hang there for a few minutes, then decide to pass, and a few more miles later are now off your front bumper. I use my CC every chance I can, even on 45 mph county roads. I can for sure see the advantages of having one in even such a small plane as my S-7S. I seem to have a recurring issue with my GPS, it fails to track my progress properly, often showing as much as 10 or 15 degrees off course drift, it can't be my inattention, or can it?! It gets me thinking: I'd be there by now without all those detours.....I actually know of a few different S-7S pilots with AP, and they also have a turboed engine and oxygen systems, and sound like ATP's when they talk about their latest XC's. But, they can still get down and dirty when needed, they sound like a win/win to me.
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  29. #29
    Farmboy's Avatar
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    Regarding lack of use of cruise control, I completely agree. CC has a long list of good reasons to use. But like merging, it seems so many were never taught nor grasp the concept.


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  30. #30
    SJ's Avatar
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    I'm a huge cruise control believer, my spouse is not. I even set it at 25mph when driving around our lake. When we go on cross country trips, I get an extra mile per gallon than when Laura is driving and I believe it is from cruise control use.

    My neighbor, however, has been driving fleet vehicles his whole life and the company training (a big company) says cruise control leads to more accidents. Now, I have not googled this up, but apparently it leads to more or worse "asleep at the wheel" accidents..

    sj
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  31. #31
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    Here is the study on it. Driver vigilance is the issue, but it is a small dataset (90). However, I would say autopilot also requires us to keep vigilant. It's real easy to play with your phone with the AP on. Laura and I have a rule that at least one person is always looking outside.

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
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  32. #32
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    I love CC and use it all the time. My current ride has sensors which detect other cars in front of me so that it modulates the speed to that of the preceding vehicle. It even puts on the brakes and stops to avoid collisions. Impressive!
    N1PA

  33. #33
    courierguy's Avatar
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    In a friend's brand new top of the line Tesla a couple months ago, the AWD version, he domoed the lane holding feature to me on a 4 lane city street, very impressive, but the best was yet to come. Doing nothing but hitting his right turn signal, the car checked for traffic (I assume), determined a lane change was safe, and did it, all by itself! I was totally unaware they could do that, it was like science fiction, ultra smooth and precise also. This raises the legal/moral question: does the drunk driver now drive perfect and get away with it? Yes, if he has a Tesla is the apparent answer.

  34. #34

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    There's a good PBS documentary about that technology and how it has a long way to go before being road ready. It includes a review of the Uber car hitting and killing a bicyclist while in auto drive. Very interesting comments by the tech developers.

    https://www.pbs.org/video/look-whos-driving-65sadz/

  35. #35
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    Steve, like your situation, my wife rarely if ever uses it, as she says she doesn’t feel in control. But she is also of the variety that doesn’t exhibit much mechanical aptitude either.
    Regarding more accidents due to using it, I think they are pointing the finger at the wrong monkey. You still need to pay attention. Ironically, in my opinion, I’d venture to say that those that don’t use it are likely the ones it was made more, since they can’t hold a steady speed to being with. Those comfortable driving that enjoy the skill set are much more likely to use it.


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  36. #36

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    If I use CC tomorrow morning my truck will spin out of control on the first hill, which is between Eklutna and Mirror Lake. Of course I may have already gotten a ticket for speeding on the downhill sections before that, but not many Troopers patrol that early. I had a rental Eco Boost Ford Expedition in Hawaii. Speed traps over the saddle road are a given so CC is supposed to be a tool. That POS couldn't hold speed on downhills. Not in any of the computerized transmission modes. CC ain't the end-all in my world.

  37. #37
    RVBottomly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    If I use CC tomorrow morning my truck will spin out of control on the first hill, which is between Eklutna and Mirror Lake. Of course I may have already gotten a ticket for speeding on the downhill sections before that, but not many Troopers patrol that early. I had a rental Eco Boost Ford Expedition in Hawaii. Speed traps over the saddle road are a given so CC is supposed to be a tool. That POS couldn't hold speed on downhills. Not in any of the computerized transmission modes. CC ain't the end-all in my world.
    Well, that's interesting. I never had a vehicle with cruise control, or an automatic transmission for that matter, until I got a barebones 2013 Ford F150. I use it on highway trips and it downshifts to slow down when I cross various passes. Keeps speed within 2 mph.

    I wouldn't use it on icy roads, though, or winding uphills snow or not.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    If I use CC tomorrow morning my truck will spin out of control on the first hill, which is between Eklutna and Mirror Lake. Of course I may have already gotten a ticket for speeding on the downhill sections before that, but not many Troopers patrol that early. I had a rental Eco Boost Ford Expedition in Hawaii. Speed traps over the saddle road are a given so CC is supposed to be a tool. That POS couldn't hold speed on downhills. Not in any of the computerized transmission modes. CC ain't the end-all in my world.
    That's the transmission not the cruise. Most auto transmissions have a highway 'gear' set up like some of the old overdrives; low engine rpm at normal highway speeds and no holdback when going downhill. If you have a 'D' in a white circle, that's overdrive. A 'D' next to it without the white circle is just 'third gear'. Some transmissions automatically go to overdrive unless you press a button to inhibit that.

    Ok. Way off original topic.

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  39. #39

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    I plan to put one in the cub I’m building now. It will be going back and forth between WA and AK every summer.......hopefully. AP should provide a little relief on those trips.

    Not many chimed in about Dynon. Anybody out there have experience with their autopilot. I plan to put Dynon glass in and use their servos. Garmin makes good glass stuff but I’ve got a burr under my saddle about Garmin and don’t want to give them my business. I haven’t purchased any avionics yet but will probably do so before April. So, if anybody can provide a compelling argument against Dynon and for another manufacturer your input would be appreciated. Also, any photos of servo installation would be groovy.

    Thanks,

    Mr. Ed

  40. #40
    Resisting-a-rest's Avatar
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    here are a few pics from the Legend install
    Click image for larger version. 

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