Autopilot squawks are nothing new to Lancaster Avionics. Avidyne's new DFC90 Digital Flight Computer has put an end to the most common squawks, including:
S-Turning down an ILS
Not capturing the Localizer
Blowing through Altitudes
Other failures due to potential computer insertion issues
The S-TEC 55X by itself is a good rate-based autopilot for a large variety of aircraft and the Cirrus Aircraft has been a reliable mission provider. However, due to a less than perfect blend of S-TEC technology and Cirrus Aircraft performance/design, the 55X simply may not perform as well in the Cirrus Aircraft as it does in most other aircraft. Avidyne's attitude-based DFC90 was specifically designed to maximize the performance and safety of the Cirrus Aircraft. The DFC90 takes advantage of the digital ADAHRS in the Primary Flight Display (PFD) to provide a significantly higher level of performance. All of the above potential squawks are eliminated with the DFC90.
Bottom line is that the DFC90 Autopilot makes the Cirrus Aircraft perform the way one would expect an autopilot to perform while introducing unprecedented safety features to the industry.
Avidyne's DFC90 is the first autopilot certified with Flight Envelope Protection for GA aircraft. This safety significant enhancement helps keep the aircraft from both overspeed (exceeding Vne) and underspeed (stalling) situations. The DFC90 provides an additional layer of safety in the cockpit to help reduce putting the aircraft and pilot into a dangerous flight condition. It also has a "Straight & Level" button, which provides one-button recovery from unusual attitude, and will help the pilot gain control of the aircraft in potentially-dangerous situations.
As of the posting of this insertion to our website, Lancaster Avionics has installed more DFC90's than anyone in the world! Avidyne tapped Lancaster Avionics' extensive experience of Cirrus aircraft and how our experience relates to the 55X as part of the DFC90 development process. This coordination led to Lancaster Avionics being part of the DFC90 pilot program. One of best parts about installing the DFC90 is the minimal downtime. The DFC90 uses the existing wiring, S-TEC55X servos, and mounting tray. Assuming your aircraft and retained autopilot components are in good working order, your DFC90 upgrade can be completed in less than a day.