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NYTOM
07-07-2005, 07:11 PM
Anybody have any thoughts on a AP-1 Navaid autopilot for a 6A. Has it worked good for you? Easy to operate, reliable? Seems like a good deal to me although I have never personally used one. Any imput before I write the check would be appriciated. Thanks in advance for your experiences.

L.Adamson
07-07-2005, 08:16 PM
You could read this article first....

http://home.hiwaay.net/~sbuc/journal/EZ_Pilot.htm

Tru-Trak also has a nice line of A/P's.

gmcjetpilot
07-08-2005, 07:10 PM
The Navaid autopilot is a wing leveler and turn coordinator. It uses an electric powered mechanical gyro and has been around for well over 10 years with a good reputation. The other part of the Navaid autopilot is the S-2 servo. This servo can be used with any of the other brands of autopilot control heads.

If you want to track a handheld GPS with a Navaid AP-1 you may need a "smart coupler" that converts the NMEA signal to a left & right steer. The AP-1 will work with m ost panel mounted GPS without the smart coupler. The base price new is $1,300.00. The smart coupler is an additional $250 if you need it to couple to a handheld GPS. http://www.porcine.com/gps/sc/sc2le_photo.html

The digital autopilots (Trutrak and Trio) units offer more features and may have a smoother more stable steering with heading GPS input (See the Sam's Journal above). The digital autopilots almost need and rely on GPS input to work as advertised.

Sam used the AP-1 and later switched to the Trio Autopilot. However for the digital sold state autopilots to work well, they all need the GPS heading info. Without GPS heading info, the performance of digital autopilots as a stand-alone wing leveler is not as good with the GPS heading info. The AP-1 is a pure mechanical gyro requires no GPS to act as a wing leveler. The GPS with the AP-1 is for tracking a GPS course only.

If you can buy used AP-1 with a smart coupler for say under $1000 it may be a good deal. You can always use the servo with the other brands of autopilots: The Trio uses the Navaid servo exclusively. The Trutrak can use the Navaid servo. If I were buying new today I would go with one of the newer Brands even though the Navaid has worked well for me. The only negative thing I can say about Trutrak (second hand) is their stock servo adds some control drag. T he AP-1 has a clutch and totally releases when not in use.

http://www.trioavionics.com/ $1770.00
http://www.trutrakflightsystems.com...s.html#Digitrak $1,600.00
http://www.navaid-devices.com/ $1,300.00 + $250.00 (smart-coupler) = $1,500.00 total

L.Adamson
07-08-2005, 08:34 PM
snipped...

The only negative thing I can say about Trutrak (second hand) is their stock servo adds some control drag. T he AP-1 has a clutch and totally releases when not in use.


I myself, did buy the Trio EZ pilot with the Navaid servo; but while flying a series of cross countries in a new RV9A last year with TruTrak dual axis A/P's, I never did think about any control drag, although it does slightly exist.

IMO, not that it really means anything, I like the looks and mounting of the TruTrak servo's over the Navaid.

As to GPS's and these new digital auto-pilots, they make definately make sense by combining both features. You can still fly any heading (with GPS input), or a pre-planned GPS track/route at the touch of a button.

L.Adamson

NYTOM
07-10-2005, 01:27 PM
I have to thank you guys for bringing me up to speed and into the twenty first century. When I suspended building a few years back when life got in the way, the Navid was the way to go. Thanks for the quick responses and the e-mails. First hand experiences are always my first choice when researching new equipment.I can't believe how fast things are becoming obsolete. I guess even my 6A has fallen into that category.Oh well!

gmcjetpilot
07-10-2005, 05:55 PM
The RV6A is not obsolete at all, may be the RV7 has a little more stock fuel, but it was more for production purpose for the RV8 style spar and pre-punch. From a building standpoint the new kits are better, but as far as performance and handling the RV6 is still hot as ever.

Yes auto pilots where stagnated until a few years ago. Navaid was the only game in town up to a few years ago. With in the last few ears Trutrak came out with their first unit. In short order they expanded their line of autopilots to include altitude hold, attitude indicators and stuff that will hold altitude and climb or descend at a fixed VSI like the equipment in a commercial or corporate jet. Than Trio came along soon after that.

I remember an autopilot (wing leveler only) was a deluxe option on few RV or homebuilts. Now it is almost standard equipment and altitude hold is becoming more the status quo as well. I wonder sometimes if people plan on actually flying their plane, after stuffing them with so much equipment at many thousands of dollars. Hand flying the RV is fun. Welcome back to the fold. Cheers George

NYTOM
07-13-2005, 02:24 PM
Thanks George, its good to be back. I'm so darn glad I found this site. There isn't too many people around here that even know what a RV is.

Norman CYYJ
08-06-2005, 08:37 PM
The RV6A is not obsolete at all, may be the RV7 has a little more stock fuel, but it was more for production purpose for the RV8 style spar and pre-punch. From a building standpoint the new kits are better, but as far as performance and handling the RV6 is still hot as ever.

Yes auto pilots where stagnated until a few years ago. Navaid was the only game in town up to a few years ago. With in the last few ears Trutrak came out with their first unit. In short order they expanded their line of autopilots to include altitude hold, attitude indicators and stuff that will hold altitude and climb or descend at a fixed VSI like the equipment in a commercial or corporate jet. Than Trio came along soon after that.

I remember an autopilot (wing leveler only) was a deluxe option on few RV or homebuilts. Now it is almost standard equipment and altitude hold is becoming more the status quo as well. I wonder sometimes if people plan on actually flying their plane, after stuffing them with so much equipment at many thousands of dollars. Hand flying the RV is fun. Welcome back to the fold. Cheers George
After flying 75 hours of cross countries in the last 45 days I can tell you that I am very glad that I did not hand fly it all the way. Hand flying is fun for short hops but on the long haul A/P rule.