Avionics manufacturer Garmin International has introduced a Smart Rudder Bias (SRB) system for Beechcraft Baron and Piper Navajo aircraft to assist with control during one engine inoperative (OEI) operations.
Announced yesterday, the SRB is included in the Garmin Autonomi range of automated flight technology including the GFC 600, and is designed to reduce stress on the pilot during the high workload environment that occurs when one engine is lost.
"We are proud to be able to offer a new safety tool for twin-engine piston aircraft with the introduction of Smart Rudder Bias, making the GFC 600 digital autopilot the most advanced solution for this class of aircraft on the market today” said Carl Wolf, Garmin vice president of aviation sales and marketing.
“With the introduction of Smart Rudder Bias technology, working together with the other Garmin systems onboard, pilots can react to an engine failure by quickly and accurately detecting the issue while simultaneously receiving automatic assistance applying the correct flight control input – providing an additional safety tool not seen before in twin-engine piston aircraft.”
The SRB becomes active during the take-off roll when the airspeed passes the aircraft manufacturer's minimum controllable speed (Vmc). It then continuously monitors the engine condition on a G500 TXi or G600 TXi flight display and activates when it detects a significant difference in power output between the two engines. Rudder input assists to maintain directional control whilst ensuring the speed remains above Vmc.
SRB applies enhanced Electronic Stability Protection (ESP) settings tailored to OEI flight. Roll protection is modified to help correct for the roll tendency caused by the inoperative engine, while underspeed protection activates at a higher airspeed to help keep the aircraft away from the critical Vmc speed and the associated loss of aircraft control.
SRB requires a G500 TXi or G600 TXi configured as a primary flight display (PFD) with Engine Indication System, which can be shown as a strip on the G500 TXi or G600 TXi, or on a separate TXi display. Additionally, a GFC 600 digital autopilot with the yaw axis option must be installed.
Initial certified aircraft with SRB capability include the Beechcraft Baron 58 and 58A, as well as the Piper PA-31-300, PA-31-310, PA-31-325, and PA-31-325CR.
Garmin expects to add further aircraft to the certification list in the coming months.
More information on SRB is on the Garmin website.