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Twin Commanders to get Garmin 1000 retrofit

Oct. 30, 2012, Orlando, Fla. - Eagle Creek Aviation Services and Twin Commander Aircraft are working on supplemental type certification (STC) to retrofit turboprop Twin Commander models with the Garmin G1000 panel and S-TEC IntelliFlight 2100 Digital Flight Control System (DFCS).


October 30, 2012
By Carey Fredericks

The new all-electronic Garmin panel will integrate all primary flight, navigation, communication, terrain, traffic, weather, and engine instrumentation systems (EIS) on a large 12.4-inch multifunction display (MFD) and two 10.4-inch primary flight displays (PFDs).

The retrofit includes removal of all standard mechanical instruments and gauges, and the annunciator panel. All of those functions are incorporated in the Garmin electronic displays. This will be the first Garmin 1000 retrofit to replace all factory standard mechanical instrumentation and annunciators

The new panel will be available for all Twin Commander turboprop models from the 690A through the 695B. Because it is the first Garmin 1000 retrofit to incorporate Honeywell TPE331 engine instrumentation, it also will be adaptable to other Honeywell TPE331-powered aircraft.

The package includes Garmin newly announced GWX 70 digital weather radar and synthetic vision, among other features. It has new software and sensors for the 2100 DFCS to enable RVSM certification (for 690C/D and 695/A/B models with higher certified service ceilings). The existing annunciator panel is replaced by a full featured Crew Advisory System displayed on the MFD.

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The new panel will easily be the most significant update to the Twin Commander cockpit since the Meggitt Magic program some years ago – a project also initiated by Eagle Creek, an authorized Twin Commander Service Center.

“This will be a very popular upgrade for owner-flown operators who want the latest and greatest in their aircraft,” commented Eagle Creek CEO Matt Hagans. “All the problematic maintenance and parts availability issues with the old panel and instruments go away, along with 350 pounds of wiring.”

Eagle Creek is developing the STC in house, with support from Twin Commander Aircraft and Garmin, including installing the Garmin panel/S-TEC DFCS in a demonstrator Commander 1000. The airplane has been at Eagle Creek’s facility in Indianapolis for the

retrofit and a complete refurbishment. It will be on display at the NBAA Annual Convention October 30-November 1 in Orlando, Florida.

Eagle Creek is working to have the panel/autopilot retrofit package available for customer installation in the spring of 2013. Eagle Creek will own the STC, and is partnering with Twin Commander Aircraft to market the product worldwide and will license it to other authorized Twin Commander service centers so customers can choose the installer.

“Commander owners love to have the latest, greatest avionics in their aircraft, and we want to make the upgrade widely available to the fleet,” explained Twin Commander President Matt Isley. “We are proud to be a part of this project with Garmin and Eagle Creek.”