Thursday, January 1, 2015

GULFCOAST AVIONICS Completes IFR-Approved, Garmin G500 Glass panel upgrade on apilatus PC-7 turboprop


Ex-Austrian Air Force PC-7 military traineris transformed into

a new-generation, high-performance, fullyIFR, sport/aerobatic aircraft.


Lakeland, FL (DATE) 2015  — Rick Garcia, President and CEO, Gulf CoastAvionics Corporation announced today that the company has recently completed afull-panel upgrade on a former Austrian Air Force Pilatus PC-7 for Legacy Warbirds.

“This was a really fun and excitingproject for our engineers and installers,” Garcia said. “After spending themajority of their time working on installations the array of typical businessand general aviation aircraft, it’s nice to get a truly high-performanceturboprop like the PC-7 in our shop.”

“When we started spec’ing out theavionics upgrade, the owner’s main objective was to have as much commonalitybetween the PC-7 and his TBM as he possibly could,” explained Alexander (AJ)Silva, Managing Member, Legacy Warbirds. “He wanted optimum system familiarityfor an easy transition between the two aircraft.”

Silva said that Legacy’s designteam specified all of the avionics required and did the preliminary paneldesign. They also installed the Garmin GTN 750 touchscreen at their West Coastreassembly location before flying the PC-7 to Gulf Coast Avionics’ facility inLakeland, FL.

“To our knowledge, this is thefirst installation of the GTN 750 and a G500 in a PC-7,” Andy Smith, GCA’sInstallation Sales Manager stated. “The equipment is all part of Garmin’s AMLSTC, which helped, but this installation still had its share of challenges forour team.”

Smith explained that one of thebiggest was their engineers did not have a full set of PC-7 drawings to workwith so they had to create all of the interfaces for the new equipment and thelegacy units that remained in the aircraft.

“Since the airplane was built inSwitzerland, nothing was in English so it took a lot of extra time totranslate,” Smith said. “And it’s a pretty small airplane in the cockpit.Running wires and finding ways to mount the equipment was a challenge. But, theresult is pretty cool.”

Smith explained that the PC-7’sIFR-approved panel now features:

• Garmin GTN 750 TouchscreenGPS/NAV/COMM/MFD

• Garmin G500 glass PFD/MFD display

• Garmin GDL-88 ADS-B transceiver

• Dual Garmin GNC 225 NAV/COMMs

• Garmin GTR 225 COMM onlytransceiver

• Garmin GMA 35 audio panel

• L3 Trilogy ElectronicStandby Instrument

• Avidyne TAS 620 Traffic AdvisorySystem

While everyone at Gulf Coast wasvery happy with the final panel, none more than the company’s Chief Inspector,Sarah Smith.

“When Sarah went up with Matt Walshfrom Legacy on the test flight, they wrung it out pretty good and she came backwith this huge grin on her face,” Smith said. “She said it was the mostexciting (for all the good reasons) test flight she’d ever been on.

And Ms. Smith isn’t the only personexcited about the upgraded PC-7.

“The customer is absolutelythrilled with the way the aircraft and panel turned out,” Silva said. “Wecouldn’t be happier with the effort the Gulf Coast Avionics team put into thisaircraft considering there were a lot of firsts for all of us during thisprocess.  The communication andprofessionalism from Gulf Coast was beyond what we could have hoped for.” 

About Legacy Warbirds

Located in Raleigh, North Carolina, Legacy Warbirdsspecializes in bringing Cold War-era, ex-military aircraft to the United Statesfrom Western European countries and preparing them for their new owners. Thecompany provides aircraft location, acquisition, restoration, pilot trainingand ongoing support of these unique and collectable aircraft. For moreinformation, visit:

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