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3 min read

4 Best Cessna 182 Avionics Upgrades

By Sparkchasers on February 25, 2022

The Cessna 182 Skylane was introduced to the market in 1956 and remains in production, with more than 23,000 built to date. The four-seat single-engine plane is built in Wichita, Kansas. The world has changed a lot since the line originated in 1956, meaning there are many modern upgrades to consider. We believe these are four of the best avionics upgrades to select for your Cessna 182.

1. GFC 500 (Digital Autopilot)

The GFC 500 autopilot offers a cost-effective autopilot system that features built-in self-monitoring capabilities while adding reliability and superior capability to the aircraft. It is specifically designed for light piston, fixed-wing craft and offers a robust set of features, including:

  • Garmin ESP(Electronic Stability and Protection)
  • Flight Director (FD)
  • Dedicated Return-to-Level (LVL) mode
  • Underspeed and Overspeed protection

Other features are available with certain trim packages, such as pitch and roll or 2-axis capabilities and yaw dampers. Additionally, pilots can leverage certified flight instruments and flight displays with this autopilot upgrade. We believe the GFC 500 upgrade provides precise in-flight characteristics at a price point that effectively lowers the cost of ownership of your Cessna 182.

2. GTN 650/750 Xi (GPS/NAV/COMM)

The beauty of GTN 650/750 Xi is that it is an all-in-one navigation, communication, and GPS tool for your Cessna 182. The fact that it integrates seamlessly with panel or remote-mounted equipment, like audio panels, transponders kicks things up a notch. It offers modern processing and features state-of-the-art hardware that renders maps faster and pans smoothly thanks to the touchscreen navigator. The large display provides high-resolution renderings and wide-angle viewing that are easy to read in the cockpit.

3. Electronic Flight Instruments

The antiquated Gyros/AI indicators that are fairly standard on the Cessna 182 can easily and flawlessly be transformed with the addition of electronic flight instruments, like G3X, G500TXi, G5s, and GI-275s. Sometimes, these upgrades can replace the entire 6-pack and they offer the following.

  • Streamlined cockpit management
  • Advanced integration options
  • Dynamic maps and charts
  • Wireless cockpit connectivity
  • Back-up batteries
  • Remove vacuum system

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to consider this upgrade, and Sparkchasers Aircraft Services can help you get these upgrades completed.

4. Primary Engine Monitoring System

We believe there are a few outstanding options to consider for your upgrade, including the following.

  • JPI 900/930/960
  • G3X
  • G500TXi
  • GI-275 EIS

These systems allow you to remove most, if not all, of the old engine gauges on your plane, creating valuable space on your panel. More importantly, they allow you to fly with greater peace of mind, knowing that you will be instantly alerted if certain parameters exceed their programmed limits.

Before You Make Your Avionics Upgrade

Don’t blindly leap into upgrades for the sake of upgrading your Cessna 182. Instead, do a little homework before choosing your upgrade or select the avionics shop to work with. Look for shops where you can build a relationship. One that understands avionics upgrades and your specific goals. For instance, you may be looking for VFR day/night, light IFR, true IFR, improving safety, or accommodating longer trips.

The better your avionics shop understands your goals, the more effective they can be as partners in your aircraft safety. Finally, get several bids to see what options are available. The cheapest isn’t always best, but it’s a good idea to know the value of what you’re getting. Whether you intend to go with a single unit upgrade or you’re looking for a fully integrated package of upgrades, Sparkchasers is an expert in Cessna 182 avionics upgrades that offer reliable deadlines and budgets.

Sparkchasers Aircraft Services specializes in expert installation and technology recommendations to customize your airplane’s flight panel with modern avionics from the top brands in the industry. Sparkchasers is an award-winning, experienced team that strives to provide excellent customer service, stay current with the latest avionics technology, and draws on years of experience to diagnose technical issues quickly and efficiently. Sparkchasers provides services for piston-driven, turboprop, and turbine engine aircraft. When you plan to upgrade your aircraft’s avionics or need FAA certifications completed, give us a call at (919) 934-1654 or visit www.flysparkchasers.com for a quick quote.

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