I checked out S-Tec’s website. The 30 and 50 have the seeming exact same feature list (the 30 is .9 lbs lighter). In fact, the 30 is listed as having an altitude hold. I don’t see any mention of the 50X. Is the 50X still available? What is the difference between each of these autopilots? Why doesn’t the SR20 support the system 30’s altitude hold capability?
I talked to S-Tec recently. Cirrus plans to offer the 40X autopilot on the “A”, the 50X on the “B” and the 55 on the “C” package. However, as of October 4, 2000, S-Tec has suspended sales of the 40X and 50X due to a problem with the FAA on potential problems with the control wheel steering aspect of these autopilots. Ironically, Cirrus does not have control wheel steering functions any any of the autopilot options. So, for now, only the 30 and 55 autopilot versions are available. S-Tec does not know when this issue will be resolved. Therefore, for the immediate future, Cirrus now only has 2 autopilot options to offer.