Where is the autopilot in the JMB VL-3?

The main instrument panel in the JMB VL-3 shows a heading bug, a Selected Altitude display, a Selected Vertical Speed display and controls for setting heading and altitude (but not for VS). This suggests there must be an AP, because without that all mentioned items are competely useless and would IRL never be found in an aircraft.
However, i can’t find any AP controls. Where am i going wrong?

it doesn’t have an autopilot. The heading / alt bugs are just to give you a visual cue to follow.

It does have autopilot actually, it even has a circuit breaker for it on the panel though it’s incorrectly labled as TP or YP or something instead of AP. I verified this in 2020 by cross referencing actual cockpit layouts.

To access the actual autopilot menu you need to get Working Titles mod for the G3X which enables the autopilot subscreen when you click on the appropriate section of the PFD. This is possibly the only real improvement the WT G3X has over the stock one.

it doesn’t have one. You can get a mod on flightsim.to or edit config files to enable the behavior though I believe

It’s used to have it activated and you could engage it with keybindings (back then WT mod didn’t have the autopilot menu yet). If Asobo removed it, then that was in error as the real aircraft it’s modelling has autopilot. I’ll have to check later when I fire the sim again.

it used to have the behavior activated because of a bug. The plane doesn’t have a physical AP panel, so you shouldn’t be able to activate the commands, so it got patched.

You can still mod the plane to enable the behavior again like I said.

fairly sure you can find IRL examples of the plane with and without an AP system fitted. They modeled the one without AP for MSFS.

There is an autopilot submenu on the real G3X (now replicated on the WT G3X). You can find videos on YouTube of VL-3, without any physical autopilot panel, being flown on autopilot via the G3X touchscreen commands. You can find pictures of VL-3 cockpits functionally identical to the one we have here, with no autopilot panel, but still with a circuit breaker labeled AP (mislabeled on ours). This was all discussed back in 2020*.

Seems to me Asobo introduced bug out of nothing. The actual fix would be to integrate the WT as game standard (as planned) and fix the mislabeled circuit breaker.

*Notably: https://forums.flightsimulator.com/t/autopilot-for-vl-3/279572/12

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The JMB VL-3 is an experimental class ultralight sport aircraft. As an experimental class aircraft, there is no exact cockpit layout for them. You may choose to use their G3X based layout, or you can choose Dynon, or you can do your own entirely.

The G3X itself is not equipped with an autopilot and must be coupled with, at the very minimum, GSA 28 smart autopilot servos, which are not standard (adding them would be around $3-4k). A panel like the GFC-503, GFC-307, or GFC-507 is not mandatory, but certainly the G3X touch itself has no inherent autopilot (just the menu, if the plane is suitably equipped).

Given the cost, it is not unreasonable to think that some planes shipped with such equipment and some did not. Given that the circuit breaker was modeled after a real aircraft reference, it is also reasonable to assume that aircraft reference had no autopilot installed.