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Garmin Product News

By James Wynbrandt

July 19, 2015 - Garmin International is again launching a host of new products at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh for aircraft ranging from business-turbine to experimental and light-sport.

For ADS-B compliance for experimental amateur-built (E-AB) and light-sport aircraft (LSA) Garmin is introducing the GPS 20A, an ADS-B “out” compliant WAAS GPS position source. Designed for aircraft already equipped with a Mode S extended squitter (ES) transponder, the 20A “is ideal for thousands of VFR pilots who own experimental and LSA aircraft that need to meet ADS-B ‘out’ requirements,” said Carl Wolf, Garmin’s VP of aviation sales and marketing. Additionally, a secondary interface enables the 20A to serve as a WAAS GPS data source for third-party systems.

The GPS 20A may be particularly popular for Garmin and G3X Touch customers who have incorporated the GTX 23 ES Mode S transponder or a GTX 330 ES transponder in their E-AB/LSA. The unit can be installed by connecting a single RS-232 interface. The GPS 20A, available in Q3 this year, can then provide WAAS GPS data to installed G3X and G3X Touch displays. Expected price for the GPS 20A is $845; with the GA 35 WAAS antenna and install kit the price is $1,225.

Garmin is also introducing the GMC 307 autopilot control panel, a version of its GMC 305 upgraded with several features most requested by customers. The GMC 307 has heading and altitude select knobs, thereby combining all autopilot controls into one efficient control panel, and also provides complete autopilot mode control, now including heading and altitude select knobs. Standard functions with the autopilot control panel include airspeed hold, yaw damper, independent flight director, and an advanced level (LVL) mode button to return the aircraft to straight and level flight.

Contributing to an easy upgrade path, the GMC 307 connector and wiring is identical so GMC 305 customers can easily move up to the GMC 307. Because the autopilot servos interface directly with the ADAHRS (air data/attitude/heading reference system), the GMC 307 allows for standalone operation of the autopilot as part of the G3X and G3X Touch system. Anticipated price of the GMC 307 is $1,099 with availability in Q3.

For high-performance aircraft that exceed 300 knots indicated airspeed, Garmin’s new GSU 25B high-performance ADAHRS provides highly accurate air data, attitude, heading, and angle of attack information for display on G3X and G3X Touch systems. For added redundancy, G3X customers may optionally install up to three ADAHRS units. Each supports airspeeds up to 465 knots indicated. Expected price for the GSU 25B, scheduled for Q3 availability, is $1,499.

Garmin also introduced a series of all-digital Bluetooth-enabled audio panels: the GMA 350c, GMA 35c, and GMA 350Hc for fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. The integral Bluetooth technology provides wireless access to music, phone, Garmin Pilot alerts, and more.

Customers can wirelessly connect a smartphone or tablet to the GMA 350c to make phone calls or stream audio entertainment. The product line features Garmin’s proprietary Telligence Voice Command technology and 3-D audio processing, as well as enhanced auto squelch capability. These features decrease heads-down time and increase overall situational awareness in the cockpit. Additionally, the GMA 350c series can be paired with the Garmin Pilot app to transmit terrain, obstacle, or traffic alerts while in-flight.

In additional product upgrade news, Garmin expanded its Connext ecosystem, broadening compatibility to include the Garmin aera 796/795 aviation portable GPS, ForeFlight Mobile and Jeppesen Mobile FliteDeck. Customers with compatible Garmin avionics can wirelessly receive ADS-B weather and traffic, as well as display precise GPS position data and back-up attitude information within those devices. The expansion will allow “thousands of existing aera 796/795, ForeFlight Mobile and Jeppesen Mobile FliteDeck customers to display ADS-B traffic and weather on their portable devices,” said Wolf.

Garmin is also making it easier to keep accurate flying records with the addition of electronic logbook capabilities to the Garmin Pilot application for iPad/iPhone, and seamless integration with flyGarmin. While flying with Garmin Pilot, the logbook feature automatically logs date, total duration of each flight, takeoffs, landings, and route, sorted and saved for easy reference across Garmin Pilot devices and within flyGarmin.

Additional data fields can be manually entered to specify aircraft type and identifier, Hobbs and tachometer times, as well as pilot-in-command, solo, cross-country, actual, and simulated instrument flight time. Built-in redundancy also allows pilots to make manual logbook entries via the flyGarmin website or Garmin Pilot app, where both entries are automatically synced and stored to display the same information. The logbook feature automatically starts recording on takeoff role by detecting changes in airspeed and altitude.

In yet another product upgrade, new software for the GTN 650/750 touch-screen navigator series products also enables pilots to tune the GTN comm/nav radio(s) from the G3X Touch display, for example to control radio volume and swap active/standby comm frequencies of the GTN, from the G3X Touch display.

Said Wolf of Garmin’s long list of developments, “We continue to be aggressive in this market by developing innovative products that our customers are asking for and are excited about.”

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