Garmin introduces touch-screen glass cockpit

October 19, 2009

Garmin's G3000If you’re a light-jet pilot you’re very lucky, because Garmin just introduced the first touch-screen glass cockpit for Part 23 light turbine aircraft. You’ll have far fewer knobs to remember when using the G3000 system.

There remain soft keys, buttons that are relabeled to fit the task at hand. iPhone users will feel right at home.

The key pads that would normally control functions on the screens have been replaced with touch screens that use infrared beams to activate a command. You don’t actually touch the screen. The screens are so smart that they know when you finger is flicking past a choice you didn’t intend to make, such as might happen in turbulence.

The screens will first be used by two jet manufacturers, Piper (PiperJet) and HondaJet.

The console-mounted touch screens control radio management, audio management, flight management, weather systems management, synoptics, and other vehicle systems.

The simplistic user interface leverages the experience Garmin has gained by designing and delivering millions of automotive consumer products.

“We’ve gone to great lengths to make the G3000 simple to operate,” said Garmin Vice President for Marketing Gary Kelley.

Garmin's GTC 570The GTC 570 also incorporates three conventional knobs at the bottom of the display: a volume control knob, dedicated map joystick, and dual concentric knob for data entry. Pilots may choose to use the knobs instead of the touch screen to enter information, and the knobs’ functions are always labeled on the display.

As with the G1000, the G3000 has full reversionary capabilities, including in-flight dynamic restarts, so that all flight critical data can be transferred seamlessly to a single display for added safety during flight.

Garmin expects to receive G3000 technical standard orders (TSO) certification in the second half of 2011.

Al Marsh

Alton K. Marsh | "AOPA Pilot" Senior Editor, AOPA

AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.