February 22, 2010
By Thomas A. Horne
Garmin introduced its new G500H, helicopter-specific primary flight display and multifunction displays at Heli-Expo 2010 Feb. 21 through 23 in Houston.
The G500H is a derivative of Garmin’s two-screen G600 and G500 glass displays built for the fixed-wing market. It features what Garmin calls helicopter synthetic vision technology (HVST) databases with more than 7,000 heliports and nearly 30,000 additional low-altitude obstacles. It also includes XM Satellite Weather with NEXRAD, plus the ability to display video imagery from forward-looking infrared (FLIR) or a conventional video camera. XM Satellite Weather capability requires Garmin’s optional GDL 69 receiver.
“FAA reports have indicated that the three main areas of operational risks for helicopters are inadvertent flight into IMC, night operations, and controlled flight into terrain,” said Gary Kelley, Garmin’s vice president of marketing. “The G500H is designed to proactively address these issues and help reduce situational risk and the challenges that come from busier airspace.”
The PFD and MFD bezels measure 10 inches wide by 6.7 inches high. The system comes with an attitude heading reference system (AHRS) that can be quickly aligned while moving—including in-flight restarts. The G500H is compatible with the company’s GNS 430W/530W GPS receivers. Customers also can interface the G500H with Garmin’s TAS and TCAS I traffic systems, which use automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) technology to identify traffic conflicts. Garmin’s SafeTaxi is yet another option, as is Jeppesen’s ChartView. SafeTaxi has more than 900 airport diagrams to help pilots maneuver around unfamiliar airports. ChartView is an extensive library of electronic charts and airport diagrams.
Garmin expects FAA supplemental type certification to install the G500H in the Bell 206 and 407 in the second quarter of 2010. The introductory price is $24,995.
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.
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