March 25, 2013
By Dave Hirschman
Garmin GMC 305
A small team of Garmin engineers working apart from the rest of the avionics staff is about to release its first products—seven in all—aimed at the experimental and light sport markets.
“These new products are designed by our dedicated experimental engineering team, many of whom are pilots and homebuilders,” said Carl Wolf, Garmin’s vice president of aviation sales and marketing. “With these product enhancements and new system options, we’re bringing unprecedented technology and capability to the amateur-built and Light Sport aircraft market at a remarkably affordable price.”
Several of the new products are based on Garmin’s pioneering G3X, a versatile one-, two-, or three-screen PFD/MFD that offers capabilities similar to a G1000 integrated avionics suite at a far lower price.
Team X has developed a digital autopilot with a flight director that can perform coupled approaches and WAAS-based vertical navigation; an optional autopilot control panel (with a “level” button that automatically keeps the airplane flying straight and level); and a small, 1.4-pound autopilot servo that is simpler to install and update than existing models.
The company also is introducing a smaller, lighter, less expensive Air Data Attitude Heading Reference System (ADAHRS) to drive the G3X (or provide redundancy), and a simpler Engine Indication System (EIS) that shows graphic engine data on the PFD or MFD.
An angle of attack probe and a remote-mount ADS-B receiver that shows subscription-free weather and traffic on the G3X round out the team’s new offerings.
“These are the first new products developed by Team X—but they’re not going to be the last,” said Mika Cohn, a Garmin spokeswoman. “They have tremendous freedom to operate independently and free from FAA certification requirements, and they’re actively working on a wide range of innovative products.”
New Garmin “Team X” products and costs G3X Integrated Autopilot—$1,500 GMC 305 Autopilot control panel—$750 GSU 25 ADAHRS—$799 GAP 26 Pitot/AOA probe—$199 (unheated), $299 (heated), $499 (regulated) GEA 24 EIS module—$599 GDL 39R remote ADS-B receiver—$799 GAD 29 AIRINC 429 adaptor—$425
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Dave Hirschman joined AOPA in 2008. He has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates. Dave flies vintage, historical, and Experimental airplanes and specializes in tailwheel and aerobatic instruction.
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