March 14, 2014
By Thomas B Haines
Taking advantage of a recent FAA letter simplifying the ability to install angle of attack indicators in certificated aircraft, Garmin announced at the Aircraft Electronics Association convention on March 13 that it is introducing the GI 260 AOA. The display, typically glareshield mounted, gives a visual and an aural indication of when the aircraft is near a stall. The symbology also gives the pilot guidance for when he is flying the airplane at its optimum AOA for maximum performance, such as when on final.
The Garmin GAP 26 is the angle of attack probe, which attaches under a wing, and the GSU 25 air data computer rounds out the system.
The company expects the AOA to be available in the third quarter for prices starting at $1,499. Aircraft voltage and the option of a heated probe affect pricing. A version for the G3X system in some Experimentals and light sport aircraft can be had for $249 later this quarter.
Garmin also introduced another safety system at AEA, the GRA 55 radar altimeter for general aviation airplanes and helicopters. The system is based on the sophisticated GRA 5500 radar altimeter. If the airplane doesn’t have a Garmin primary flight display, the system can display the height above ground on the new GI 205 stand-alone indicator. The GI 205 uses a bright organic LED (OLED) display with 180-degrees of viewing angle.
The new radar altimeter system is expected to be available in the second quarter of this year for $6,995; the GI 205 will be available in the fourth quarter for $3,995. A combination of the two and including antennas will be packaged for $11,995.
The GRA 55 fulfills the new radar altimeter equipage requirements for helicopters used in Part 135 operations.
AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines joined AOPA in 1988. He owns and flies a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza. Since soloing at 16 and earning a private pilot certificate at 17, he has flown more than 100 models of general aviation airplanes.
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