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Dual Garmins for Eclipse 500Dual Garmins for Eclipse 500

Dual Garmins for Eclipse 500

By Paul J. Richfield

Eclipse Aviation plans to incorporate dual, panel-mounted Garmin GPS 400W navigation receivers into the Eclipse 500 very light jet.

According to Eclipse, the move is designed to give the aircraft’s Avio NG avionics suite the “functionality we always said it would have.”

Once equipped with the new avionics, Eclipse 500 operators should be able to file GPS-direct flight plans, and ultimately, to perform vertical navigation with WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) guidance.

Retrofit plans are still in the works, but deliveries of the modification are expected to begin late this summer, following FAA certification of the hardware change.

“We told our customers to expect a plan by June,” said an Eclipse spokesperson.

A total of 146 Eclipse 500s have been delivered to date, according to Eclipse. In December, the Albuquerque, N.M., based company obtained FAA certification for Avio NG; a retrofit program for this system is slated to run through late 2008.

Garmin’s 400W is essentially a 430W nav/com without the radio. In Avio NG, a Honeywell module provides the radio function.

April 4, 2008

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