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Garmin updates helicopter glassGarmin updates helicopter glass

Garmin International Inc. announced new products for helicopters on Feb. 22, including updated integrated cockpit displays and the GFC 600H flight control system designed to reduce pilot workload through automation.

The GFC 600H is Garmin’s take on automated stability augmentation, a type of electronic assistant that has in recent years been integrated by a variety of manufacturers. Garmin’s version provides attitude-based automation (using data from an attitude and heading reference system) and safety features including Garmin’s Helicopter Electronic Stability and Protection (H-ESP), a dedicated return-to-level mode, hover assist, and overspeed and low-speed protection. The GFC 600H can be installed as a stand-alone retrofit, or integrated with Garmin displays.

“Garmin designed the GFC 600H to significantly reduce inflight workload, fatigue and stress levels for helicopter pilots who are often faced with complicated missions in adverse weather conditions or degraded visual environments,” said Carl Wolf, Garmin vice president of aviation sales and marketing, in a news release. “The GFC 600H combines our industry-leading flight control capabilities with our helicopter experience and aviation safety technology expertise to deliver a system that ultimately allows pilots to focus more attention on accomplishing the multitude of missions they face while trusting their helicopter flight to us.”  

Garmin also unveiled the G500H TXi, an update to the G500H that adds many new features to enhance situational awareness, including a five-color Helicopter Terrain Awareness Warning System, Garmin's WireAware wire-strike avoidance technology, and 3-D synthetic vision. Designed for Part 27 VFR helicopters, the G500H TXi comes with three display configurations: 7-inch displays in a horizontal or vertical orientation (priced at $23,495), and a 10-inch version with a suggested retail price of $27,495. The G500H TXi offers touchscreen control along with the traditional knobs, and integrates with the G600H as well as GTN series navigation units. Garmin expects to secure FAA approval for G500H TXi installation in a range of helicopter models by the fourth quarter.

Also part of Garmin’s product announcements: the G1000H NXi, an updated, dual-display, integrated flight deck with all of the features of the G500H TXi (including night vision goggle compatibility, 3-D synthetic vision, and terrain avoidance). It also offers optional Flight Stream 510 wireless gateway integration, enabling wireless connectivity between avionics and mobile devices running the Garmin Pilot or ForeFlight apps. Helicopter Route Charts and Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) traffic avoidance integration, along with a helicopter-specific obstacle avoidance database and optional WireAware wire-strike avoidance technology, are also among the updates and feature enhancements.

“The TXi series redefined the flight display, and we’re excited to bring the latest in electronic glass cockpit instrumentation to the helicopter market,” Wolf said in a news release.

Garmin’s G1000H NXi integrated flight deck brings many new improvements and features to enhance situational awareness and obstacle avoidance. Photo courtesy of Garmin International.
Topics: Helicopter, Aircraft Accessories, Helicopter Association International

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