Garmin Jumps Into AOA Indicator Market, Adds New Low-cost Radar Altimeter
Garmin today announced a new angle-of-attack (AOA) indicator system and a new radar altimeter for general aviation aircraft installations. The GI 260 AOA price starts at $1,499 and offers aircraft owners a way to take advantage of the FAA’s new effort to encourage adoption of AOA systems by making installations less costly. The new $6,995 GRA 55 radar altimeter can help helicopter operators meet the requirements of new FAA Part 135 regulations that mandate such equipment for helicopter emergency medical services operators and other operations.
The new AOA “offers the precise display of the angle between the wing and relative wind,” according to Garmin. “Unlike lift reserve indicators, the AOA system incorporates industry-leading normalized AOA technology, which provides superior performance throughout all phases of flight.” The GI 260’s visual indication uses a combination of colors and chevrons to show AOA. As the aircraft approaches the critical angle of attack, visual and audible alerts warn the pilot.
The AOA system consists of the GI 260 indicator, GAP 26 pitot (AOA probe) and GSU 25 air-data computer. A heated AOA probe is optional, and the system is available in various voltages. For aircraft equipped with Garmin’s G3X display, the GI 260 indicator is a $249 option, and this will be available in the second quarter of this year. The new AOA system will be available in the third quarter.
The GRA 55 radar altimeter offers a lower-cost solution for light aircraft and helicopters and uses Garmin’s digital signal processing technology, “which works to provide smooth altitude tracking and results in a consistent and highly accurate above ground level indication, even in the most challenging environments such as rough terrain, tree canopies, sand and choppy water.” The GRA 55 can provide data for display on certain Garmin displays and integrated avionics systems. For those installations that require a separate indicator, Garmin is offering its GI 205 standalone indicator. The GI 205 uses OLED technology, which features 180-deg viewing angle, and also visual and audible alerts, pilot-selectable decision height, “minimums, minimums” voice callout or audio tone and graphical trend indicator display of vertical velocity information.
The GRA 55 will be available in the second quarter, and the $3,995 GI 205 indicator in the fourth quarter. Introductory list price for the GRA 55/GI 205 package, including antennas, is $11,995.