Garmin G3X Offers Touch to Homebuilt, LSA Markets

 - March 31, 2014, 11:30 AM
Garmin’s G3X Touch adds a new interface for pilots who like touchscreen control of avionics.

Garmin’s G3X glass display is now available in a touchscreen version, the GDU 465 G3X Touch, designed for the experimental and light sport aircraft markets. The 10.6-inch GDU 465, like Garmin’s GTC 570 touchscreen controllers in G2000 through G5000 cockpits, employs infrared touchscreen technology. G3X Touch was designed by Garmin’s Team X experimental engineering team, a group of pilots and homebuilders.

Four dedicated buttons and two knobs on the bezel of the display are for quick access to direct-to navigation, nearest function, setting altitude and heading and tuning radios. The display shares the design philosophy of Garmin touchscreen controls, including how radios are tuned, so Garmin pilots will get used to the ergonomics and not have to learn a new interface with each system.

While up to three G3X Touch displays can be installed in a cockpit, each display also can be configured with split screens by the pilot. A single display, for example, could show engine gages in a strip on the left with flight instruments and synthetic vision in the center and moving map on the right. Frequencies, transponder and waypoint information sit along the top of the display.

Synthetic vision is standard with G3X Touch, and the displays offer VFR sectional charts and IFR en route charts. Options include Sirius XM WX and radio, ADS-B IN services using a Garmin GDL 39R remotely mounted datalink, GTR 20 remote radio and display of angle-of-attack information via Garmin’s new GSI 25 ADAHRS and GAP 26 pitot/AOA probe. A connection is available for composite video, which displays in a small inset window on the G3X Touch. Garmin’s VIRB action cameras can also play video in the inset.

Owners of standard G3X displays can upgrade these to Touch displays without replacing the existing ADAHRS, engine indicating system and autopilot. The Touch displays plug into the same sensors and connectors as the non-touch G3X systems.

The G3X Touch display with synthetic vision, video input, built-in Waas GPS receiver, ADAHRS, magnetometer, OAT probe, interactive mapping and other features retails for $5,499 or $6,099 with engine indicating system. CubCrafters, Flight Design, Pipistrel, Tecnam and Van’s Aircraft have selected the G3X Touch system as optional equipment in a variety of aircraft that they build, mostly light sport types but also homebuilts.

CubCrafters is offering G3X Touch as the Executive Glass touch package in its Carbon Cub SS, Carbon Cub EX and Sport Cub S2. The Executive Glass system includes one GDU 465, the GTR 200 com radio, GTX 23 ES mode-S transponder, Garmin’s angle-of-attack system and Sirius XM WX and radio. For ready-to-fly LSA models, CubCrafters offers the above package for $24,990. Homebuilders can purchase the system for $27,990. Upgrades include Garmin’s dual-axis autopilot for $4,990 and the GDL 39R remote ADS-B datalink for $2,100.