Garmin’s New Touchscreen Navcoms Wow AEA Crowd

 - March 24, 2011, 12:16 PM

Long-awaited successors to the 14-year-old Garmin GNS 430/530-series navcoms were unveiled yesterday at the Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) show in Reno, ushering in the era of touchscreen displays with the new GTN 650/750 panel-mount navcom units. The new GTN 650 and 750 are already certified and installable under an FAA-approved model list STC applicable to most Part 23 aircraft. Garmin started delivering the new navcoms today. Key features of the units are larger and higher-resolution displays, graphical flight planning (including true rubber-band flight-path changes), low- and high-altitude airways/jet routes, remote transponder and SafeTaxi airport charting. The GTN 750 also offers a remote audio panel and electronic approach chart display. The GTN 650’s electronics and larger 4.9-inch screen match the exterior footprint of the GNS 430W. With a 6.9-inch screen, the GTN 750 spans 98 percent more display real estate than the 530W. A fingerboard on the screen bottom and a finger-anchoring bezel around the display will help pilots maintain a steady hand on the touchscreen, but buttons and knobs are also available for data entry. Retail prices are $11,495 and $16,995, respectively, and another $2,995 for the remote-mounted GMA 35 audio system. Garmin will continue manufacturing GNS 430s and 530s.