Garmin Optimizes Helicopter GPS Navcoms

 - March 4, 2013, 8:43 PM

Garmin’s touchscreen GTN series GPS navcoms have been optimized for helicopters, with new features that eliminate the need for rotorcraft operators to install the fixed-wing GTN version. The new helicopter-optimized GTN comes in five configurations that meet vibration and temperature testing standards and offer optional NVG compatibility and optional H-Taws.

New helicopter-specific features include three databases: obstacles, with about 30,000 additional low-altitude obstacles; terrain, with 2.5-arc second terrain resolution, which “improves terrain alerting by reducing nuisance alerts when operating at low levels,” according to Garmin; and 7,000 additional heliports. The new GTN is available with built-in H-Taws, featuring selectable voice callouts at 100-foot intervals when descending from 500 to 100 feet agl. Another H-Taws feature is Garmin’s “reduced protection” mode, which “allows low-level operations with minimal alerting while continuing to provide terrain and obstacle protection.” H-Taws also provides visual alerts and five-color terrain scale.

The helicopter GTN series has received FAA TSO approval for hardware and software. Prices start at $10,935, and the units will be available later this month. Garmin is developing STCs for installation of the GTN series in a variety of helicopters.