Gama Engineering announced it has completed its 50th EASA STC. The work entailed design and certification of a Garmin G600 EFIS system into a BN Islander used by the Belgian Coastguard. Gama carried out the design work on behalf of ASP Avionics from Belgium, one of many mainland-Europe customers taking advantage of Gama’s proven design and certification experience.
AIN readers rate Garmin as the top provider of avionics product support in the 2012 AIN Avionics Product Support Survey cockpit avionics rankings, with an overall average rating of 8.3. Rockwell Collins climbed to second place with a rating of 7.8, followed by Universal Avionics in third, with an overall average of 7.7. Honeywell’s cockpit avionics rating climbed 1 percent this year, to fourth place and 7.5, tying for the same place with Avidyne, which also scored a 7.5 rating. Honeywell’s Bendix/King division retained the same 7.1 rating as last year, moving to fifth place.
Last year there were a handful of companies promoting devices that could capture weather and traffic signals from the growing network of ADS-B ground stations deployed around the U.S. This year, the market and the makers of ADS-B devices have exploded, and buyers now have an array of choices.
The good news is that these devices are now available for both Android and Apple devices. The even better news is that some manufacturers have added fairly significant capabilities to their ADS-B devices, although some of these have yet to begin deliveries.
Broomfield, Colo.-based JetTech announced yesterday that it received FAA STC approval to install touchscreen Garmin GTN 650/750 GPS navcoms on 500-series Cessna Citations, to include the 500, 501, 550, 551, S550 and 560. The approval covers installation of the GPS navcoms, as well as Garmin GTX 33 transponders, remote GMA35 audio panels and GA35/37 antennas. In addition, the STC includes Waas approvals.
Garmin has updated the software for GTN touchscreen avionics, and new capabilities include the ability to display weather radar, new ADS-B features, worldwide connectivity with the GRS 56 Iridium datalink system, cross fill between the GTN and GNS 430W/530W, geo-referenced FliteCharts and support for Telligence voice command and 3-D audio. The new software is available free for owners of GTN systems starting in the fourth quarter, although dealers may charge for installation.
Garmin unveiled a pair of ADS-B units and a new solid-state weather radar system yesterday, further broadening its avionics product line.
The company’s new GDL 88 is a dual-link ADS-B solution, which transmits and receives on 978 MHz and also receives on 1090 MHz. Its ability to receive on both 978 and 1090 MHz means that it can detect traffic transmitting on either ADS-B OUT frequency and receive subscription-free weather data on 978 MHz. ADS-B OUT capability for flying above 18,000 feet or outside the U.S. could be added with a GTX 330/33 ES transponder.
Garmin has added its technological muscle to the market for external GPS receivers for mobile devices, not only using GPS but also by receiving signals from Russia’s Glonass constellation. Yesterday Garmin unveiled its GLO receiver, which connects to Apple and Android devices wirelessly via Bluetooth and offers battery life of 12 hours and 10-times-per-second position update rate.
Columbia Avionics & Aircraft Services obtained FAA STC approval to install Garmin GTN 650 and 750 navcoms in the Cessna 500, 501, 550, 551, S550 and 560. This follows a similar STC that the Columbia, Mo.-based company received in May for the Cessna 650. The touchscreen Garmin GTN navcoms are certified for full autopilot-coupled Waas LPV approaches, including vertical guidance. The STC also covers various combinations of the GTN 650/750, Garmin GTX-33ES mode-S transponders, Garmin GDL-69/A weather data link and a marker beacon receiver.
Avidyne introduced a new integrated FMS/GPS/navcom today–the touchscreen IFD440, a slide-in, plug-and-play replacement for Garmin GNS 430 GPS/navcoms. The $14,995 IFD440 has a 5.4-inch-diagonal screen and will be available at the end of next year.
The unveiling of the IFD440 follows by a year the launch of the larger IFD540, a slide-in replacement for the Garmin GNS 530 that Avidyne will begin delivering in the first half of next year.
For King Air G1000 upgraders, a new option is replacement of the old-style incandescent-lighted caution warning panels with a Luma Technologies LED-based panel. Luma and its sister company Advanced Quality Certifications Group received FAA supplemental type certification for the LED panels on the King Air 200, 300, 350 and 350i in May. The company is adding an STC for the C90 in the first quarter of next year. For the King Air line, airplanes that qualify for the LED panels include those with classic avionics, Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 and the recently certified Garmin G1000 upgrades.