In preparation for anticipated supplemental type certificate approval in early 2019, Garmin has added a second aircraft to the development and flight-test program for its G5000 avionics suite upgrade for the Cessna Citation Excel/XLS. The company has already sold out the first 25 positions for the upgrade program and it is offering another pre-STC incentive program for the next customers to sign up for a 2019 delivery. The new incentive is available for up to 15 owners or operators and offers five years of database coverage, a savings of nearly $25,000.
“We’re in the home stretch,” said Garmin executive v-p and managing director of aviation Phil Straub. Development and flight testing, he added, “is pretty much done. We’re transitioning into the certification phase.” Garmin and Textron Aviation are collaborating on the testing and certification work, and the upgrade will be offered by Textron Aviation service centers and other Garmin dealers.
About 600 Excel/XLS airframes are eligible to upgrade to the G5000 suite, which is expected to cost from $500,000 to $550,000 and cut empty weight by about 200 pounds. The package includes three landscape-oriented displays, two touchscreen controllers, and digital automatic flight control system with emergency descent mode. Underspeed protection is optional and enables fully coupled go-arounds. Also included is ADS-B Out and PBN/RNP 0.3 with LPV/APV approach capability.
Other options include Garmin’s synthetic vision technology; SurfaceWatch, which provides runway and taxiway safety information via visual and aural cues; Link 2000+ and controller-pilot datalink communications; datalink weather via Iridium satcom; and Garmin’s Flight Stream 510, which adds Connext wireless cockpit connectivity for flight plan transfer with the Garmin Pilot, FltPlan Go, and ForeFlight apps, as well as Garmin’s Database Concierge for updating onboard databases wirelessly via Garmin Pilot.