Garmin GI 275 Solves Legacy Panel Problem

 - January 15, 2020, 11:48 AM
Four of Garmin's new GI 275 touchscreen displays installed in a Cessna 172. The rear mounting design means that installation of the new displays has no effect on the panel cover. (Photo: Garmin)

Garmin International today unveiled a new series of instrument panel-mounted displays that are rear-mounted into standard 3.125-inch panel cutouts, offering a simple way to replace legacy vacuum- or electric-driven instruments with capable new electronic displays. The GI 275 can replace attitude indicators, attitude direction indicators, horizontal situation indicators (HSIs), and course deviation indicators (CDIs), and it can also replace engine instruments as a primary engine indication system (EIS).

The GI 275 is FAA approved and available for purchase now. Approvals cover more than 1,000 single- and twin-engine aircraft, as well as some Class IV (commuter category; for example, Beech 1900) and Part 25 aircraft. Prices start at less than $4,000 and vary depending on the configuration and options.

The GI 275 isn’t conceptually new as other companies have developed 3.125-inch replacement electronic instruments. What makes Garmin’s move unique is that the GI 275 is compatible with many third-party autopilots without needing a separate adapter and can also display more information including synthetic vision (optional), traffic, weather, terrain, SafeTaxi airport diagrams, and multifunction display-type maps. One GI 275 can also be a four-in-one instrument that can be installed as a standby display with a 60-minute backup battery. As a standby, the GI 275 includes a VFR GPS for backup navigation.

The GI 275 offers both touchscreen and dual-concentric knob interfaces. Aircraft owners can install up to six GI 275s in their instrument panels.

For EIS use in multiengine aircraft, a GI 275 is required for each engine. Engine indications for most Lycoming and Continental normally aspirated and turbocharged engines include RPM, manifold pressure, oil pressure and temperature, cylinder head temperature, exhaust gas temperature, turbine inlet temperature, fuel flow, fuel quantity, fuel pressure, volts, and amps. The GI 275 can also provide lean-assist and exceedance alerting, which can be set up by the installer. Pilots can set advisory alerts to give notice of items such as high oil temperature, high oil pressure, high CHT, etc. Engine data can be shared wirelessly with the Garmin Pilot app on Apple iOS devices and also viewed on the FlyGarmin website for later analysis.

The GI 275 can be configured as a CDI or HSI and has inputs for two GPS sources and two VHF nav sources. An optional magnetometer provides magnetic-based HSI guidance. The GI 275 can interface with third-party navigators, not just Garmin units, and without an adapter. As a CDI or HSI, the GI 275 can also display MFD features, including moving map, weather, traffic, and terrain. The GI 275 can also be installed as an MFD with those display features as well as interfacing with traffic advisory (TAS) and traffic alert and collision avoidance systems (TCAS).

Other MFD features include Garmin’s SafeTaxi airport diagrams, terrain shading and obstacles, including Garmin’s WireAware database, audible and visual terrain proximity alerts, SiriusXM weather when paired with a GDL 69 datalink, and free FIS-B (ASD-B in) weather when paired with a GTX 345 or GNX 375. The GI 275 can also display radar altimeter information when paired with Garmin’s GRA 55/5500 and third-party radar altimeters.

Compatibility with Garmin’s GFC 600 autopilot and many third-party autopilots is available now, and the GFC 500 will be added later this year. The GI 275 replaces the primary attitude indicator required for the applicable autopilots.

The GI 275 has Wi-Fi built-in and thus can receive database updates using Garmin’s Database Concierge. Data is synchronized automatically with all the installed GI 275s. Pilots can transfer flight plans wirelessly and view position and other information on mobile devices via Bluetooth, but the GI 275 has to be paired with a GPS 175, GNC 355, or GNX 375.