New Garmin Portable Adds Approach Overlays

 - April 29, 2020, 9:17 AM

The proliferation of powerful tablet electronic flight bags (EFBs) hasn’t killed the market for portable GPS navigators, and Garmin today introduced the aera 760 portable GPS navigator with some EFB- and avionics-like features. Shipping begins in May, and the new unit retails for $1,599.

The aera 760’s seven-inch touchscreen display allows pilots to load instrument approach, arrival, and departure procedures in a flight plan. Approach procedures can also be overlaid on the moving-map. The GPS receiver works on both the U.S. GPS and Russian Glonass networks.

With a user interface mirroring typical Garmin avionics conventions, as well as those of the Garmin Pilot EFB app, the aera 760 was designed by Garmin’s TeamX, a group of pilots and aircraft builders. The aera 760 stores IFR en route charts, VFR sectionals, and Garmin FliteCharts, and it can also display optional Jeppesen charts for access to instrument approaches worldwide. Flight planning can include victor airways and user-defined holds over an existing navigation fix.

Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are built into the aera 760, which allows for downloading software updates and databases wirelessly. The portable can also connect to Garmin’s GTX 345 ADS-B transponder or GDL 52 ADS-B receiver for display of free ADS-B In traffic and weather. SiriusXM weather is also an option when paired with the appropriate receiver.

Hard-wiring of the aera 760’s power, audio, and dual RS-232 connections to a Garmin GTN or GNS series navigator allows the devices to share and synchronize flight plans. The aera 760 can also connect wirelessly to navigators via a Garmin Flight Stream 210 or 510 wireless gateway. Connection to Garmin GTR 225, GNC 255, or GTR 200 navcoms enables the pilot to input frequencies on the aera 760 and then transfer them to the navcom. Autopilot connections are also available for flying lateral GPS and single-point vertical navigation in visual conditions.

Garmin’s 3D Vision technology is available on the aera 760, including an HSI display with lateral and vertical deviation bars and “a virtual 3D visual perspective view of surrounding terrain, obstacles, and airports.” Full synthetic vision with backup attitude information is also available when the aera 760 is paired with a compatible attitude source, including the GDL 52 or GTX 345.

Other features include fuel price information, an E6B computer, weight and balance calculator, optional WireAware wire-strike avoidance technology, and optional map data to allow entry of street intersection or non-aviation waypoints.

Battery life is up to four hours, and a USB-C connector is available for external power and charging. Loading of topography and street maps and user waypoints is via a microSD card slot.