Two years after Garmin announced it was going after the glass-panel retrofit market with its G600, the system is now certified and approved on 785 aircraft. For $29,995, the system gives you two 6.5-inch LCD screens set up with a PFD and MFD. The installation is designed to fit in the same basic area as a standard aircraft six-pack. Garmin contendsand we agreethat the unique plus of the setup is that the MFD is closer to the pilots scan and hands that a conventional MFD on the audio stack. The G600 will integrate with the usual suspectsXM datalink weather, various traffic-awareness systems, a variety of autopilots and several flight directorsand be compatible with TAWS, ADS-B, and on-board radar in the future. Garmin introduced other products and services as well.
The GMA 240 is an audio panel aimed squarely at experimental and LSA aircraft with a built-in intercom, support for two external music inputs (which auto-mute when ATC calls on the radio), support for XM radio from a Garmin 396/496, and a 2.5 mm jack on the front for connecting a cell phone. The GMA 240 will sell for $895. Garmin also announced a new website for Garmin GPS users called flygarmin.com. The site streamlines the process for updating databases for Garmin handheld and panel-mount data. Users should be able to connect their Garmin device or datacard and get the right databases with just a few clicks. They can also see at a glance what databases are current, changing soon, or out of date. Jeppesen-derived data still must come from Jeppesen.com, but Garmin hopes the site well eventually be a one-stop update center.