Garmin Introduces Connext Wireless Cockpit


While Connext is Garmin’s wireless interface concept, the Flight Stream is the name of the remotely mounted Bluetoothtransceiver that enables the flow of data to and from the permanently installed sensors in the aircraft. These include theGDL88 ADS-B transceiver and the GDL69 XM weather and entertainment receiver, in addition to panel-mounted radios, including the GTN750 and GTN650 touchscreen navigators and the GNS430W and GNS530W WAAS navigators. There are two models to choose from. The $549 Flight Stream 110 isthe entry-level transceiver that has integral WAAS GPS. Using Bluetooth connectivity, it sends GPS position, FIS-B ADS-B weather and TIS-B ADS-B traffic data received from GarminsGDL88 ADS-B receiver to an Apple and compatible Android tablet that run Garmins Pilot app.

This interface potentially solves a huge problem because the GDL88, while a one-box ADS-B solution, still requires a cockpit screen to display weather and traffic data. In lesser aircraft (and for lesser budgets) that cant support a compatible panel display, the Flight Stream device is an economical solution for playing the GDL88 data on a tablet display.

The $999 Flight Stream 210 takes the interface to a higher level. Since it has an internal AHRS sensor, it provides attitude data to the Pilot app-a feature thats already available with the GDL39 3D portable ADS-B receiver. The real utility,however, is recognized with an interface that connects the tablet with Garmins panel mounted navigators. That enables flight plan transfer to and from the navigator.

What were trying to do with the Connext interface is create anew freedom in flight plan execution where pilots can flight plan in advance at home and then go out to the airport and push the flight plan into the panel navigators with onebutton, said Garmins Jessica Koss.

Essentially, pushing the flight plan into the navigator is as simple as turning on the avionics, establishing a Bluetooth connection with the Flight Stream device through a Connexttab in the app and transferring the flight plan that was created in the Pilot app.

In a GNS430W/530W interface, that means finally having the ability to load victor airways into the flight plan, rather than entering the associated fixes.

You can also set the Garmin Pilot app to watch for changes made to the active flight plan in the panel navigator. This means any changes made to the flight in the GNS or GTN navigator instantly appear on the tablet or you can have the option of updating the flight plan manually. Flight Stream can also push limited data to the D2 pilot watch.