Garmin’s aera 760 is the latest in a long line of portable navigators and picks up where the previous aera 660 left off. In this video Aviation Consumer editor Larry Anglisano put the unit on the test bench and took it flying for a look.

6 COMMENTS

  1. The 760 is Garmin’s latest extension of the Aera line of products. It appears to be well made and very capable. But, I question how many will be sold now that they are in direct competition with tablet devices costing around a third as much. Plus, it is a single use device whereas table computers can do many other things to boot. I think I will stick with my tablet.

    Oh, by the way, Larry needs to find a better mask if he is going to fly with other people. He kept pulling the ill-fitting mask back up over his nose during the whole video.

    • Follow up:
      In a private exchange, Larry and I discussed the difficulties of finding a properly fitting mask that still allows for effective communications with a headset mic. My comments were in jest, but it does point out the challenges of flying with others in this time of the pandemic. I applaud Larry and the good work he does for Avweb and the Aviation Consumer.

  2. Garmin needs to invest its time and resources in securing its networks, and stop rolling out over-priced paperweights like this.

    “Hey Garmin: cut the price of *both* the 760 AND the 660 in half, and maybe I’ll change my tune.”

    Garmin says the 760 can slide off the wing of a Mooney and still recover. Well, I’ll take my chances with *not* dropping a $400 iPad mini that — in the unlikely event of me dropping two more 400-dollar replacements, I’ll consider retiring my certificate.

    …. jeez … at least the 660 was capable of being shoved in your pocket which pretty-much eliminated the “fickle-finger syndrome.” . Oh, well … this is Garmin’s idea of “progress.”

  3. I guess I don’t understand all the negativity aimed at the aera 760. Like anything in life buy it or don’t buy it. The market should decide the fate of a new product based on acceptance and price. I detect some of the previous comments are sore over price or wanting more than a navigator. Comparing an aera to an iOS flight bag app is an apple to oranges affair. If you want to use a tablet only then use a tablet only. If you want to use both like me, then use both. My biggest nit with the Garmin dedicated navigators is that the model name “aera” isn’t capitalized. That’s cute but irritating.

    I have 3 aera 660’s and two aera 760’s. One of the 760’s is flush panel docked in the center of a new instrument panel. It’s internal AHARS can be enabled when panel docked and works awesome. With the rvplasticparts.com aftermarket dock’s raised bezel with finger holds people it is easy and intuitive to use in flight. Folks mistake the unit for a GTN 750 upon casual inspection. And the 760 can directly share IFR flight planning with a panel navigator. With multiple airplanes I dedicate at least one aera to each cockpit. Two aircraft are tandem seaters and I installed 660’s in the rear cockpit for co-pilot use and SXM entertainment control. Makes them feel less like baggage and more involved which is a psychological plus. The aeras are serious aviation hardware without complaining about power source amperage, heat stress or having Angry Birds popups in flight.

    The aeras can be hard wired to to the GDL 5X(R) series ADS-B/SXM units which skips all the Bluetooth and Wifi drama I see with the iPad and smart phones. The 760 can also be hard wired to the aforementioned Garmin IFR navigator with RS 232 and can be used to transfer IFR flight plans back and forth (great new development). In my installs the aeras can tune standby frequencies into comm radios such as the Trig Ty series, Icoms and Garmin GTR 200Bs by touching the frequency on the screen. There are no hard wire data options on an iPad, just the occasional reset and re-link wireless telenovelas on the ground and in flight. Any flight plans prepared before flight on my smart phone or iPad with Garmin Pilot can transfer into the aera prior to engine start and then they can be put away in the flight bag like an awkward teenager sleeping in the back seat. For the record I think Garmin Pilot is a terrible hot mess of an app.

    So I do have an iPad Mini which I like but it is a toy in comparison to the aera. The iPad is a nice EFB but at it’s core it is a broad-market consumer-based device. The aeras are hearty dedicated serious aviation devices. On my iPad I run FlyQ EFB, Garmin Pilot and iFly. It’s a nice reference but I live in the desert ant the iPad tends to overheat and is a bugger to read in direct sunlight. As a result I don’t mess with it much in flight. I even dedicate my iPad to aviation. I don’t load any other apps, use email or do much browsing on it. I can’t tell how many times over the years an iOS update has whacked my aviation apps. I have a smart phone that does most of what the Mini does without the bulk. Not knocking the iPad it’s just an orange vs. the aera apple. There is no way I would trust or take an iPad serious for primary or secondary navigation as it hasn’t shown to be reliable enough for me.

    The 760 is a serious purpose-built GPS navigator that doesn’t overheat, is readable in all lighting, integrates with panel mount and portable avionics via hard wire and wireless technology, has an internal attitude sensor and is built army-tank tough. If I were a ferry pilot jumping between different airplanes the 660 would be a perfect choice due to size. But for dedicated in-cockpit use it’s hard to beat the screen on the 760, especially for folks getting to the age of reading glasses. And the aera is always in the cockpit ready to go no different than the rest of the avionics.

    I think the aera 760 is a winner and is the new replacement for the aera 796 which is now out of production due to an obsolete component supply chain. You will see the likes of Aviat, American Champion, Cub Crafters and LSA manufacturers start putting them in their VFR panels in the same way they have been with the now legacy 796’s. The aera 760 is a serious navigation device that is a pleasure to use.

  4. Seems to me a waste of time and money. If you want good certified avionics then install the darn stuff on your panel. We use ipads/Jeppesen software at the airlines for charts and situational awareness. Works great all over the world. But fiddling with another GPS device in your lap or suction cupped to your window is silly. Foreflight on my iPad for GA flying is brilliant especially when tied to ADS-B. I so not think these things will sell. Stick to developing more user friendly panel mounted navigators. Seems most of them are driven with too many menus that are too hard to find. Keep it simple.

  5. I have multiple registered Gamin panel avionics (dual G5’s, 530W, GTX330ES, GFC500) and also have been using Garmin Pilot on an iPad mini with GDL 39 3D for years.

    Question, can I run Garmin Pilot on the Garmin Aera 760, or, otherwise use the nav and other data I receive as a result of being a standard and premium subscriber to Garmin Pilot, but run on the aera 760? Will the Garmin aera 760 operate the Garmin Virb Ultra 30 camera?

    Here’s my dilemma.

    My iPad mini is over five years old. It is in great shape – zero dings – and runs great. But Apple no longer allow iOS updating after five years. As a result, I can’t get the latest version of Garmin Pilot on my iPad Mini. Therefore, I am thinking about getting a new iPad Mini. or, a Garmin Aera 760. I have downloaded and read the instruction manual for the aera 760.

    After reading, I conclude that I can use my GDL 39 3D to pull in TIS-B traffic and FIS-B weather to display on the 760, using a Bluetooth connection between the 39 3D just as I could with the 39 3D and Garmin Pilot on my iPad mini.

    I love the robustness of the 760 and I understand the 760 will be better to view in a sunlit cockpit than an iPad. If I am correct, with the 760, I’ll no longer be subject to dreaded Apple iOS that basically says your Apple device is obsolete if it is more than five years old; Garmin seems to maintain operating software support for much longer than just five years on Garmin manufactured devices.

    But I am not clear if I have to purchase separate 28 day approach plate updates and separate map/nav data updates just for the 760, or if my two subscriptions to Garmin Pilot (standard + premium with georeferenced approach plates) parlay on to the 760’s display.

    Of importance, but less important than above, the ability to operate my Garmin Virb Ultra 30 off the aera 760 – not sure if that is doable. I can use my Samsung Galaxy S10 to drive my Virb Ultra 30 in the cockpit – but preference is to run it all through one device.

    I just want to be clear on what I gain, and what I lose, if I get an aera 760 instead of another new iPad mini.

    Thanks,
    Todd