Business & GA

Garmin Adds Connectivity to GA Cockpit

By Tish Drake | August 2, 2010
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Garmin, based in Olathe, Kan., announced the GSR 56 Iridium datalink and GDL 59 data logger and Wi-Fi datalink, bringing worldwide weather, voice communication and data communication to the cockpit for general aviation pilots. The company introduced the system at last week's EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis.

Garmin’s Iridium-based transceiver, the GSR 56, has worldwide weather capability and informs pilots of METARs, TAFs, and winds aloft . In addition, radar and satellite imagery are available for the United States, Southern Canada and Western Europe. Additional regions are expected to receive radar and satellite imagery in the future. The GSR 56 also offers Iridium voice and data service (subscription required) that lets pilots or passengers make worldwide Iridium-based calls from the airplane’s cockpit or cabin while in-flight or on the ground. From the cockpit, the dialing interface is provided through the multi-function display (MFD) and incoming call messages are prioritized with other aural messages. The GDL 59 is a flight parameter recorder that uses a Wi-Fi transceiver (802.11g) to synch with Wi-Fi hot spots that are within range of the airplane while it is on the ground.

“These systems use two unique transmission methods and are the foundation for Garmin’s next generation connected cockpit,” said Gary Kelley, Garmin’s vice president of marketing. “Whether it’s Iridium voice service, worldwide weather, text messaging, or maintenance data logging, the GSR 56 and GDL 59 are affordable products that work worldwide and give pilots the connectivity they need in the cockpit.”

At this time, the GSR 56 and GDL 59 are available from some aircraft manufacturers or fleet operators on select G1000-equipped models.

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