Business & GA, CNS, Commercial, Unmanned

Six Garmin Updates: Avionics for Bell/Uber, Flight Deck Availability and More

By Nick Zazulia | October 11, 2018
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Bell's air taxi concept. Photo courtesy of Bell

There are a lot of changes on the horizon for Garmin and its products. In the commercial space, business and general aviation, the avionics company is making changes and updates; Below, we have rounded up six of the newest and biggest:

1. On-Demand Mobility

Bell and Garmin have signed an agreement that will see the latter head up avionics development for the air taxi  Bell is creating to facilitate Uber’s urban air mobility plans.

Garmin will handle the development and integration of hardware and software for the autonomous vehicle management computer that will go in the vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) aircraft. Garmin will also be the lead on avionics development including systems for flight information and guidance, CNS and flight management systems. Extensive details weren’t available, but Garmin said that its supplied systems would provide enhanced situational awareness in all weather conditions and VP Carl Wolf said they will develop “simplified vehicle operations” with an “expansion into autonomous systems.”

Bell is the lead on the aircraft and is handling VTOL systems in house, while French engine-maker Safran is providing the hybrid propulsion system that the aircraft will initially be powered by before the companies plan to switch it to fully electric propulsion.

“This collaboration with Garmin brings us even closer to achieving our goal,” said Bell’s Scott Drennan, VP of innovation. "There is still work to be done to operationalize on-demand mobility in the vertical dimension, but we believe the future is real, possible and very close to becoming a reality.”


2. The G1000 NXi

The Garmin G1000 NXi installed on a King Air 350. Photo courtesy of Garmin

Garmin announced multiple new options for flight deck upgrades.

For the G1000 NXi, Garmin announced the following G1000-equipped platforms and timelines:

  • Cessna Citation Mustang; fourth quarter 2018
  • Embraer Phenom 100/300; mid-2019
  • Piper M500; late 2019

To date, the King Air 200/300/350 and the Daher TBM 850/900 are eligible for upgrades. The G1000 NXi features technology enabling the wireless transfer of aviation databases from the Garmin Pilot app on a mobile device to the flight deck. Flight Stream 510 also enables two-way flight plan transfer and the sharing of traffic, weather, GPS and other information between the G1000 NXi and other Garmin family products.


3. The G700 TXi

The Garmin G700 TXi installed on a Cessna Citation II. (Garmin)

The Garmin G700 TXi is now available for retrofit order for certain Cessna Citation business jets with STC approval characterized as imminent by a Garmin spokesperson. The G700 TXi, which is designed for Part 23 Class IV and Part 25 transport category aircraft, will initially be available for Citation II/SII and Citation V models. The STC will cover single- or dual-screen flight displays that pair with dual GTN 650/750 navigators for flight management system functionality.


4. The G5000

A Garmin G5000 installed on a Cessna Citation Excel. Photo courtesy of Garmin

For the G5000, Garmin is targeting early 2019 STC approval. The system will be certified on Textron’s Cessna Citation Excel and XLS, providing them with flight displays, an ADS-B Out solution compliant with the new regulations and a digital automatic flight control system. G5000 options include synthetic vision.


5. ADS-B for Gulfstream

A Gulfstream G280. Photo courtesy of Gulfstream

Garmin has been selected by Gulfstream to provide its ADS-B In solution for the G280 business jet. Available as both a forward- and retrofit option, the solution will involve the GDL 88 ADS-B Datalink and Flight Stream 210 to provide flight information service-broadcast weather. GDL 88 integrates with the G280’s existing GPS and attitude and heading reference system and can connect to the Garmin Pilot app to allow a combined display of ADS-B In traffic and weather.


6. FltPlan.com Integration

Garmin FltPlan

A rendering of the integration of FltPlan.com and the Garmin Pilot app. (Garmin)

Garmin provided an update on the integration of FltPlan.com, which the company acquired in August. The latest release of the Garmin Pilot app, which will be available next week, includes the ability on Apple devices to create a flight plan on FltPlan.com and then automatically view it in the app. Within the app, users will also be able to view recent and future trips that were created on the website. Garmin provided no timeline on the Android version of the app receiving the same capability, but has said that it plans to continue working to integrate the two services after what it calls this “initial phase.” The service covers North and Central America, the Caribbean and some of South America.

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