New Garmin Touchscreen Display Certified for VFR Helicopters

Garmin G500H TXi touchscreen display. Photo: Garmin International.

Garmin International’s next generation G500H touchscreen flight display has achieved an approved model list certification for normal category visual flight rules helicopters.

TXi was unveiled in combination with a major new software upgrade to Garmin’s GTN 650/750 touchscreen navigators.

Upgrading to TXi is easier for helicopters equipped with Garmin’s existing G500H displays, as the display can reuse the existing system’s sensors. On helicopters not equipped with G500H displays, the upgrade requires the installation of a new air data attitude heading reference system.

Weight savings associated with upgrading to the TXi vary based on each helicopter’s existing avionics equipage.

“There is a weight reduction, but it varies based on options and sensors that are installed,” a representative for Garmin told Avionics International.

The TXi certification includes two sizes of the new display, a 10.6-inch horizontal and a 7-inch portrait version. Both sizes can function as primary or multifunction flight displays, with the smaller size including the ability to feature instrument tapes and a arc-view horizontal situation indicator in space limited cockpits.

A key new capability featured on the TXi that is not on existing G500H displays is the use of dual core processors to enable faster panning through maps and improved chart rendering. There are also a variety of new video input, night vision and graphical map overlay formats on the TXi.

TXi upgrade options include synthetic vision and interfacing capability with Garmin’s Flight Stream 510 multimedia card. The multimedia card integration provides wireless connectivity between pilot mobile phone or tablet applications and GTN 650/750 touchscreen navigators. Garmin also added 200,000 new low altitude obstacles to TXi’s helicopter obstacle navigation database.

Among the major new functionality enabled by the GTN 650/750 software upgrade are a new touchscreen keyboard and the availability of descent vertical navigation profiles. Pilots can also now set user-defined waypoints airport to minimize terrain alerting while landing.

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