Avionics Report

July 2007 Issue

MapComm Shootout: GNS 480 Excels

Garmin owns the market for mapcomm navigators. Of three options, we think the GNS 480 offers the most features for the money, although it lacks weatherlink.

The all-in-one GPS color mapcomm has become such an avionics standard that a used airplane without at least a Garmin GNS 430 hardly gets a second look. And for any owners planning an upgrade in this market, you’ll likely be sending money to Garmin anyway, for it owns all three mapcomm megaboxes, the GNS 430/530 and the GNS 480, which it acquired when it bought UPSAT in 2003. So which is best for a given airplane? There’s no easy answer, but in this article, we’ll summarize the major features of each. Each product does so much that we can’t detail all of the operations. For this review, we’ll hit the high notes only.

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