Industry News

August 2012 Issue

Ship’s Radar Upgrades: Garmin Leads the Way

Garmin already revived a stagnant radar market with the powerhouse GWX68. Now it aims high with a new turbulence-sniffing Doppler system.

If you’re stepping up into the world of higher-end twins and some high-flying singles, you’ll eventually be faced with maintenance of onboard weather radar. Upgrading and maintaining weather radar is an expensive investment, and the benefits of real-time ship’s weather radar might not be obvious to today’s datalink pilot. But resist the urge to yank ship radar from the airframe—it still has its place. On a recent trip up the East coast in a small twin, we were picking our way along the back edge of a slow-moving line of Gulf-fed buildups that offered no shortage of drama for hundreds of miles. It was a tense flight, but tempered by the NEXRAD images steadily arriving from XM. But as we motored closer to a large cluster of buildups, XM’s image just wasn’t jiving with our view through the windscreen. A watchful controller then offered a heading through a gap that would have been through the heart of a red NEXRAD return.

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