As we go to press this month, Garmin is poised to announce a slew of new products at EAA AirVenture, including a new combined traffic/weather ADS-B box, a portable ADS-B receiver and updates to the established GTX 330 transponder. Not be left behind, Avidyne is right on Garmin’s heels—literally—with a new slide-in replacement for Garmin’s GNS430 mapcomms, the most populous navigator in the GA market. Garmin expects additional products later in the year.
That ADS-B is where the current action is obvious from Garmin’s introduction of two products—the GDL88 and the GDL39 portable. The GDL88 is an ambitious product that’s a remote ADS-B transceiver capable of ADS-B in on both 978 and 1090 MHz and out on 978 with a low-power 1030 MHz transmitter for local traffic.
At $3995 for the most basic model, it’s designed to display on Garmin’s line of panel mounts. Furthermore, several models offer installation flexibility. For instance, it can be configured as ADS-B out only as a low-cost means of meeting the 2020 requirement for ADS-B within certain airspace. Or it can be in only, for FIS-B and TIS traffic. The top of the GDL88 line allows all of these features and includes WAAS capability for $5995.
In a pre-AirVenture briefing, Garmin showed us the GDL88’s sophisticated target-tracking capability, which includes target grouping and on-the-fly relative motion analysis and display.
With iPad interfaces multiplying like ants at a picnic and portable ADS-B gadgets keeping pace, Garmin’s got its own now, the $799 GDL39. The GDL39 can receive both traffic and weather. It can be battery or ship powered, and will display on Garmin portables all the way back to the GPSMAP 396 through hard cabling and to the aera796 model through Bluetooth. The 396 and 496 show traffic only (eight-target limit), but all the other display options are capable of both traffic and weather.
Garmin didn’t forget the iPad. The GDL39 will display on that through Bluetooth, both weather and traffic up to 30 targets. For now, you’ll need Garmin’s Pilot app, but going forward, we wouldn’t be surprised if the GDL39 plays with other apps. Check out Garmin deals at AirVenture for show special offers. Garmin is also offering ADS-B updates for the GTX330 transponder.
While Garmin is busy shoving new products out the front door, Avidyne continues its fierce competition with slide-in boxes first to replace Garmin’s GNS530 and now, with its just-announced IFD440, Avidyne has the GNS430 in its crosshairs.
Like the IFD540, the 440 mashes up touchscreen with conventional keys and knobs, the reasoning evidently being that not all GNS430 owners will want to replace those with touchscreen GTN650s from Garmin. So Avidyne is ready with the IFD440, which has leading-edge FMS architecture that meets SBAS/LPV precision approach guidance and the position-accuracy required for ADS-B. In other words, Avidyne is looking forward to 2020 with what may be perfect timing.
This latest product continues Avidyne’s efforts to fill out a Garmin competitive line to include the AMX240 audio panel, the AXP340 Mode S/ADS-B transponder and the DFC-series autopilots. The IFD440 will retail for $14,995.