In less than eight months, Garmin has established its Garmin Pilot app as a worthwhile competitor to other moving-map and electronic flight bag (EFB) applications. An improved version of the Pilot My-Cast app for Apple’s popular iPad and iPhone, Garmin Pilot was also launched for use on a wide range of Android smartphones and tablets. Both versions offer similar features and usability, though there also are some distinct differences.
The UK’s Gama Engineering, a Gama Group company formed a year ago with the amalgamation of Lees Avionics and Mann Aviation Group Engineering, recently completed its 50th EASA STC. The project was the design and certification of a Garmin G600 installation in a BN Islander used by the Belgian Coast Guard. Gama Engineering is based at Fairoaks Airport.
Last year there were a handful of companies promoting devices that could capture weather and traffic signals from the growing network of ADS-B ground stations deployed around the U.S. This year, the market and the makers of ADS-B devices have exploded, and buyers now have an array of choices.
The good news is that these devices are now available for both Android and Apple devices. The even better news is that some manufacturers have added fairly significant capabilities to their ADS-B devices, although some of these have yet to begin deliveries.
The ADS-B system that is the cornerstone of the FAA’s NextGen ATC modernization plan is at risk of serious security breaches, according to Brad Haines (aka RenderMan), a hacker and network security consultant who is worried about ADS-B vulnerabilities.
Broomfield, Colo.-based JetTech announced yesterday that it received FAA STC approval to install touchscreen Garmin GTN 650/750 GPS navcoms on 500-series Cessna Citations, to include the 500, 501, 550, 551, S550 and 560. The approval covers installation of the GPS navcoms, as well as Garmin GTX 33 transponders, remote GMA35 audio panels and GA35/37 antennas. In addition, the STC includes Waas approvals.
Garmin unveiled a pair of ADS-B units and a new solid-state weather radar system yesterday, further broadening its avionics product line.
The company’s new GDL 88 is a dual-link ADS-B solution, which transmits and receives on 978 MHz and also receives on 1090 MHz. Its ability to receive on both 978 and 1090 MHz means that it can detect traffic transmitting on either ADS-B OUT frequency and receive subscription-free weather data on 978 MHz. ADS-B OUT capability for flying above 18,000 feet or outside the U.S. could be added with a GTX 330/33 ES transponder.
Garmin has added its technological muscle to the market for external GPS receivers for mobile devices, not only using GPS but also by receiving signals from Russia’s Glonass constellation. Yesterday Garmin unveiled its GLO receiver, which connects to Apple and Android devices wirelessly via Bluetooth and offers battery life of 12 hours and 10-times-per-second position update rate.
Columbia Avionics & Aircraft Services obtained FAA STC approval to install Garmin GTN 650 and 750 navcoms in the Cessna 500, 501, 550, 551, S550 and 560. This follows a similar STC that the Columbia, Mo.-based company received in May for the Cessna 650. The touchscreen Garmin GTN navcoms are certified for full autopilot-coupled Waas LPV approaches, including vertical guidance. The STC also covers various combinations of the GTN 650/750, Garmin GTX-33ES mode-S transponders, Garmin GDL-69/A weather data link and a marker beacon receiver.
Sagetech is now taking orders for the Clarity line of iPad and Windows tablet/PC ADS-B weather (FIS-B) and traffic (TIS-B) receivers. Two of the Clarity receivers include an AHRS that provides pitch and bank information for synthetic vision apps like Hilton Software’s WingX. The hockey puck-size Clarity units come in four models, ranging from two Core data-only units and two Core SV units with AHRS. The basic Core unit ($699) receives on the 978 UAT ADS-B frequency, which is for aircraft flying below 18,000 feet. The Core Dual ($877) receives on both 978 UAT and 1090ES frequencies.
So, first, who needs three more worldwide satnav systems, when we already have GPS? Why do these others want to spend billions just to keep up with the U.S.? There are two reasons: one political and the other practical. Politically, GPS has become a (not the) dominant technology in almost every part of human life around the world, in government, national security, industry and private life, with more than a billion receivers being used daily for thousands of applications, from simple to critical.