Avionics News November 2015 - 34
Garmin leverages technology give and take
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erendipity seems the only rational explanation for the place-appropriate N-number on the Van's Aircraft RV-7A
tied down in front of the Garmin exhibit at EAA AirVenture 2015. N70SH clearly connects the aircraft model
with the Oshkosh airport identifier, but this is only half-accurate, according to Jessica Koss, the aviation media
specialist for Garmin International, which now owns the kit airplane. Sierra Hotel is the builder's initials.
That Garmin owns the homebuilt is not a beneficial coincidence. It is another sign of the company's commitment to
the experimental and light sport aircraft avionics markets. Built by one of the engineers of this product group (who is
now building a four-seat RV-10), the airplane is a test bed and demonstrator, Koss said.
When it acquired the RV-7A, Garmin replaced its integrated G900X
system with a complete suite of G3X components. A GTN 750, GMA 240
audio panel, and the GMC 305 dedicated control head for the G3X's integrated autopilot separates the two 10.6-inch touchscreens. The aircraft is
ADS-B Out compliant. The GTN 750 feeds a WAAS GPS position to the
remote-mounted GTX 23ES ADS-B Out-compliant 1090 ES transponder.
Not far removed is the remote-mounted GTR 20 communication radio.
Based minutes away from Garmin's headquarters in Olathe, Kansas, the
RV-7A allows the G3X engineers to "write their code, install it, and then
go fly it," Koss said.
Introduced on the heels of the certified G1000, the G900X was the
company's first experimental-specific integrated flight deck product,
said Brian Hupe, Garmin's sales manager for the experimental and LSA
markets, but like pilots who flew all categories and classes of aircraft,
homebuilders quickly employed Garmin's popular GPSMAP portable
navigators. They were the wellspring of the company's now vast technolGarmin's RV-7A test bed and demonstration aircraft for
ogy pool that supports the development of all Garmin avionics, portable
its experimental and light sport aircraft avionics was
front and center at EAA AirVenture 2015.
or panel mounted, experimental or certified.