Avionics News January 2017 - 20
GARMIN G1000 NXI
Continued from page 19
separate panel and programming and control of the
system - with an IFR GPS and autopilot integrated into
the package - came through two other remote panels, one
with an alphanumeric keypad in some installations.
The PFD displayed the gyro instrument presentations,
all three driven by solid-state sensors in place of
spinning-mass gyroscopic instruments; a horizontalsituation indicator running off the integrated navigators;
and all three air-data instruments - also displayed on the
PFD as strip gauges mirroring electronic flight instrument
system displays in business-turbine and airline airframes.
Providing the attitude and direction sensing was a
solid-state attitude and heading reference system; air data
came from a solid-state air-data computer with digital
solid-state sensors feeding the air-data presentations.
The MFD presented a large, full-color moving-map display
with flight-plan data and radio frequency information resident
on the screen; data navigation and communications radios
integrated into the package with their own dedicated controls.
Additionally, VHF radio control panels also provided for
managing the audio-panel and intercom functions.
These new MFDs also provided the ability to display traffic
and weather data from other digital sensors. More than 16,000
systems later, pilots fly behind G1000 packages in piston,
turboprop and business jets.
The Garmin G1000 NXi arrives on the market soon
to be approved as a retrofit in Beechcraft King Air
Let's take a more-detailed look at the G1000 NXi.
The G1000 NXi in a snapshot: sharper,
faster, more versatile, more advanced
Garmin's G1000 NXi arrives less as a new package and
more as a highly refined, highly upgraded and updated
version of the original. And it comes at a good time.
Compared to other Garmin products, the G1000 display
quality and processing performance lagged somewhat
behind - as is only logical.
Remember, the original processors and memory chips
used in the G1000 were state-of-the-art - at about the
turn of the 21st century. Garmin started shipping G1000s
in late 2003 - after more than two years of test flying
developmental prototypes of the package. Actual design
work began long before that first flight.
So the G1000 flying today represents the digital state-ofthe-art of about 1999.
Now, think back at the number of cellphone and
computer upgrades you and your business undertook in the
past 17 years. The capabilities of your cellphone circa 2000
pale compared to the one in your pocket today - a portable
computer of immense capabilities.
That's how much difference there is between the
technology update within the NXi package versus the
memory and processing speeds of the original G1000 as we
saw during a demonstration flight in early December.
But first, a look at what's changed and why.
First up, the G1000 NXi boasts modernized PFD displays
and new designs with significant performance enhancements.
While the same resolution as the original, better graphics
processing results in brighter, smoother colors and sharper,
larger fonts for information - helpful given the NXi's
presentation of new and enhanced information.
The NXi package also incorporates new capabilities into
what's again a state-of-the-art avionics platform. Innovative
features Garmin developed separately - including cockpit
connectivity, wireless database updates with Flight Stream,
enhanced situational awareness with SurfaceWatch, visual
approaches, map overlay on the HSI and more.
The MFD gains high-definition resolution, resulting
in highly improved graphics, in a screen the same size as
the non-HD screen used before. As with the PFDs, the
graphics are crisper, sharper, and render faster than before.
The NXi package even weighs less than its
predecessor G1000 package - in both two- and three-