While the different touch-screen-controlled avionics systems have different software and different hardware configurations, just like different versions of G1000 do, they are substantially similar in design and the user experience. All of it is much prettier to look at and much easier to use, the former being an aesthetically fortuitous side effect of the latter.
While G2000 is an upgrade to the G1000 system, it is much more than that too. It is a whole new approach for Garmin, one that will guide the company’s lineup for years to come, as the design of G1000 did. As such, it is a risk. Garmin, because its G1000 system was so ubiquitous, has in large part taught a new generation of pilots what flat-panel avionics are all about, and with G2000, it will be rolling out a whole new interface, a whole new way of looking at the way we pilots interact with the avionics in our airplanes.
Now, there has been some confusion about touch screens. G2000’s main screens, the PFD and the MFD, are not touch-screen devices. Instead they are controlled by a touch-screen controller pad, the GTC 570. In most installations, the G2000 will be controlled by a single touch-screen controller. In other airplane installations, it might have more touch-screen controllers. In the Citation Ten and the newly announced midsize Latitude, the G5000 system will have four touch-screen controllers. The airplane in which I flew G2000 was outfitted with two GTC 570s for development purposes. Only one is needed, though the two controllers interact seamlessly.
The principles underlying G2000 — most of what I say will also apply to the G3000 and G5000 systems — are immediately apparent when you use it. Not only that, but they are immediately apparent when you use the company’s other latest aviation products, including the GTN series panel-mounted navigators and even its Aera handheld navigators.
The common design traits among all of these products are the use, primarily, of touch controls, a highly symbolic graphical user interface and pilot-friendly software.
All the outward components of G2000 are new: The displays, the controllers, the autopilot mode controller and the PFD controller are specific to the new system, and all of them take advantage of new technologies. At the same time they provide system redundancy. If the touch controller were to fail, you could do everything you need to do with the physical PFD controller.