(February 2012) Flat-panel avionics systems for light airplanes, which seemed like the stuff of science fiction just a handful of years ago, have been around long enough to advance to a second generation. As far as Garmin avionics are concerned, that second generation of glass panels takes the form of G2000, a system that makes use of a lot of existing Garmin technology behind the panel but that incorporates an entirely new user interface, one that will change the way we fly.
Just as it sounds, G2000 is the follow-on to the immensely popular G1000 system. In various forms and using various names, G1000 has been installed as standard equipment in around 30 different models of airplanes, from entry-level piston singles to light jets. G1000 is standard fare on Cessna’s lineup of piston singles, from the high-performance Corvalis to the entry-level Skyhawk trainer. As a result, steam gauges are a mystery to many new pilots; to them, G1000 is synonymous with “avionics.”
Just as G1000 made its way into cockpits one airframe at a time, you can fully expect G2000 to do the same, though the rate at which this happens might be slower than it was for its predecessor because of the lingering economic woes that have slowed new-airplane manufacturing worldwide. In the meantime, expect a lot of airplane makers to be looking to find ways to work G2000 into their product lineups in years to come.
I flew G2000 in a high-performance piston single in Austin recently with Garmin’s Ben Kowalski in the right seat. Our round-robin IFR flight was flown largely in IMC and featured a good deal of turbulence, ideal for the purposes of evaluating Garmin’s newest system.
What is G2000?
It’s been a while now since Garmin announced that it was going to be making touch-screen-controlled flat-panel avionics systems; the first such launch was with the G3000 system in the HondaJet and the now-discontinued Piper Altaire. At NBAA 2010, Cessna announced that it would put the Garmin G5000 system in its updated flagship, the Citation Ten. Cessna also announced that it would use the G2000 system in its Corvalis TTx high-performance single.