When the editors at Flying were equipping their airplanes with the latest in GA avionics, Mac McClellan and Richard Collins both went the Garmin route.
At the time, Garmin was pacing the pack with its GNS 430/530 GPS navigators. I opted for the UPS Aviation Technologies stack. At the time there was no question that UPS's MX20 MFD, with its bright, high-resolution screen, was the best available. While the 430/530 had navigation and communications integrated in a single box, the UPS stack offered integration through stand-alone components.
But last spring, UPS-AT announced its CNX80, a new integrated box with functions that some believe let it leapfrog over Garmin's boxes. I was thrilled. And with the acquisition of UPS-AT by Garmin, I, like Mac and Richard, am now flying behind Garmin equipment.
The CNX80, which works in tandem with the MX20 MFD, combines a 15-channel, 5 Hertz GPS navigator (which means it updates its position five times per second) with a first-of-its-kind certified Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) receiver and then adds a communications radio and a VOR/localizer receiver (and CDI display) and controls for a remote-mounted transponder.