Garmin Adds ADS-B Capabilities for Helicopters

In anticipation of the upcoming HAI Heli-Expo, which is set to open its doors next week in Orlando, Florida, Garmin has announced two new ADS-B products for the helicopter market. The GDL 84H and GDL 88H will allow operators to comply with the upcoming ADS-B Out regulations, set to go into effect in 2020, and add new features that can help helicopter pilots stay safe.

Through the units' ADS-B In capabilities, the pilot will receive real time traffic and weather data. A feature called TargetTrend shows the trajectory of nearby traffic to help pilots avoid mid-air collisions.

There are also some helicopter-specific features incorporated into the new systems. When integrated with Garmin's GTN 650/750 touchscreen systems, the GDL 88H offers a feature called On Scene mode, which minimizes traffic alerts when operating near other helicopters such as news helicopters hovering over a scene of interest. The pilot activated feature reduces traffic notifications to new targets in the area.

Another traffic-related feature available with both systems is TerminalTraffic, which displays ADS-B capable targets both in the air and on the ground in the Safe Taxi format with color-coding and symbols distinguishing the different types of traffic. TerminalTraffic also minimizes traffic alerts during hovering.

The new boxes will be compatible with Garmin's GTN-series touchscreens and WAAS capable GNS-series navigators. The traffic and weather data supplied by the GDL 84H can also be transferred wirelessly and displayed on portable tablets through Garmin's Pilot app using the Flight Stream 110 or 210 Bluetooth wireless gateway.

For installations in helicopters without WAAS capability, the GDL 84H and GDL 88H can also incorporate WAAS to allow operators to comply with the ADS-B requirements.

Garmin expects the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the new equipment to be complete in the second quarter of this year. The expected price tag for the GDL 84H with WAAS and Flight Stream 110 is $5,995 while the GDL 88H is expected to start at $4,975. You can explore Garmin's new ADS-B products at the Orange county Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, from March 3 through 5.

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Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.
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