Garmin Connext Links Tablets with Installed Avionics

** Garmin Connext**

Garmin is making flight planning a whole lot easier with a new family of wireless gateway products that permit users to send their flight planned route from an iPad or Android tablet straight into the panel-mounted avionics in the cockpit.

Part of the Garmin Connext product line, the Flight Stream 210 wireless gateway uses Bluetooth technology to safely and securely transmit flight plan data from a pilot's personal tablet to the Garmin GTN and GNS series navigators. The unit also transmits attitude information to the Garmin Pilot app for use with the synthetic-vision display.

And the connection works both ways. For example, if you're flying with a Garmin ADS-B In unit, it can wirelessly transmit traffic and weather data to a tablet for display on the Garmin Pilot app moving map. If you have a SiriusXM satellite receiver, it can transmit that weather data and satellite radio control functions to the tablet.

Meanwhile, a second, lower-priced gateway product, the Flight Stream 110, offers these secondary features without the ability to transmit flight plan data.

Speaking of price, the Flight Stream 110 retails for $549. It is designed to work with the Garmin GDL 88 ADS-B unit and/or GDL 69/69A SiriusXM unit. The Flight Stream 210 product is $999. It is compatible with the GDL 88 and GDL 69/69A, as well as the GTN and GNS series WAAS navigators.

One of the coolest features of the Flight Stream 210 product, in our opinion, is the ability to make last-minute flight plan amendments right before departure. Pilots can take advantage of ATC Proposed Routes within Garmin Pilot to easily transfer a modified flight plan to a GTN or GNS WAAS navigator without the endless button presses and knob twisting such changes can entail.

"The same smart device you use in your everyday life is now the wireless gateway into your avionics," said Carl Wolf, Garmin's vice president of marketing and sales. "Not only does a wealth of flight-critical information wirelessly arrive on your smart device to help you make better decisions faster, but you can also perform simple and rapid data entry — like flight planning and loading airways — on your smart device and beam it right into your installed avionics. Flight Stream is our latest example of the Garmin Team relentlessly pursuing technologies that make flying safer, more efficient and more enjoyable."

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