Garmin Debuts Portable aera 760 GPS

Garmin’s new aera 760 intends to be more durable in the cockpit than other portable navigation solutions. Garmin

With a rugged housing and a display that’s readable in bright sunlight—and having been tested to meet strict temperature and vibration requirements that should leave it more resistant to environmental fluctuations than an iPad—Garmin’s new aera 760 aspires to be the single device pilots can take anywhere they fly. Garmin announced the new portable GPS on Wednesday, April 29.

The new portable 760 can run up to four hours on a charge, and it features a microSD card slot to upload terrain or street maps or for transferring waypoints. Bluetooth and wireless capabilities allow the pilot to use Garmin Connext wifi both in and out of the airplane. This functionality means downloading software and nav data updates can be done without a hard connection.

The user interface mirrors that of other current Garmin products, including the GTN Xi series, G3X Touch and Garmin Pilot to make the transition between those platforms easier to learn. When a procedure is loaded into the 760, a pilot can look at the chart itself or overlay it on top of the moving map. An assortment of map options are available, all geo-referenced, including IFR and VFR charts, Garmin FliteCharts—plus the ability to use Jeppesen electronic charts and thereby access approach plates worldwide.

For further preflight situational awareness, pilots can look at worldwide weather information when the 760 is connected to wifi—and access data through the GTX 345 or GDL 52 while in the cockpit. Traffic information can also be viewed on dedicated pages on the unit. If a user can hardwire the 760’s power, audio, and dual RS-232 connections, the portable can link to navigators such as the GTN 650Xi/750Xi, GTN 650/750, or the GNS 430W/530W—and the products will stay synced throughout the flight. It can even connect to selected autopilots, enabling the capability to fly a VNAV profile (while in visual conditions).

With a long list of other features, the unit packs a lot into a single device. Garmin’s list price on the aera 760 is $1,599.

Based in Maryland, Julie is an editor, aviation educator, and author. She holds an airline transport pilot certificate with Douglas DC-3 and CE510 (Citation Mustang) type ratings. She's a CFI/CFII since 1993, specializing in advanced aircraft and flight instructor development. Follow Julie on Twitter @julieinthesky.

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