Garmin‘s introduction of the GNC 355 GPS navigator gives aircraft owners yet another compelling choice for the latest in GPS-derived WAAS LPV approach guidance in a package with a moving map and built-in comm radio.
Intended for Class I/II aircraft weighing 6,000 pounds of less or Experimental/Amateur-Built (EAB) aircraft, the GNC 355 includes a touchscreen in a standard 6.25-inch wide by 2-inch tall design.
Garmin said at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh the STC is “imminent” and will be available next month from Garmin Authorized Dealers for more than 700 aircraft makes and models.
“Based on the popularity of legacy products like the GX 60 and the GNC 250/300XL, as well as customer excitement for our new GPS 175 and GNX 375, we’re pleased to bring the GNC 355 to market,” said Carl Wolf, Garmin vice president of aviation sales and marketing. “The GNC 355 gives value-minded customers a simple upgrade path to a GPS navigator with a number of capabilities including WAAS/LPV approach guidance, wireless connectivity, a modern Comm radio, and with its standard mark-width form factor, pilots can easily add the GNC 355 without overhauling the panel of their aircraft.”
Garmin says the user interface has been optimized for the smaller size of the display, while the unit also retains the familiar menu structure found in other Garmin GPS navigators. “Pilots can quickly access direct-to functionality, moving map, flight plan, nearest, procedures, waypoint and terrain pages, as well as frequency information using the touchscreen, and create customizable data fields and short cuts for quick, one-touch access to important information,” the avionics maker said.
Fully WAAS/SBAS IFR-approach-capable, the GNC 355 gives pilots the benefit of flying LPV, as well as Area Navigation (RNAV) approaches. Many approaches offer vertical approach guidance down to altitudes as low as 200-feet above ground level (AGL). Pilots can also take advantage of the touchscreen and moving map to generate customized holding patterns over an existing fix in the navigation database or over a user-defined waypoint and easily insert it into a flight plan. In addition, visual approaches are available within the GNC 355 and provide lateral and vertical approach guidance in visual flight conditions.
Two versions, the GNC 355 and GNC 355A, are available, the first with 25-kHz frequency channel spacing and other 8.33-kHz spacing. Using the internal frequency database, airport, weather, Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) and Flight Service Station (FSS) frequencies are easy to find and can be loaded to the standby position by selecting the frequency from the airport information page. Recent, nearby and saved frequencies also offer easy access to frequency information. For example, with built-in standby frequency monitoring, pilots can listen to ATIS while monitoring tower frequency simultaneously. The airport identifier and frequency type are also displayed below the frequency so pilots can communicate with confidence.
The GNC 355 can interface with Garmin’s G3X Touch flight display for experimental and certified aircraft, the G5 electronic flight instrument, the GFC 500 and GFC 600 autopilots, as well as select third-party autopilots and Garmin’s GTX 345 or GDL 88 ADS-B receivers, Garmin said. Course deviation and roll steering outputs can also be coupled to the GFC 500/GFC 600 autopilots and select third-party autopilots so procedures such as holds, radius-to-fix (RF) legs and missed approaches may be flown using the autopilot. Aircraft owners can also retain many of their existing flight instruments, audio panels and many legacy CDI/EHSI indicators such as the KI 208/209 products.
When paired with one of the Garmin ADS-B In receivers, the GNC 355 is capable of displaying subscription-free flight information service-broadcast (FIS-B) weather and ADS-B traffic targets, which includes patented TargetTrend and TerminalTraffic. Wireless Connext cockpit connectivity offers flight plan transfer via Bluetooth to and from compatible portable devices and tablets or smartphones running the Garmin Pilot and FltPlan Go apps. Pilots can also use the Flight Stream 510 to access the wireless benefits of Garmin’s Database Concierge, which uploads aviation database information from the Garmin Pilot app to the GNC 355 in minutes.
The GNC 355 and GNC 355A will go on sale with starting list prices of $6,995 and $7,695 respectively. European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) validation is expected in. the future, Garmin said. A free GNC 355 trainer app is also available for download on Apple mobile devices.