Garmin’s Team X has developed new equipment for experimental and light sport aircraft, providing new audio panel options and an electronic flight instrument.
Garmin’s GMA 245 and remotely mounted GMA 245R audio panels provide “home theatre sound quality to the cockpit,” says Carl Wolf, Garmin’s vice president of aviation sales and marketing. The new audio panels also provide a host of new features, including Garmin’s 3D Audio technology, which targets audio input to different areas of the headset to make it easier for the pilot to distinguish between communications sources, and Bluetooth connectivity for music and phone calls through a smartphone or tablet.
The Bluetooth connectivity also allows audio to be streamed directly to a Garmin Virb XE video camera without the constraints of hard-wire connections.
Both the GMA 245 and GMA 245R integrate with the G3X touch-screen avionics system. However, the GMA 245 can also be used as a standalone unit.
The $1,199 GMA 245R is expected to be available in April while the GMA 245, which runs $1,325, will follow about one month later.
Garmin also announced the G5 electronic flight instrument for the experimental/LSA market. This unit is designed to fit into a standard 3 1/8-inch panel slot. While the G5 can be used as a backup to the G3X or other EFIS system and its size is that of a backup instrument, it can also be used as a primary flight instrument. In addition to providing primary flight data, the G5 integrates with some of Garmin’s autopilot equipment.
The G5 is expected to ship in April for a price tag of $1,199. A $150 backup battery for the G5 is in development and is expected in June.