Garmin’s New Take on VHF Radios

Internal database makes navcom frequency selection a breeze.

Garmin GNC 255

Garmin GNC 255

** Garmin GNC 255**

Garmin today introduced a series of VHF comm and navcom radios that redefine what the modern aviation transceiver can and should be.

The GTR 225 and GNC 255 series stand-alone radios replace Garmin’s SL 30 and SL 40 units with a modern take on the trusty VHF navcom by including features like automatic frequency lookup by identifier or station name, a nearest list and the ability to store more than a dozen frequently used frequencies.

The secret behind the GTR and GNC series radios is an internal database that, among other things, shows the station identifier when the pilot tunes a particular frequency. The inclusion of a database also adds reverse-lookup capability, allowing users to tune a frequency just by entering its name, similar to the radio tuning capability built into the G1000 avionics system.

The VHF comm GTR and navcom GNC radios can also find the nearest airport, control center, flight service station, weather frequencies and VORs by accessing the internal frequency database. All models of the radios also include a comm monitor function that provides the utility of two radios in one, allowing the pilot to listen to ATIS transmissions without leaving the active ATC frequency, for example.

Additionally, the radios can automatically store the 20 most recently used frequencies as well as the 15 most-used frequencies. All models also include a built-in, voice-activated two-place intercom.

Available with 25-kHz or 8.33-kHz channel spacing, the GNC 255 series navcom radios offer all of the same comm features of the GTR 225 series, while also adding VOR/ILS and glideslope capability. The GNC series is compatible with certain Garmin avionics systems including the G500, G600, G500H and G3X to display the nav indications and integrates with most autopilots.

Besides being more capable, the GTR and GNC series radios are also more powerful than their SL-series predecessors with versions available with 10- or 16-watt transmit power, allowing for increased transmission range.

There are five versions of the new radios in all: The GTR 225 includes 10 watts of transmit power and 25-kHz frequency spacing for $1,995. The GTR 225A adds 8.33-kHz frequency spacing for $2,995. And the GTR 225B includes 8.33-kHz spacing and 16-watt transmit power for $3,995. The GNC 255A radio, meanwhile, includes 10 watts of transmit power for $4,495 and the GNC 255B includes 16 watts of transmit power for $5,495. Both GNC models include 8.33-kHz spacing, which will be required throughout Europe starting in 2018.

All of the new products have received FAA TSO approval and will start shipping to U.S. customers next month. The radios will be available in Europe later in the first quarter, Garmin said.