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uAvionix AV-30-C (certified)

For those looking for an additional attitude indicator that can be installed “anywhere in the panel”, then the uAvionix AV-30-C could be  an option (at least for GA aircraft). The AV-30-C may be installed in most GA aircraft using an existing EASA AML STC. The unit fits in a standard 3 1/8″ hole but the maximum 6-32 screw length protruding the unit is limited to 3-4 threads?!! Initial startup indicated a failed battery right out of the box but after an hour or so and after several restarts it seems that the battery came back to life, started to charge and finally got to 100% charge. The D-Sub connector included in the installation kit including the back shell made out of plastic, possibly the cheapest uAvionix could find?  The installation manual states that the unit is factory calibrated to highest standards but our unit displayed 48kts when the test set Barfield, Aspen E5 and analogue ASI were almost spot on 40kts. The altimeter was of by about +30ft or so. This unit is not TSO’d (technical standard order) but should be equivalent as it is approved for installation in certified aircraft. We were able to “adjust” the ASI and altimeter to be within spec’s. Now its time to hand over the instrument for real world flight testing and see what the owner’s think.

Piper PA28-161 and Garmin upgrade

Piper PA28-161 with upgraded with a standard Garmin package including GMA345 audio panel, GTN650Xi COM/NAV/GPS, GNC255A COM/NAV, GTX330ES (ADS-B out), GFC500 autopilot pitch/roll/trim and dual G5’s attitude and HSI with OAT option. GSB15 USB charger port on the pilot side.

Garmin G5 EFIS in a Piper PA28-140

In 2018 this aircraft got a new avionics package but the original VAC driven attitude indicator and directional gyro was kept in the panel. Due to failing instruments it was decided to replace the existing instruments for 2 ea Garmin G5 EFIS attitude and HSI. The STC defines in which position the instruments must be installed but in this case – since basic T could not be achieved we decided (after consultation with Garmin) to install the G5’s in the same location were the old attitude indicator and directional gyro was installed. The installation includes an OAT module GAD13 and there is still room for a Garmin GFC500 autopilot in case the owner wishes to add this later on.

Garmin GI275 ADAHRS + AP

Repairing old vacuum driven instruments like the Bendix/King KI256 attitude indicator and KG107 directional gyro may become quite expensive. For those who have a fully functional working autopilot like in this case the King KAP100 the vac gyros may be replaced with 2 ea Garmin GI275 EFIS displays. The GI275 ADAHRS + AP version is able to emulate the KI256 attitude indicator signals required by the KAP100 series autopilots.  The acronym ADAHRS +AP means AD – Air Data, AHRS – Attitude Heading Reference System and finally, AP – autopilot. With dual GI275 ADAHRS instruments it is possible to remove almost all other instruments except for the ADF indicator (the GI275 is not able to display ADF bearing). In this case most of the old analogue instruments remain installed including the NAV2 CDI.

G5 EFIS and GFC500 autopilot in PA28-181 Archer III

This aircraft already had a G5 installed as an attitude indicator and now it was time to replace the VAC driven directional gyro for a G5 HSI, remove the mechanical VAC system and the electrical standby VAC system. The installation includes a GAD13 OAT interface for true airspeed and a Garmin GFC500 2 axis autopilot with automatic pitch trim.

Garmin G3X EFIS in a Piper PA28-181

Garmin G3X EFIS display with a Garmin G5 EFIS display configured as a backup for the G3X. GMA345 audio panel, GTN650Xi COM/NAV/GPS, GTX335 ADS-B out transponder and GFC500 pitch/roll autopilot.

The GNC255A COM/NAV2, King ADF/DME was already in the panel. The GTN650Xi, GNC255A and GTX335 may be remote controlled directly via the G3X touch screen (both active and standby frequencies and database lookup is visible on the G3X). The G3X also displays which COM1/2 has been selected on the audio panel. The G3X includes synthetic vision and either a full or split screen function with the map on the right hand side of the PFD.

The G3X has Garmin Connext functionality (Bluetooth) so that the Pilot may use the Garmin Pilot application to upload flight plans to the G3X and GTN650Xi. (The G3X Connext does not support wireless database updates ).

The existing King DME was connected to the GNC255A COM/NAV2 for remote channeling and is also able to display DME data in its display. A Garmin GSB15 USB charger for portable devices was installed on the pilots panel.

Garmin GI275 EFIS, EASA STC Rev 1.

Our latest completed project in a Piper PA28-140 includes a GMA345 audio panel, GTN650Xi COM/NAV/GPS with FS510 WiFi/Bluetooth module, GFC500 pitch/roll autopilot and dual Garmin GI275 ADAHRS units with internal battery backup in both units. The existing King KT74 transponder was connected to the GTN650Xi for ADS-B out. The latest revision of the GI275 EASA STC’s allows that all analogue instruments may be removed (except the magnetic swing compass).

Garmin parts and extended lead times

Garmin recently announced extended lead times for many of their baseline aviation parts such as GTN, GNC, GTR, GNX, GTX345 etc due to parts supplier issues. Currently all existing and new orders are subject to a 6 month lead time (that might be extended). Other parts like G5, GI275, GFC500, G3X, GTX335 were parts are available still suffer from extended delivery times, in some cases up to 14 weeks.

Garmin also states that dealers should not start any installations until it is confirmed that all necessary parts have been shipped from Garmin.

This means that we will need to re-evaluate our waiting list and prioritize customers that are looking for parts that are available like Garmin G5 and GFC500 installations.

Garmin GI275 EFIS vs Garmin G5

So what is the difference?

GI275 contains everything inside the unit (no extra boxes are required for the standard installation ADI/HSI). Its mounted from the behind in an existing instrument hole, it’s the “real thing” when it comes to build quality solid aluminium chassis (in some cases heavier than a traditional VAC driven directional gyro), TSO certified, it has Connext wireless capability, touch screen, internal VFR GPS (if enabled), capable of displaying synthetic vision (option), internal navigation/terrain/obstacle databases, can interface to almost everything and if you have 2 ea GI275 ADAHRS you can remove existing airspeed, altimeter, turn coordinator, vertical speed indicator and possibly also existing NAV CDI’s.

The Garmin G5 need’s a separate OAT module (GAD13), it need’s a separate ARINC adapter (GAD29B) that connects the GTN/GNS GPS and NAV to the G5, you will need to keep the basic T intact (airspeed, altimeter, turn coordinator and vertical speed indicator can not be removed).  However the G5 has 3 advantages over the GI275 and that is excellent integration with the GFC500 autopilot (the G5 and GFC500 is practically built as a system made for eachother), much lower weight (the weight of the GI275 may be an issue in some aircraft instrument panels) and the lower price? Well the G5 is quite expensive compared to the GI275 if you also take into account all the features that the GI275 EFIS offers.

One common good thing for both GI275 and G5 is that you can most likely remove the existing VAC system. (G5 can not emulate the attitude signals that the Century autopilot requires but then again, a Garmin GFC500 autopilot is the way to go).

Garmin Flight Stream FS210 Bluetooth interface for legacy units (GN430W/530W)

The Garmin Flight Stream 210 Bluetooth interface has been available for many year’s however not that many know that this unit may be installed and connected to an older device such as the Garmin GNS430W COM/NAV/GPS.  The FS210 enables flight plan transfer between the GNS430W and a portable device with the Garmin Pilot software package. The FS210 has a built in AHRS (attitude heading reference) and the aircraft’s attitude may be displayed in the Garmin Pilot application. The FS210 does not have the capability to update any databases and if you have a Garmin GTN series navigator we recommend the Garmin Flight Stream FS510 that contains both Bluetooth and WiFI (for database updates). The FS510 simply slides into the SD card slot located in the front panel of every GTN series navigator making the physical installation very simple. The FS210 may also be interfaced with legacy Garmin G1000 systems (GDU display unit software version 15.00 and above)