comm and VLOC radios in a single unit.
The GTN 650 is the same exact size as the
GNS 430, so it fits in panels with
restricted space. The GTN 750’s overall
height is 6 inches, compared to the 2. 65
inches of the 650, so it does require
considerably more panel space. The 750
screen measures 6. 9 inches diagonally,
and the resolution is fabulous with more
than five times the pixels of the 530.
Because the 750 can control a remotely
mounted audio panel and transponder,
those boxes can move out of the
instrument panel into any available space,
helping the 750 fit in most radio stacks.
Actually, the part of the 750 that extends
behind the panel is much smaller than the
display, so the remote audio control and
transponder can stack behind the display,
using no more panel space.
The extra display size of the 750 allows
it to be a full multi-function display
showing IFR charts, Garmin’s Safe Taxi
airport diagram, XM Weather, traffic,
terrain, and full-capability moving maps.
Flight plan management on the GTN
series is greatly simplified compared to
the 430/530s. Instead of knob twisting to
enter the identifier for an airport or fix
along your route, you touch a keypad on
the screen. The small size of the GTN 650
demands that you make two touches to call
up the characters, but on the 750 a full
alphanumeric keypad appears.
You can also do graphic flight planning
by touching fixes shown on the moving
map. Or you can use your finger to “drag”
a leg of the flight plan on the map over to
a different fix and enter that into the flight
plan by tapping the fix. This feature will be
useful in crowded airspace where re-routes
are common. With the airways called up on
the display you won’t need to hunt around
on the chart to find the new routing you
were just cleared to fly.
With the airways called
up on the display you
won’t need to hunt
around on the chart.
I think the most common use of the
graphic flight planning capability will be
when deviating around weather. You can
simply drag your route on the display over to
a point where you clear the weather shown
on the moving map and tell the controller
you want to go to that point. You can graphi-
cally move your route to any spot on the
display, not just to published fixes, and you
will see bearing and distance to that spot. So,
you could then ask the controller to deviate
left or right so many degrees for so many
miles and know that you are flying to a spot
that doesn’t show a Nexrad radar target.
Garmin's new touch-screen units were publicly unveiled at Sun 'n Fun in Lakeland, Florida in March.
To see the GTN 750/650 in the real world,
Garmin’s Ben Kowalski and I filed an IFR
flight plan along airways from my home base
in Muskegon, Michigan, over to Lansing.
The weather was marginal VFR with a ceiling barely above the 1,000-foot minimum, so
we would be flying in actual conditions.
Ben and I had talked about the new features of the GTN series over lunch, but in