Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Next Step In Glass Panels

Garmin’s new G2000 flat-panel display introduces total touch screen—almost

When Iceland control cleared us for descent, I punched in the numbers, and the airplane descended to the runway 19 glideslope and tracked inbound. I had only to adjust power, deploy the wheels and flaps for the landing, disengage the autopilot at the DH and land. The Iceland Air captain was dazzled. He had obviously seen the same capabilities flying the line, but he had no idea an eight-seat medium twin could perform the same tricks.

I spent some time testing the new G2000 system and discussing the concept with the company's West Coast Marketing Manager, Mike Young. The new avionics system is designed to operate along the lines of a smart phone, a feature that should help endear it to new pilots.

Pilots privileged to fly Garmin's predecessor G1000 either complain about the complexity or boast about its simplicity, and that may be partially a result of all the well-marked knobs and switches. The G2000's move to touch screen is a significant leap ahead in technology, and it's now become even more telegraphic.

Borrowing on the introductory toe-in-the-water Garmin touch-screen aera portables, the G2000 takes touch screen to the next level, with larger, more readable icons, and that should make it irresistible to many manufacturers who have enthusiastically embraced the G1000.
The G2000's move to touch screen is a significant leap ahead in technology, and it's now become even more telegaphic.
That system is installed in the vast majority of Beech, Cessna, Diamond, Mooney, Pilatus, Piper and Socata aircraft built in the last half-dozen years, and Garmin hopes most of those same manufacturers will embrace the G2000 as the replacement avionics suite.

If you cleverly surmised that the G2000 is intended to fill the gap between the predominately, piston-installed G1000 and the more upscale G3000, you're correct. (The three-screen G3000 is installed in a variety of light jets and other Part 23 turbine equipment with a second PFD mounted directly in front of the copilot.) The G2000 uses only two rectangular screens, but they each measure 14 inches diagonally. On the Corvalis TTX installation, the G2000 covers practically the entire panel.

The right MFD may be employed in vertical, split-screen mode to display the usual engine-system gauges at far left, the normal moving map in the center and an approach plate or NEXRAD weather depiction to the far right. Alternately, you can use most of the screen to present a large moving map.

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