Delivers Weather Data to the Cockpit
leader launches its first effort to bring NEXRAD weather to its
Garmin International, the full-line avionics manufacturer
who brought you the GNS 430, the
amazing all-in-one color avionics system, is introducing yet another
interface capability that will allow pilots to get even more out
of their multi-function avionics box. Garmin is pleased to announce
that it will offer satellite-based weather data-link technology
through Echo Flight. The GNS 430 and GNS 530 will provide a display
interface with the Echo Flight data-link system.
pleased to offer pilots the kind of life-saving information that
NEXRAD weather radar can provide," said Gary Kelley, director
of marketing, Garmin International. "When we designed the GNS
430 and GNS 530 we wanted an expansive platform for flight-critical
data. Weather information was a high priority for us. However,
this is definitely just the beginning when it comes to Garmin's
ability to deliver both text and graphic weather depiction data
in the future."
"We are proud
to be working with Garmin," said Robert Kalberer, president, Echo
Flight. "The introduction of a satellite data-link in the cockpit
provides a powerful tool, significantly increasing not only the
safety, but efficiency of general aviation transportation."
data provided by Echo Flight is an alternative to other Flight
Information Systems (FIS) that are currently in development. Unlike
traditional broadcast FIS information, Echo Flight uses ORBCOMM's
network of low-earth orbit satellites to deliver weather information
to the cockpit on a request/reply basis. With Echo Flight, there
are no altitude restrictions and you can request weather data
at your current location, your destination or anywhere in between.
In order to access this data, pilots will need to purchase a transceiver
or "subscriber communicator" from Garmin that will interface with
the GNS 430 and GNS 530. Users will then subscribe to a monthly
service through Echo Flight. In addition to providing NEXRAD service,
pilots will also be able to view graphical and textual weather
information such as METAR and TAF. The service offered by Echo
Flight will also make it possible for pilots to send and receive
e-mail from the cockpit, as well as send position reports.
GNS 430 and GNS 530 combine an IFR GPS/comm with VOR, LOC, glideslope
and a full-color moving map. While the GNS 430 boasts a four-inch
diagonal display, the GNS 530 offers an impressive five-inch diagonal
communicator will be available from Garmin at a suggested retail
price of $2495. The subscription service from Echo Flight will
cost around $40 a month. Garmin will make the NEXRAD weather data
available to pilots during the summer of 2000.
is located in Boulder, Colorado. The company has been involved
in the development and licensing of general aviation safety products
since 1994. For more information on Echo Flight, please call (303)
413-9002 or visit their Web site at www.echoflight.com.