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Garmin Introduces Budget-Conscious Nav/Com Radios for Light Planes

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Prodded along perhaps by recent competition in the low-end com radio market, Garmin on Wednesday announced it will debut two new units targeted closely to replacing the legacy BendixKing KX155s and the like, fitting their form factor and dialing down the cost while keeping certain familiar Garmin functionality. The Garmin GTR 205 com and GNC 215 nav/com radios incorporate a full-color LCD screen along with a full feature set in a 1.3-inch-high bezel—an easy replacement for the SL20 and SL30 series.

“The GTR 205 and GNC 215 products show Garmin’s commitment to offering attractive and affordable ground-based navigation and communication options while continuing to provide world-class, modern capabilities,” said Carl Wolf, Garmin’s vice president of aviation sales and marketing. “We are excited to offer these new solutions for our general aviation customers as we keep our entire product line fresh.”

With a worldwide database and an iteration of Garmin’s unique user interface, the GTR 205 and GNC 215 can be installed in either airplanes or helicopters, according to the company.

Additional features for both units start with a pilot-selectable 25 kHz or 8.33 kHz channel spacing on a sunlight-readable color LCD with standby and active windows and station ID, accessed using dual concentric knobs and backlit keys.

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The GTR 205 com is a 2,280-channel-capable VHF com and comes with 10 watts of power standard, with a 16-watt option available. It also has a built-in timer.

The GNC 215 nav/com adds to the 205 its full VHF navigation capabilities, including VOR/ILS functionality with a glideslope receiver. You can use the 215’s navaid lookup feature as well as refer to the on-screen station ID.

“The GNC 215 also has the ability to monitor the standby VOR frequency while displaying the received radial and features a supplemental CDI display for a VOR or localizer,” Garmin said in its release. “These nav/com products interface with most CDI, HSI and autopilot systems, as well as most Garmin flight displays to show the nav indicators in the primary field of view.”

Pricing is $2,695 suggested retail to start for the GTR 205, and $5,295 for the GNC 215. Both have received FAA TSO authorization and will be available in March through Garmin’s dealer network.

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