Garmin’s long-awaited G600, a retrofit glass panel made for the general aviation fleet, is nearing certification.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman got to see the G600 up close during a demo flight in Garmin’s Mooney M20J and will have a full report in the magazine.
The G600 has two 6.5-inch display screens (a primary flight display and a multifunction display) that are meant to replace the standard “six-pack” electromechanical flight instruments and greatly enhance reliability and situation awareness.
“It’s like a G1000-lite,” Hirschman said of the G600, which shares many common parts with its larger, more capable big brother. “Flying behind the G1000 is like watching a Jumbotron at a sports stadium. The G600 is like watching a flat-screen TV in your living room. It’s bright, crisp, and accessible.”
The G600 is expected to retail for just under $ 30,000—and there are discounts in place for owners of some panel-mount Garmin GPS receivers. Garmin said it took about 70 shop hours to install the G600 in the company’s 1988 M20J, but installation times are expected to vary widely among the hundreds of aircraft types the company hopes will eventually carry the glass panels.
Garmin first announced the G600 program in 2006 and planned to get the new product to market last year. But a company decision to install a new type of screen delayed the project by about 12 months. Garmin now expects to gain FAA approval and begin G600 deliveries this summer.