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First GPS Navigator Approved For Precision Approach

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Oshkosh WI (SPX) Jul 27, 2004
Garmin International, a unit of Garmin Ltd, Monday introduced the GNS 480 at the 2004 EAA AirVenture Fly-In, marking the company's latest addition to its popular line of integrated panel-mount avionics. The GNS 480 will be positioned between the GNS 430 and GNS 530.

It will be certified to TSO C146a Gamma-3 specifications, which provide enhanced navigation capabilities to the pilot, including precision approaches and primary-means GPS guidance via the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS).

As aviation's first GPS navigator approved for precision approach operations, the GNS 480 is based on the ApolloCNX80 and meets the highest level of certification for WAAS navigation. Previously, Instrument Landing System (ILS) availability was needed for a precision approach in low- visibility conditions.

With the GNS 480, that will all change! Upon FAA approval, the GNS 480 will utilize satellite-based navaids for precise lateral and vertical approach guidance - similar to ILS operations - without the need for ground-based navaids of any kind.

Avionics certified to Gamma-3 requirements are approved to fly the FAA's new precision approaches, since these new landing procedures will support instrument approaches with lateral and vertical guidance to the most stringent standards.

"WAAS precision approaches promise to redefine the airspace system in terms of navigation and capacity, so we're excited to help General Aviation pilots take a quantum leap forward with the GNS 480," said Gary Kelley, Garmin's director of marketing.

"In the GNS 480, pilots will have a state-of- the-art avionics unit that offers them primary GPS navigation during various phases of flight and the ability to shoot an ILS-like approach into thousands of airports that do not currently have ILS capabilities."

At the heart of the GNS 480 is a 15-channel WAAS receiver that updates the aircraft's position at a rate of five times per second. Like Garmin's other integrated avionics, the GNS 480 provides oceanic-approved IFR GPS/NAV/COM functionality and ILS/VOR capabilities - but does so on a 3.8-inch (diagonal), 256-color moving-map display.

It can tune and interface with a remote transponder, such as the GTX 33, Garmin's new solid-state Mode S transponder that can be used to deliver traffic advisories to the GNS 480 via the FAA's Traffic Information Service (TIS). With a TIS datalink, pilots essentially see what ATC sees, including trend vectors and altitude data of nearby aircraft.

The GNS 480 is designed to work seamlessly with the Garmin MX20 multi- function display (MFD). When coupled with the MX20, range changes performed on the GNS 480 are simultaneously reflected on the MFD.

When the pilot selects an approach on the GNS 480, the approach plate is automatically depicted on the MX20 with optional JeppesenChart View. Pilots can also view a vertical profile of the approach using the MFD's split-screen capability.

Working in tandem with standard autopilots that accept roll-steering commands, the GNS 480 behaves like a high-end flight management system (FMS) by providing the necessary guidance data to fly the aircraft through all approach procedures.

The GNS 480 is expected to be available in August 2004 with a suggested retail price of $11,995.

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