Florida-based Gulf Coast Avionics has completed its first dual Garmin G600 TXi glass touchscreen avionics upgrade on a 1993 Beechcraft King Air B200 turboprop. “King Airs are unquestionably the most popular turboprops, and Garmin provides the most capable touchscreen displays,” says president and CEO Rick Garcia. “When we put them both together, we create an aircraft that will deliver unmatched capabilities, efficiency, reliability and safety. As part of an extremely active EMS operation, the pilots who fly this King Air will find those attributes especially beneficial.”
“The very nature of EMS operations requires this aircraft to fly to all kinds of airports, and in all kinds of weather,” he continues. “The large-format, touchscreen G600 TXi displays, coupled to the dual GTN 750s give the pilots the flexibility to quickly and easily configure the display to meet their exact preference, which greatly increases situational awareness while reducing workload and stress.”
Gulf Coast Avionics' engineering team worked with the aircraft's owner to create an entirely new layout that maximises the flight crew's ability to take full advantage of the Garmin technology and capabilities.
“When this aircraft left the factory in 1993, they'd never have imagined what kinds of capabilities and safety-enhancing features it would have nearly 30 years later,” says sales manager Matt Schloss. “The way it's equipped, there's no doubt that it will provide life-saving services for decades to come.”
Along with the array of advanced features, another benefit to the Garmin upgrade is the significantly increased reliability of the avionics and a considerable reduction in the aircraft's gross weight. “During the installation, we were able to remove a lot of the old plumbing and gauges along with bundles of old wiring, all of which will sooner or later lead to escalating maintenance costs and aircraft downtime,” notes Schloss. “In addition, weight reduction means the operator can carry more medical equipment and supplies. It's a win/win all around.”
The upgrade includes dual Garmin 10.6” G600 TXi touchscreen displays; dual Garmin GTN 750 touchscreen GPS/COMM/NAVs; Garmin GMA 35c remote audio panel; Garmin GTX 345 ADS-B Out/In remote transponder; Garmin GTX 335 ADS-B Out remote transponder; Garmin GDL 69A XM weather datalink receiver; Garmin GSB 15 USB power ports; mid-Continent MD302 standby attitude module (SAM); integration solutions for the existing Rockwell Collins APS-65 autopilot and BendixKing RDR-2000 weather radar; and a custom designed and manufactured metal instrument panel.
“We are extremely proud of the way this King Air upgrade turned out,” Garcia says. “Not only because of the new-generation capabilities we were able to add, but, more importantly, because of the life-saving type of missions this aircraft and its crews are called upon to fly. Talking to the operators, they are extremely happy with the way the upgrade turned out. They're already working with our engineering team to design the upgrade for another of their King Airs. You can't ask for anything more than a satisfied customer.”
Gulf Coast Avionics was appointed the first Garmin avionics dealer in 1990 and has received Garmin's prestigious Platinum Award for leading sales for 30 consecutive years.