Garmin International 's supplemental type certification (STC) by the FAA for the GI 275 electronic flight instrument in Part 27 VFR helicopters is expected to be completed in March. The GI 275 is a scalable, cost-conscious approach to an avionics upgrade that is a direct replacement for a variety of legacy primary flight instruments in the cockpit, including the primary attitude indicator, course deviation indicator (CDI), horizontal situation indicator (HSI), or the multi-function display (MFD).
“We are thrilled to bring the popular and extraordinarily capable GI 275 to the helicopter market,” says vice president of aviation sales and marketing Carl Wolf. “The GI 275 electronic flight instrument can provide helicopter owners and operators an impressive amount of information in a lightweight and compact design that's easy to incorporate into a variety of panels. It's an economical and scalable approach to upgrade your avionics, and we look forward to making this versatile touchscreen flight display available on even more rotorcraft soon.”
The GI 275 is intentionally designed to take advantage of the common 3.125-inch flight instrument size, reducing installation time and preserving the existing instrument panel. Its bright, high-resolution touchscreen display and wide viewing angle offer superior readability in the cockpit. In addition to interfacing with the flight instrument via the touchscreen, a dual concentric knob allows pilots to access a variety of key functions. Suitable as a direct replacement to many ageing flight instruments, the GI 275 offers operators a simple and straightforward upgrade path to achieve modern flight instrument features and functions.
When installed as a primary attitude indicator, the GI 275 offers improved reliability, potential weight savings and reduced maintenance compared to less reliable, vacuum-driven attitude indicators. Optional Helicopter Synthetic Vision Technology (HSVT) overlays a rich, 3D topographic view of terrain, traffic, obstacles, power lines, airport signposts and more, all within the GI 275 attitude display. Additional features include the display of outside air temperature, groundspeed, as well as true airspeed and wind information on the attitude indicator, and wireless functionality like sharing of GPS position and backup attitude information to the Garmin Pilot mobile application.
When installed as a course deviation indicator (CDI) or horizontal situation indicator (HSI), the GI 275 is designed to accept a variety of GPS and navigation inputs, allowing up to two GPS sources and two VHF navigation sources. The GI 275 features an omni bearing resolver that allows the flight instrument to interface to a variety of legacy navigators on the market without the need for an expensive adapter. With an optional magnetometer, it is also capable of providing magnetic-based HSI guidance. The HSI can also provide enhanced features such as map inset and traffic, terrain or weather overlay. Selecting the CDI source is simple and can be accomplished through the touchscreen interface, while course and heading selection is completed using either the touchscreen or dual concentric knob.
When helicopter owners replace an older mechanical CDI or HSI, the GI 275 doubles as a modern digital indicator and adds multi-function display (MFD)-like capabilities such as a moving map, weather, traffic, obstacles, WireAware power lines, SafeTaxi airport diagrams and five-colour terrain shading. For backup navigation information, a built-in VFR GPS enables convenient direct-to navigation guidance, displaying aircraft position information on a moving map. HTAWS (Helicopter Terrain Awareness and Warning System) is available on the GI 275 and offers forward-looking terrain and obstacle avoidance (FLTA) capability to alert in advance where potential hazards may exist. The GI 275 can also be paired with Garmin's GRA 55 or GRA 5500 radar altimeters or other select third party products to display altitude above ground level (AGL) while also providing visual and aural annunciations to the pilot.
The GI 275 will soon be available for installation in select Part 27 FAA-registered helicopters, including the Bell 206 as an attitude indicator, CDI, HSI or MFD. Additional approvals for the AS350 series as well as select Robinson Helicopter models are expected in the second half of 2022.