New ADS-B transponders from Garmin include iPad option

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Many pilots may be wondering how there can possibly be another ADS-B product, what with a slew of options from Garmin, L-3, Aspen, Appareo, Avidyne and Freeflight already out there. Isn’t the market full? It’s certainly crowded, but Garmin’s introduction this week of a new series of 1090 MHz ADS-B Out transponders is noteworthy for a few reasons.

Garmin GTX 345 panel
Garmin’s all-in-one ADS-B Out transponder is a good upgrade option for iPad pilots.

First, it fills a gap in Garmin’s ADS-B lineup, which has been heavy on 978 MHz options (like the GDL 88 and GDL 84) but light on the more popular 1090ES option – which accounts for over 75% of the ADS-B installs to date. Secondly, it finally offers an upgrade path for all the G1000 glass cockpit airplanes who have been unable to upgrade to ADS-B efficiently. Finally, the new products extend Garmin’s push into the connected cockpit world, by integrating panel avionics with tablets and portable GPSs.

Garmin’s announcement consists of two main products, the GTX 335 and the GTX 345. The 335 is an ADS-B Out only product (meaning no weather or traffic reception via ADS-B In), but it offers an affordable, easy-to-install package that will be particularly attractive for older airplanes in need of a new transponder. It is available with a built-in WAAS GPS for $3795 or without a GPS for $2995.

The GTX 345 is a deluxe ADS-B solution, including 1090ES ADS-B Out as well as dual band ADS-B In. The subscription-free weather and traffic received over ADS-B In can be displayed on your iPad (Garmin Pilot or ForeFlight apps), Android (Garmin Pilot app) or portable GPS (aera 796/795). It includes a FlightStream to make the wireless link from panel to portable. The GTX 345 is available with a built-in WAAS GPS for $5795 or without a GPS for $4995.

GTX 345 ADS-B Out
The new GTX 335/345 is the same size as Garmin’s popular GTX 327/330 Mode C transponders.

Perhaps the biggest news is for G1000-equipped aircraft: remote versions of each box (GTX 335R and 345R) are available, and will be approved for installation on a number of models. The list includes the Cessna 172/182/206, Diamond DA-40/42, Beech Bonanza and Baron, Piper PA-28/34/44/46, and Mooney M20TN/M20R/M20M. Most of these airplanes haven’t had a good option for ADS-B Out until now.

How is an aircraft owner supposed to choose from all the options? We would consider three steps:

  1. Choose whether the 1090ES or 978 UAT option makes sense. 978 is usually less expensive on the hardware side, but more expensive on the installation cost since it is a remote box. 978 may only be used in the US and below 18,000 ft, so it isn’t a good option for pressurized or turbocharged airplanes. If your current Mode C transponder is in good shape, though, a 978 upgrade may make sense.
  2. Next, decide whether you need a WAAS GPS. This is required to meet the FAA’s mandate, but if you already have a GNS 530W or GTN 750, you do NOT need to buy another GPS (hence Garmin’s options here both with and without GPS).
  3. Finally, consider whether and how you want to get ADS-B In. This feature allows you to receive subscription-free weather and traffic, which is a great aid to situational awareness. If you do want ADS-B In, you can receive it with a portable unit (like the Stratus 2S or GDL 39) or with panel-mounted avionics like the GTX 345.

While the ADS-B mandate may not be pilots’ favorite FAA rule, and the options may be confusing, it’s safe to say that any aircraft owner considering an upgrade now has a wide market to choose from. Whether you fly an old 152 or a new TBM, there is an option for almost any airplane. Get educated, talk to your avionics shop and make plans to upgrade.

20 COMMENTS

  1. These sound like good products, however the ADS-B IN only supports Garmin and ForFlight iPad/Android Apps. I don’t use either of these. I use WingX Pro. I have friends that use other ones as well. So, that’s a deal breaker. If it isn’t and open system, I don’t buy it.

  2. Could it be that Garmin saw Appareo’s announcement (18 months ago, was it?) about their new ESG transponder (ADS-B Out, dual freq) and realized they were missing the boat? Given they chose NOT to limit these new Garmin products to the Garmin Pilot app, and I think we have our answer. Once again, typical Garmin pricing.

  3. Will the addition of GPS WAAS now enable pre 2007 G-1000 units to perform LPV approaches which were previously unavailable?

  4. Does this make anything possible for non WAAS G1000 that is not already possible with competitors’ products? Seems to be an additional ADS-B transponder with its own WAAS GPS position source?

    If so, will not be integrated with G1000 and will need to be operated separately and won’t make WAAS navigation possible at all. A fairly ugly and limited ‘solution’ for non WAAS G1000 if so. For G1000 there still does not appear to be anything that will do it properly other than the very costly WAAS upgrade and GTX33 transponder upgrade to 33ES.

  5. Good for G1000 users as they had limited options, but otherwise, the units are priced a bit high. Was anticipating lower pricing. Good to see one unit compared to two. Hope others challenge the price to result steal the market.

    • Don, the 345 model includes a FlightStream (basically the Connext bridge), so you don’t need that separate.

  6. 345 sounds like just what we want for our 182 – 1090 out and dual ADS-B In plus Connext bluetooth built in. Question though. We already have XM weather, arguably better quality and more universally available and broadcasting to iPads via wifi. Is it possible to pick and choose what gets displayed on an iPad with Foreflight from either source (specifically traffic from Garmin and weather from XM), or is it a one source or the other choice?

  7. You stated: The WAAS is for ADS-B Out compliance, it’s not available as a navigation source for approaches.
    I don’t have a GPS in my IPad, (Ordered without) was told get an Bad Elf, my second Bad elf has died in 2 years.

    Will this 345 supply a non certified GPS position to Foreflight?

    Thanks Steve

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