Garmin recently announced their next-generation retrofit flight display, the G500 and G600 TXi. This all-new new avionics system is available in a variety of configurations and can function as a Primary Flight Display (PFD), Multifunction Flight Display (MFD), engine-monitoring system, or all of the above. The system only has a few buttons and knobs on the bezel, and is controlled primarily using the large touchscreen display.
While the layout and organization of the menus and controls will look very familiar to pilots who have experience with other Garmin avionics, like the G1000 of GTN750, there are lots of new capabilities for pilots to learn. Fortunately, Garmin released a TXi training app for iPad to make for a seamless transition process. Best of all, the app is free, making it a great way for prospective buyers to get a good feel for all that the system can do.
The app includes a full airport, chart, terrain and synthetic vision database for the U.S, and a worldwide Jeppesen Navigation database, so you should give yourself some extra time to download the large 2.4GB app. It’s worth the wait though since it will allow you to simulate a realistic training experience just about anywhere on earth you might want to fly.
When you first launch the app you’ll see a settings screen that allows you to configure various display options:
Aircraft type: Single or Multi Engine
Display: 7″ Portrait Display, 7″ Landscape Display or 10″ Display
Layout: PFD, MFD, or EIS (engine instruments), or a combination of those for the 10″ display option
Options: PFD and EIS alignment, on-screen flight controls, database preference
After selecting your preferences, the screen comes to life and presents the same initialization and status confirmations that you’d see on the real thing. Similar to the GTN650/750 training app, the TXi simulator includes on-screen flight controls to quickly change airspeed, heading and altitude.
The app includes a special Demo button on the MFD home screen to select a starting airport and flight parameters. The Demo screen includes controls to set the winds aloft, starting fuel and fuel burn, providing the opportunity to set up every last detail for the flight. You can even simulate component failures, such as GPS or the magnetometer, to see how it affects the flight display and moving map.
The G500/G600 TXi is a very capable system and the app includes just about every function from the real display. On the PFD you can practice changing flight bugs, fly with synthetic vision, and customize the interactive HSI map.
The MFD allows you to interact with the moving map, traffic display, datalink weather (both ADS-B and SiriusXM), terrain, charts and flight planning.
When configured with the engine display, you can practice using the fuel totalizer controls and lean assist modes.
If nothing else, the app is worth checking out just to see the latest in what Garmin has to offer for a modern panel-mount flight display system.