A huge ad­vance

Pilot - - AIRMAIL -

Al­most as soon as it hit the mar­ket, the avi­a­tion com­mu­nity was unan­i­mous that the Garmin G1000 rep­re­sented the fu­ture of avion­ics, and the sys­tem soon es­tab­lished its pre-em­i­nence in the GA world. It re­ally did rep­re­sent a huge ad­vance in avion­ics and its lat­est it­er­a­tion, the G1000 NXI con­tin­ues this up­ward tra­jec­tory. Although it may look es­sen­tially the same as the orig­i­nal G1000, the NXI rep­re­sents a quan­tum jump in per­for­mance. How­ever, be­fore con­tin­u­ing, it is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that not all of the myr­iad fea­tures (such as an­i­mated NEXRAD datalink weather) work out­side the US and Canada and, fur­ther­more, some of the ca­pa­bil­i­ties de­tailed here are not en­abled in the Archer.

So, what is new with the NXI? We’ve al­ready touched on the wire­less con­nec­tiv­ity and dual-core pro­ces­sor, but the NXI of­fers a great deal more. Along with Safe­taxi di­a­grams of the air­port and the Ter­minal­traf­fic sys­tem (which pro­vides sur­veil­lance of Ads-b-equipped air­craft and ve­hi­cles op­er­at­ing within the air­port en­vi­ron­ment) there is now Sur­face­watch. This op­tional fea­ture not only tells you if you’re lin­ing up on the wrong run­way (or taxi­way) it also tells you if your chosen run­way is too short for a safe take­off or land­ing. It can even pro­vide run­way dis­tancere­main­ing an­nun­ci­a­tions!

Other great facets (some op­tional) are the HSI map­ping fea­ture on the PFD pri­mary flight dis­play, and of course the

syn­thetic vi­sion, geo-ref­er­enced VFR and IFR en route charts, ADS-B In and Out, TCAS I and TCAS II, elec­tronic ap­proach plates and pre­views of stan­dard air­port de­par­ture and ar­rival pro­ce­dures. There’s a flight path marker which is dis­played on the syn­thetic vi­sion and shows the calculated ef­fect of vari­ables such as air­speed and wind on the air­craft’s tra­jec­tory across the ground, and colour-coded ter­rain-shad­ing (green, yel­low and red shows if your air­craft is 2,000, 1,000 and 100 feet above the sur­face). There’s even a ver­ti­cal sit­u­a­tion dis­play (VSD) on the MFD which pro­vides a geo-ref­er­enced pro­file view (it re­sem­bles the bot­tom por­tion of an ap­proach plate) of your de­scent in re­la­tion to ter­rain sur­round­ing the air­port and your flight plan. And, of course, with WAAS Gps-based guid­ance from the au­topi­lot, you can fly ev­ery­thing from cou­pled hold­ing pat­terns to all kinds of pre­ci­sion and non-pre­ci­sion ap­proaches. And at the end of a flight the built-in Flight Data Log­ger has au­to­mat­i­cally stored all crit­i­cal flight and en­gine pa­ram­e­ters on an SD card, which is in­valu­able for preven­ta­tive main­te­nance.

I’ve al­ways thought the G1000 to be a fan­tas­tic piece of kit, but the Nxi has taken the science of avion­ics to an­other level en­tirely. As with all things digital, you do need to sit down with the man­ual to get the best out of it, but it is rea­son­ably in­tu­itive due to the shal­low menu struc­ture. And, as you may have re­alised, it is ex­traor­di­nar­ily pow­er­ful.

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