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Garmin unveiled the aera 660, its new portable navigator that offers a number of new features, including wireless data uploading, a 5-inch capacitive touch-screen display, wire-strike avoidance technology and compatibility with a wide range of the company’s existing products through Garmin’s Connext wireless connectivity.
“Pilots have been asking for a new, purpose-built, easy-to-use aviation portable from Garmin, and we have answered with the most powerful, robust and capable handheld device of this size ever designed,” said Carl Wolf, Garmin’s vice president of aviation sales and marketing.
The compact portable navigator, which is expected to be available later this month for $849, allows pilots to update the unit’s aviation databases without any physical computer connections, using Wi-Fi.
The aera 660 can be paired wirelessly with Garmin’s GTX 345, GDL 39/GDL 39 3D or Flight Stream ADS-B units to transfer and display traffic and weather. It can also receive flight plan data entered into a GTN 650/750 navigator or the GNS 430W/530W, and HD video from Garmin’s Virb XE camera can be streamed directly to the aera 660 screen.
Of particular interest to helicopter operators, Garmin’s built-in WireAware provides aural and visual alerting when operating near power lines, and helicopter chart coverage through eight major U.S. metropolitan areas shows helicopter airways and routes as well as heliport and NAVAID information.