Garmin releases the aera 660
Dedicated Compact Portable Navigator
The aera 660 features a 5-inch capacitive touchscreen display that is optimized for cockpits and various types of flying. An elegant yet rugged design allows the aera 660 to withstand harsh environments, meeting stringent temperature tests and helicopter vibration standards. The Garmin signature direct-to feature is always available so it’s easy to command navigation functions or find nearest airports from any page. A mini-USB connector, microSD™ card slot and removable battery accompany a dedicated power button along the bezel of the aera. Depending on settings and external connections, pilots will receive up to 4 hours of battery life on a single charge. An intuitive user interface resembles that of the popular GTN™ 650/750 touchscreen series, aera 795/796 series and the Garmin Pilot™ app, so pilots can easily transition between the aera 660 and other Garmin products in the cockpit.
The 3D Vision page within the aera 660 leverages a worldwide terrain database to create a rich, 3D representation of rising terrain near the aircraft, while overlaying GPS-derived airspeed, altitude and vertical speed alongside flight plan information. 3D Vision also displays lateral and vertical (VNAV) deviation bars and includes a 360-degree HSI, which displays course deviation, track, bearing and more.
Bearing pointers can be manually configured to identify the nearest airport, complete with distance information. When connected to the GTX 345, GDL 39 3D or Flight Stream, the 3D Vision presentation is further enhanced with the display of pitch, roll and slip-skid information. A pilot-selectable presentation optionally displays flight instruments in round gauges or tapes overlaid on the 3D topographic landscape.
Connext® Wireless Connectivity
Wireless connectivity options set the aera 660 even further apart from other portables on the market. Wireless database updating capabilities add to the unique feature set of the aera 660. When connected to Wi-Fi, pilots can easily download and update aviation databases without the need to physically connect the aera to a computer. Additionally, the aera 660 supports connectivity with the Garmin VIRB® XE HD action camera, so pilots can control recording and take photos.
When paired with the GTX 345, Flight Stream or the GDL 39/GDL 39 3D, ADS-B traffic and weather1 is wirelessly transferred and displayed on the aera 660. ADS-B traffic information may be viewed on the moving map, IFR/VFR charts and dedicated traffic pages, which also leverages patent-pending features such as TargetTrend™ and TerminalTraffic™. Traffic trajectories and potential conflicts are easier to identify with TargetTrend, which incorporates relative motion technology to help pilots visualize the future position of nearby traffic targets relative to the aircraft. The traffic picture is further enhanced during taxi, takeoff and landing with TerminalTraffic, which detects and displays other aircraft or ground vehicles on runways or taxiways that are also broadcasting ADS-B position information. SafeTaxi® geo-referenced airport diagrams also aid in situational awareness by identifying runways, taxiways, FBO’s, hangars and more relative to the aircraft’s position on the airport surface. Subscription-free Flight Information Service-Broadcast (FIS-B) weather1 products may simultaneously be overlaid on the map page and dedicated weather pages for easy interpretation. Weather-related decision-making is easier with the aera 660, which helps pilots interpret datalink NEXRAD radar more easily by animating this imagery. Additionally, multiple weather products can be overlaid on a single weather page for better analysis.
Fuel Prices, Global Charting Options and More
Comprehensive chart options provide pilots with an easy path to a paperless cockpit in a compact device, which may be qualified for use as either a Class I or Class II Electronic Flight Bag (EFB). Geo-referenced IFR enroute, VFR sectional charts and Garmin FliteCharts® terminal procedures are available as part of the expansive database offerings associated with the aera 660. Using FliteCharts, pilots can easily view departure procedures (DPs), standard terminal arrival routes (STARs) and geo-referenced approach charts. Additionally, Garmin ChartView™ enables the display of Jeppesen charts with an optional subscription from Jeppesen. U.S. fuel price data is easily accessible on the map or within the airport directory database, so it’s easy to identify the lowest price of 100 LL and Jet A in the area. Similar to features found within other Garmin products, patented Smart Airspace™ is included in the aera 660 feature set. Smart Airspace highlights the airspace nearest the aircraft’s current altitude and de-emphasizes non-pertinent airspace so pilots can quickly identify their location relative to the airspace around them.
Using the optional global navigation database and many regional charting options, the aera 660 provides worldwide versatility. The aera 660 is available in 4 regional versions with select regional data preloaded for North America, South America, Atlantic and Pacific regions. While each version is only available for purchase from Garmin in the corresponding region, regional databases can be purchased for any unit from any region. For pilots in Europe, the Atlantic version of the aera 660 includes the new Enhanced Basemap, which provides VFR operators with more visual landmarks and intersections that are often used when contacting air traffic control. Additionally, when selecting a street or intersection on the moving map of the aera, street names populate so it’s easier to identify aircraft location while navigating over an urban or unfamiliar environment.
The aera 660 contains built-in features tailored to helicopter operators, including Garmin WireAware™ wire-strike avoidance technology. WireAware overlays power line locations and relative altitude information on the moving map and provides both aural and visual alerting when operating near power lines. Altitude display is offered in both mean sea level (MSL) and above ground level (AGL), so they are easier to identify relative to the aircraft flight path. The standard obstacle database contains Hazardous Obstacle Transmission (HOT) lines, which typically include those that span rivers, canyons, valleys or those that are within the vicinity of airports. Obstacle databases with comprehensive power line coverage and HOT lines are also available for the U.S. and portions of Canada and Mexico. Additionally, VFR helicopter chart coverage throughout eight major metropolitan areas within the U.S. depict helicopter airways and routes, heliports with associated frequency and lighting capabilities, NAVAID information and obstructions. Coverage for the Gulf of Mexico is also available, which includes offshore oil drilling platforms and more. Operators may also incorporate City Navigator® NT street maps to enable address look-up functions within the aera to easily navigate to street intersections during off-airport operations.
Connect with Garmin Avionics
The aera 660 includes a yoke mount and cigarette lighter adapter as a standard accessory (pictured). Pilots can also connect an optional bare wire cable to the aircraft instrument panel and expand the utility of the aera 660 by utilizing power, audio and dual RS-232 connections. When paired with a navigator such as the GTN 650/750 touchscreen series or the GNS 430W/530W, the aera can receive flight plan data entered into the navigator over a serial port and remain synchronized throughout the flight. When connected to a NAV/COM such as the GTR 225, GNC 255, GTR 200, SL 30 or SL 40, frequencies and airport identifiers can also be transferred from the aera to the corresponding NAV/COM. Additionally, ADS-B traffic and weather1 can be transferred via the wired connection to the aera 660 when linked to the GTX 345, GDL 39 or GDL 39 3D.
New, Low-Cost Database Options
The new Garmin Navigation Database available for North America offers a cost-effective path to incorporate the latest database information into the aera 660. Navigation data includes the option to load and activate instrument approach procedures, load flight plan data and more. The new Garmin Navigation Database starts at $29.95 for a single update. A variety of cost-effective annual bundles are also available, such as the U.S bundle for $149.95, which includes the Garmin Navigation Database, FliteCharts®, IFR/VFR Charts, Terrain, Obstacles, SafeTaxi® and the AOPA Airport Directory with fuel prices. For worldwide coverage, Jeppesen NavData is also available for purchase. Once purchased via flyGarmin.com, these databases can be conveniently downloaded and updated on the aera 660 via Wi-Fi.
With its long list of features, the aera 660 combines many of the capabilities of panel-mounted avionics with a value-packed, purpose-built package. It’s a dedicated aviation portable that’s ready to fly, right out of the box. The aera 660 is expected to begin shipping late March 2016. Please contact your local Garmin Authorized Dealer with any questions.
aera 660 Product Page