Columbia Buyers May Choose From Garmin and Avidyne
It's been tough keeping
a secret for the last few days, but ANN can now tell you that
Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation (CAM) will be using the
occasion of the annual AOPA Expo this week to unveil their new
Garmin G1000-equipped Columbia 350 and 400 with the new READY
Pad (Remote Access Data Entry) alpha-numeric key pad.
The G1000 panel integrates all flight and navigation instruments
into two 10.4" high resolution landscape format screens separated
by a slim audio panel. This newest version of the G1000 eliminates
the traditional radio rack and incorporates the GPS/NAV/COMM,
autopilot, transponder and Flight Director into one easy-to-use
package on the instrument panel.
With the G1000, dual IFR GPS/NAV/COMM, transponder, and
autopilot functions are now fully-integrated into the system.
Consequently, Columbia pilots also get a dramatic, redesigned
instrument panel and center console. Due to the PFD/MFD landscape
orientation, the panel bolster has been raised to create additional
leg room. The new center console, sans radio rack is also home to a
unique feature currently available only on Columbia aircraft, the
READY Pad. READY Pad is the first alpha-numeric key pad control for
an integrated instrument panel ever offered on a personal aircraft.
Columbia pilots can access PFD/MFD functionality at their
fingertips and no longer need to twist knobs to enter numeric or
alphabetic data – it can simply be punched in.
According to CAM Vice President of Marketing and Sales Randy S.
Bolinger, "Integration has been a buzz word since the advent of
glass cockpits in personal transportation. But there is a simple
exercise anyone can do to determine just how integrated their
cockpit really is. Sit in any aircraft and count the number of
boxes in the radio rack, rocker switches and bezels for trim
indication, oxygen level and so on. Chances are you'll find
countless combinations of stand alone GPS, transponders, autopilot
control heads and more – then come fly a Columbia and let us
demonstrate how true integration works and how intuitive the flight
planning can be with a keypad."
The G1000 installation in Columbia 350s and 400s features
Garmin's newly certified digital flight control system. The heart
of the system is the Garmin GFC700 autopilot, which provides
AHRS-based situational reference and dual-channel, self-monitoring
safety features previously found only on high-end business jets.
The system uses prestored data from the Columbia's flight manual to
optimize performance over the entire airspeed regime. Like most
glass cockpits, the G1000 provides precise lateral and vertical
navigation guidance for all phases of flight. However, the G1000
system in Columbia aircraft also provides features like the ability
to maintain airspeed in climbs and descents, VNAV profiles,
vertical speed reference and automated go-around procedures. Also
standard on the G1000 suite is E-Prox Terrain Awareness, EMonitor
Engine and Systems Management, SatWX Weather Datalink and SatRadio
"Garmin's new digital flight control system is a significant
advance for pilots of personal aircraft," Bolinger said. "It
provides performance and safety features that, until now, you could
only find on multi-million dollar business jets. This is a
While the G1000 is the latest offering from Columbia Aircraft,
it's only one of two glass cockpit, integrated flight decks the
company offers. Columbia buyers may still select the award-winning
Avidyne Entegra avionics suite, available exclusively in Columbia
aircraft in portrait format, if they prefer.
"We're excited to have been selected as the manufacturer to
bring the G1000 with READY Pad to our segment of general aviation
and offering customers the choice of avionics suites with two very
unique attributes [landscape and portrait format] is what people
expect from a premier aviation company," Bolinger said. "Certainly
other manufacturers will follow our lead with the alpha-numeric
user interface because it helps make flying a modern aircraft even
more intuitive and safe."
The G1000 panel is now available on all Columbia 350 and 400i,
SL and SLX models.
ANN was honored to get the first press viewing of the new G1000
equipped Columbias earlier this morning, and will be filing a
flight report on the new system shortly... Don't miss it!
Columbia Aircraft manufactures two certified aircraft types. The
Columbia 350, 350i, 350SL and 350SLX are normally aspirated,
four-place aircraft with a cruise speed of 191 knots. The Columbia
400, 400i, 400SL and 400SLX are intercooled, twin-turbocharged,
four-place aircraft certified to FL250 with a cruise speed of 235