The worst fears of a small-but-loyal group of owners were
confirmed this week, as Garmin International announced to its
dealers it will discontinue production of the GNS 480 GPS/Comm.
"Since the introduction of our GNS400W/500W WAAS units, sales of
the GNS 480 have continued to decline," the avionics manufacturer
said in a release to dealers. "In order to preserve sufficient
parts in stock to service the thousands of units in the field for
years to come, it has become necessary to discontinue the GNS 480.
The remaining stock is available on a first come, first served
basis, while supplies last."
Introduced at AirVenture
2004, the GNS 480 was the first Gamma-3 WAAS-certified
GPS/Comm. It offered a surprising level of features for its size,
including hookups for a TIS traffic advisory system, and a basic
flight management system that also displays Victor airways. The GNS
480 was also the first integrated GPS navigator approved to fly LPV
"glideslope" approaches without reference to ground-based navaids
of any kind, according to Garmin.
Despite its functionality, the GNS 480 was something of an
orphan within the Garmin line-up, sandwiched between the immensely
popular GNS 430/GNS 530 systems. When those systems gained WAAS
functionality in November 2006, the 480 was further relegated to
the back of the catalog.