Garmin Introduces New Radios


Builders and pilots fond of the “slimline” radios under the Apollo brand introduced way back in 2001 will find Garmin’s new GTR 205 and GNC 215 models a nice fit, literally. When the SL30 and SL40 models came out, they were notable for being small, just 1.3 inches tall, which helped make room for other avionics. Garmin’s re-popping that idea with the new GTR 205 and GNC 215, due to be released in March.

Featuring color displays, the new radios are com only (GTR 205) or a nav/com (GTR 215) retailing for $2695 and $5295, respectively. A boon to international markets, both radios are pilot-configurable for either 25 kHz or 8.33 kHz com-frequency spacing. Both radios have TSO approval, and provisions to be remotely controlled by external displays.

Garmin GTR 205 (top) and GNC 215.

“The GTR 205 and GNC 215 products show Garmin’s commitment to offering attractive and affordable ground-based navigation and communication options while continuing to provide world-class, modern capabilities. We are excited to offer these new solutions for our general aviation customers as we keep our entire product line fresh,” says Carl Wolf, Garmin’s Vice President of Aviation Sales and Marketing.

Features of both the com and nav/com radios will be familiar. A monitor function allows real-time monitoring of the standby frequency, while a connection to a GPS position source allows a chip-loadable internal database to associate facility names with specific frequencies and allow for a search-by-name feature. Base power for the GTR 205 is 10 watts of RF output but a 16-watt version will be available. The GNC nav/con also provides an on-screen lateral CDI, though it’s designed to connect to many types of external display. Like the SL30, the GNC will send both lateral and vertical guidance through the RS-232 serial port to an external digital display; no ARINC 429 adapter required.

Garmin’s newest offerings overlay the popular GTR 200 com radio, which currently sells for $1575 in base form (no Bluetooth) and the larger-format GNC 255 nav/com, which retails for around $4600 in 10-watt form.

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Marc Cook
Marc Cook is a veteran special-interest journalist who started as a staffer at AOPA Pilot in the late 1980s. Marc has built two airplanes, an Aero Designs Pulsar XP and a Glasair Aviation Sportsman, and now owns a 180-hp, steam-gauge-adjacent GlaStar based in western Oregon. Marc has 5000 hours spread over 200-plus types and four decades of flying.


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