After gathering opinions from pilots at Oshkosh AirVenture and Sun n Fun over the past few years, Icom America has announced the availability of two new handhelds-the IC-A24, which features nav and comm channels, and the IC-A6, which features comm capability only.
These air band transceivers feature large backlit displays and keypads for easy use at altitude; the light stays on until you turn it off, a handy feature for flying at night. Both feature flip-flop channel recall buttons and 10-channel recall, which will reduce the need to write en route frequencies on your chart or worse…calling ATC for the frequency you just left.
The IC-A24 has VOR navigation functions including the ability to show the radial to or from a VOR station, and a CDI mode to display course deviation to or from a VOR. The duplex operation allows you to call a comm channel while using the VOR navigation function.
Both units have a larger battery than previous units for longer usage time, a side tone function to allow you to hear your own voice via an external aviation headset, and NOAA marine weather channels. Both are water-resistant (hopefully you wont need this feature while in your airplane).