Garmin Audio Panel with Voice Recognition and 3D Sound
Garmin has introduced the GMA 350 and GMA 350H audio panels. Designed for fixed-wing aircraft and rotorcraft, respectively, the GMA 350 and 350H have features such as voice recognition, 3D spatial audio processing, advanced auto squelch and ambient noise-based volume adjustment so that pilot workload is decreased while increasing situational awareness.
The GMA 350 is a digital audio panel with marker beacon that has a new, patented voice recognition feature so that pilots can use their voices to control certain aspects of the audio system. For example, pilots can select COM 1 or COM 2 by simply stating "COM 1" or "COM 2" rather than pressing a key. Voice-based commands can be used to control most aspects of the audio panel that would normally be done with a button or a knob.
The "3D Audio" feature mimics the way people process sounds and conversations. Humans have the ability to focus their listening attention on a single talker among a mixture of other conversations and background noises. Garmin has leveraged this ability by simulating 3D sound with stereo headsets that enhance the ability to understand one or both conversations simultaneously.
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A "blue-select mode" makes entertainment audio distribution independent so that pilots can distribute audio for passengers and crew. They can connect up to two dedicated music sources and a phone to the rear connector. The pilot can override the rear phone input at any time by plugging a device (e.g., MP3 player or mobile phone) into the 3.5mm front jack.
Pin-compatible with Garmin’s GMA 340 and many competitors’ audio panels, it is easy to upgrade to a GMA 350 or GMA 350H, Garmin says. The GMA 350H has the same core features as the GMA 350, but it also has three COM support and new split-COM modes (1/3 and 2/3).
The GMA 350 and GMA 350H are anticipated to be available soon for an expected retail price of $2395 and $2695, respectively. For more information, visit www.garmin.com.
Superior Adds to Availability ofMillennium Cylinders
Cylinder assemblies for the Lycoming 360/540 series and Continental 520 series are now being shipped by Superior Air Parts. This marks the “next phase of product reintroduction,” according to the company.
“This is very exciting for everyone who has been involved with bringing the popular family of Millennium Cylinders back into production,” says Timothy T. Archer, CEO, Superior Air Parts. “Everywhere I’ve gone, the first question everyone has asked has been when would the Millenniums be available? Well, I can very happily say they’re available at your Superior dealer today.”
The Lycoming 360/540 and Continental 520 cylinders join other series currently in the distribution pipeline, including cylinder assemblies for the Lycoming O-235, Continental O-200 and Continental IO-550. The recent addition of the parallel-valve Lycoming cylinders will serve owners of the O/IO-360 and O/IO-540 engines. Superior’s recent reintroduction of the large-bore Continental cylinder will also serve owners of the O/IO-470 engine.
“As you would expect, the process of gearing up production by our suppliers has taken longer than we hoped, but the major hurdles are behind us,” Archer explained. “Right now our biggest challenge is being able to plan our production so that we can keep our dealers stocked. From what they’re telling me, the more customers hear that the Millenniums are available, the harder they are to keep on the shelves.
“It’s a great problem to have but right now it’s a balancing act to match the economics with the production and orders to make sure we meet all the needs,” Archer added. “Our suppliers are working hard with our quality control team to get cylinders in, approved and back out to our dealers as quickly as our high standards will allow.”
Next up for the company is to restart production of whole engines, including the XP series of Experimental engines and the Vantage series of type-certificated engines for production aircraft.
For more information on Superior, call 800/277-5168 or visit www.superiorairparts.com.
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