Since their introduction in 1998, the Garmin GNS series GPS/NAV/COM products have been widely accepted, with over 100,000 of them flying the skies today. But 13 years later, the time has come to bid farewell. Due to decreased demand and limited parts availability, we announced this week that Garmin will soon stop accepting orders for new GNS series products and will discontinue the line. The GNS 530W or GPS 500W will be available until November 30, 2011, and the GNS 430W, GNC 420W and GPS 400W are expected to remain available through the first half of 2012. If you currently own a GNS series product, there is no need to worry. Rest assured that Garmin will continue supporting these products with repair services and maintenance software releases for many years to come. Most of all, thank you to all of our customers for your continued support of these products over the past 13 years.
The GNS series is a tough act to follow, but here at Garmin, we challenged ourselves to
come up with something even better – and we’ve done it in the all new GTN series, which will serve as the GNS series replacement for the next decade and beyond. The GTN series represents a significant improvement in features,
integration and simplicity. It does everything your GNS series products did, plus a whole lot more! Not only does the GTN serve as the GPS/NAV/COM, but it also is a full-featured MFD with moving map, traffic, terrain, weather information and more. It has a touchscreen graphical user interface for quick and intuitive operation. The graphical flight plan editing feature makes modifying your flight plan a breeze, and loading airways has never been easier. Selectmodels offer remote transponder and remote audio panel integration. And some GTN models have the ability to overlay an electronic approach chart right on the moving map. Plus, right now we’re offering serious savings on the GTN during a limited-time promotion.
Getting directions is one of the most popular features on Google Maps, whether it be for driving, walking, biking or transit. Today, we are launching a new feature that allows you to bring your upcoming trip to life, by allowing you to preview your route in 3D.
Let’s say you’re planning a road trip down the beautiful coast of California’s Highway 1 and want to be able to see what the route really looks like. California’s rugged coastline is not to be missed, but the top-down view really doesn’t give you a good sense of what this majestic terrain is like. Using the 3D preview; however, you can get aerial view of the route, as if you were in a helicopter flying above the road.
To preview your own route, it is as simple as clicking on a button. Start by entering your starting point, destination, and mode of transport like any directions; in this case, driving directions from ‘Carmel CA to Big Sur CA.’ Then, just click on the “3D” play button. The map will switch to Earth view and automatically start flying you along your recommended route.
You can pause the flight at any time by clicking anywhere in the 3D view or on the pause button in the lower left. While the flight is paused, you can explore the surrounding area in 3D by clicking and dragging the map. When you are ready to resume the flight, simply click on the play button in the lower left of the 3D view.
To help you keep track of which step you are on, the current leg of the trip is highlighted in the left panel. You can also jump to a different part of the trip by clicking on a different step.
You can get back to 2D mode by clicking on the “2D” button in the left panel at any time.
Back in 2006, Frank showed you how you could sort of use Google Earth as a flight simulator. It was crude, but effective. In late 2007, Google put a more realistic flight simulator into Google Earth, but kept it hidden as a secret mode.
More recently, this February we saw a demo of GEVision, which integrates Microsoft Flight Sim technology but uses Google Earth for the terrain and imagery.
Now we have our first look at Xavier Tassin’s Google Earth Flight Simulator, which might be the best one yet!
It uses the Google Earth Plug-in, and you can try it for yourself at ge-flightsimulator.com. If you need help with the controls, here are some instructions.
A few other notes about the project, from Xavier:
- I have been playing around with Flight Sims since MS Flight Simulator 1.0 (I was 6 at that time
- 6 years ago, I had a first try at making an Online Flight Simulator (www.keynoise.com) as a commercial for an Australian acquaintance of mine who is selling the Evektor Sportstar down under. This Sim was build with Shockwave and got more success than just being a commercial. Sadly, technical limitations and lack of time stopped my progress into making something better.
- 6 month ago I tried “Ships” from PlanetAction, and realized that the GE plug-in would be a great platform for making my dream come true: make a worldwide scenery Flight Simulator.
- For the Future, I am planning to add more planes, improve the flight models, add an airport database and some aeronautical charting, improve the multi-player feature. I also would like (if enough interest is shown) to open an aircraft marketplace to everyone.
All in all, it’s a great flight sim. Try it for yourself, and tell us your thoughts in the comments below.