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Over ten grand on a GTN-650

I posted this on the other forum, then realised that it’s not really the right place…. very few IFR pilots over there. Ooops. Anyway here it is ….

So the question is – should i spend over 10 grand on a GTN-650.

It’s for an RV-10, and will be fitted in advance of it’s IFR approval. The aircraft has Dynon Skyviews, but no Radio Nav at all. It doesn’t have ILS, and doesn’t have certified GPS for approaches.

If I don’t fit one – i suppose i could consider installing a much cheaper Nav/Com with ILS and link it to the skyviews.

So the question is – 10-11k on a GTN or 4k on a GNC255 or similar.

How much benefit does the touchscreen bring to IFR approaches ? 6-7 grands worth? :-)


I believe with the GTN you also use your iPad with Garmin Pilot to send/receive routes, which i found really useful.

Also, with the GTN, won’t you get LPV?

I can already use SkyDemon, or others, to send routes to the inbuilt nav of the sky views, so for enroute that’s handled.

My only real need here is to satisfy requirements for IR training and then approaches.

The skyview has fully coupled autopilot with vertical navigation. You can do approaches, and it has a database…. but it think it’s all a bit uncertified. Doesn’t include WAAS or LPV or a proper database.


The writing is on the wall for ILS at smaller airfields without CAT2 or 3 approaches, if you want to future proof the aircraft then the GTN650 is for you or I could put it this way……. Buy cheap, buy twice.

Ok sounds like I’m on the right track then.

New question….

GTN650 or IFD440?

Can’t go for bigger screens than that, won’t fit.


carlmeek wrote:

GTN650 or IFD440?

That depends on your attitude to the two suppliers.

Many people say that the IFD is functionally preferable, and rather cheaper, but you are buying from a company with a very poor record of customer support, and a huge willingness to dump their customers in the poo, tell them outright lies and fail to deliver on time, as opposed to a company which is a bit more expensive, but which has a solid reputation for customer support.

I once bought from Avidyne, based on a promise – a voucher indeed – and have suffered grief and indifference from them ever since. Personally, if you value your sanity, I would pay a bit more and get a solid, well built, well supported product from a solid, decent company.

Last Edited by Timothy at 05 Sep 21:53
EGKB Biggin Hill

You can download a GTN simulator from Garmin’s website. I am taking delivery this weekend of my new 650. Compared to my tablet running SD, the screen looks tiny.


I too would choose Garmin over Avidyne.

The main argument I hear in favour of Avidyne is that the underdog should be supported, but those who say that are

  • not installing either and just talking about it
  • are spending somebody else’s money
  • are already flying with Avidyne kit and thus don’t want to criticise it (also the usual aircraft resale value issues)

If you are spending 5 figures of your own, consider that Avidyne has a history as long as your arm of making and breaking promises, all the while keeping people sweet with lots of “open and honest” postings on their forum. I think they are just too cash-strapped at present, and their old cash cows (the Cirrus market and the Ryan TAS boxes) are having their lunch eaten by Garmin. A pity since I think the IFD540 is better than the GTN750.

We have various threads on this – example – but it seems there are no uncertified GPSs which do LPV, and I recall a similar question about ILS for which there were also few if any (panel mounted) options. So if you want IFR certification of your homebuilt but one which doesn’t make IFR a chocolate teapot, you need something like this.

The only cheaper thing would be a used GNS430W but there are various obvious points against that. But it would do the same job. I don’t attach any value to a touch screen. What would have value to me (flying IFR in Europe) is electronic route transfer from a phone to the box, saving the entry of say 40 waypoints.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I do not know a single customer of the Avidyne IFD440/540/550 who is unhappy with the device as it stands today, with the features and functionality it offers today.

That doesn’t mean that people got disappointed by how long it took and how many promises were made but that is of anecdotal value only. One of the problems of the GA clientele is that people keep circling around things of the past forever. Thielert engines are unreliable, Cirrus can’t recover from a spin, etc. At some point you should just be happy that your wisdom teeth are out, not dwell on the atrocious procedure forever.

Peter wrote:

are already flying with Avidyne kit and thus don’t want to criticise it (also the usual aircraft resale value issues)

Another conspiracy uncovered! I have to protect my autopilot from stopping to work by defending Avidyne GPS navigators on an internet forum.

Last Edited by achimha at 06 Sep 07:16

Despite what i’ve been told (by several people now) that Avidyne have a shady reputation, i’m a sucker for gadgets, and hooking up the iPad is very cool. I’m leaning toward IFD440.

Just trying to get hold of dimensional drawings and an installation manual now…

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