• REALITY-XP GNS V2/GTN TOUCH


    Chuck_Jodry-VJPL

    REALITY-XP GNS V2/GTN TOUCH
    Reviewed by: Marlon Carter
    Platform: FSX/P3D

     

    001.jpg002.jpg

     

    INTRODUCTION
     

     

    If you’ve been part of the Flight-sim community for a long time, Reality-XP is a developer that needs no introduction. For many years, Reality XP has been at the forefront in providing some of the most realistic avionics and aircraft instrument packages that have revolutionized the way we think and the way we fly. In their line-up of outstanding FS9 and FSX products which included the WX500 Wx Radar, you may also be familiar with their Garmin G530/430 v1 which was a significant upgrade from the default Garmin 500.

    While the RXP GNS530/430 served the flightsim world well for many years, RealityXP saw that this was the perfect opportunity to release an updated version that not only works with P3D, but also contains new and very useful features to today’s virtual GA pilot. In addition to introducing the GNS 530/430 v2, RXP has also developed an FSX/P3D compatible Garmin GTN 750/650 which is one of the newest units sold by Garmin and it quickly gaining popularity in the aviation world. During this review, we will be looking at the features of these products and we will also look at the practical value of owning them if you are a serious virtual GA pilot or you plan on pursuing a career as a pilot. To begin, let’s first have a chat with Jean-Luc Dupiot who will enlighten us on what’s been happening in the background over the years at RXP.

     

     

    INTERVIEW

    Reality-XP has been around for quite some time. However, over the past few years RXP has seemingly been absent from the FS community. As a result of this absence, some may be wonder whether RXP is now here to stay and what can we expect from RXP going forward?

    First, let me thank you Marlon and the Avsim team for the wonderful service offering you’ve built over all these years. I’ve never meet such fantastic and so diverse community of simmers on any other forums. Every day is an opportunity to share, to explore, to discover, and the feedback we get is invaluable to better our products.

    Reality XP offered its first avionics simulation product in March 2002, garnering a track record of offering among the most authentic and valuable Flight Simulator add-on products one can acquire, and supporting and listening to its customers. We’ve never stopped raising the bar with unique technological innovations, unmatched graphics, authentic symbology and accurate simulations. We’ve been also growing our professional training solutions with a unique approach: on one hand our professional customers count on our proven product stability with many different end-user systems running them every day, while on the other hand, our flight simulator customers benefit from our professional technologies at a fraction of the price. As a matter of fact, we’ve many customers running some of our products for more than 10 years now and they’ve never required any particular support or update.

    To more specifically answer your question, our oldest community friends and customers could certainly figure out this was an unusual and unaccountable situation, and I can’t stress enough how much it was. It is a fact most vendors in this market are small teams. We are nearly all susceptible to face difficulties one day or another whenever unexpected events hit us. It might not seem like so sometimes, but more often than not, any vendor product rely on the shoulders of one or two people maximum, and any problem affecting a member of the team is immediately a huge hit. In our field of expertise, it is even harder to find developers with the knowledge necessary to build our products. Most who know me personally or in the community must know this is a peculiar and unexpected situation, to consider we have purposely abandoned customers without a word just doesn’t add up. Sometimes the odds are against your every move no matter what, no matter how hard you fight, and I don’t think all our customers have been fairly and timely treated either and I sincerely apologize for their situation. 

    2. With regard to the GNS v2, can you provide a few details on the improvements that have been made in comparison to the previous version?

    Speaking of going forward, we were established in the add-on market for sharing our love and passion for Flight Simulator. These passions are what motivated our undertaking and they are as strong today as they were back then. 

    We’re proud to offer our new product line, the Reality XP GNS V2 and the Reality XP GTN Touch. Built from scratch with brand new technologies supporting all the major simulators from FS9 to P3D4 in 64bits, and from XP9 to XP11 in 64bits, they concentrate 15 years of unique expertise in the avionics simulation development.

    One striking difference with the Reality XP GNS V2 is the inclusion of a new Garmin trainer. It adds new vertical approach mode, can import user waypoints, import and export flight plans and comes with optimized code and internal bug fixes to the Garmin software. In addition, our gauges now render HI DPI graphics, offer more input and output options, share more data to third party vendors, accept hardware devices and keyboard shortcuts, includes cross-fill with no additional cost. In short, it is the most complete simulation of the GNS 530/430 all around for Flight Simulator and X-Plane.


    4. Now that RXP has also released the GTN series in addition to the GNS models, do these products differ in any way to what has already been made available by another developer?

    As for other GNS or GTN gauges, we’re well aware many customers are wondering the same, and I’m glad you’re asking. Many customers have different needs and are looking to our products in different ways. For some, frame rate is the most important, for others it may be the level of authenticity. A growing number of users want to connect hardware devices, and most want the best price. 

    When you acquire a Reality XP product, you immediately feel the difference; you discover a new level of product finish, a modern in-sim configuration assistant. Our products benefit from our professional customers developments and this shows. Simply put, Reality XP’s no-compromise offering covers the widest range of needs with the best value for the money.

    Our GNS V2 and GTN are growing strong in the community and third party aircraft vendors. This tells us customers are well aware of their options and they are making the most correct choice for their use.

    5. Is RXP planning to release more Garmin or other branded avionics based products in the future?

    As for future product, we’ve often hit the market with unexpected products, some even deemed unfeasible still today. Our work on the G600/500 simulation has been officially announced already and we expect to show some screenshots soon. The recent availability of the TXI trainer is compelling as well. 

    Although I’d like to share our excitement and enthusiasm with the many other projects we’re currently preparing, it wouldn’t be a big surprise anymore!

    More than all, our customers continued support is what drives us the most and what makes us do what we’re doing. We’re pushing our limits further every time, not just because we can: we’re as passionate as you are and we just love sharing this passion with our customers!

     

     

    We are certainly thankful that Jean-Luc has shed some light on the gap of inactivity at RXP and the reassurance that the future for RXP looks bright and full of new innovations. Let’s now have a look at some of the features contained in the GNS v2 and GTN series for FSX/P3D.

     

    003.jpg004.jpg

     

    FEATURES

    GARMIN GNS 530W/430W

     

    With new Garmin GNS Trainer with GPS software 3.3 exclusively showcased in our add-on, the Reality XP GNS 530W/430W V2 is a faithful reproduction that pilots and flight simulator users can use it as a training tool to familiarize themselves with the workings of the actual equipment. GNS 530W/430W V2 is navigator's heaven! In short, there is simply no better GNS WAAS in any flight simulator, period.

     

    The new trainer includes stability enhancements, takes fewer resources and adds some new capabilities to the integrated navigator.
     

    Like its real world counterpart, the RXP GNS 530W/430W has built-in WAAS navigation capabilities, and is capable to fly LPV “glideslope” approaches without reference to ground-based navaids of any kind. According to the FAA's stringent TSO C146a standards for WAAS "sole means" navigation — it provides vertical and lateral approach guidance into thousands of U.S. airports previously inaccessible in IFR conditions.

     

     The Reality XP GNS 530W/430W V2 seamlessly integrates built-in terrain and navigation databases, providing a clear, concise picture of where you are and where you’re heading, using the Garmin Ltd. Trainer huge Jeppesen® database containing location reference for all airports, VORs, NDBs, Intersections, Flight Service Stations, published approaches, SIDs/STARs, Special Use Airspace and geopolitical boundaries. A detailed base map clearly shows airports, cities, highways, railroads, rivers, lakes, coastlines and more.
     

    The Reality XP GNS 530W/430W V2 includes an integrated NAV/COM unit interfacing with the flight simulator radios. The provision of the integrated communication and navigation radios in the unit gives the extra capabilities of auto tuning and pre-fetching your navigation and approaches frequencies. Flying has never been easier!

     

    Now offered with Crossfill at no additional cost! This option allows you to transfer a direct- to destination, the active flight plan including VNAV parameters, any stored flight plan or user waypoints to a second 400W or 500W device.

    If both units are set to automatic, a change in the active flight plan, or VNAV parameters, on one unit can also be seen in the other. Initiating a direct-to course to a waypoint on one unit also initiates a direct-to course to the same waypoint on the other unit.

     

    The Reality XP GNS 530W/430W V2 includes enhanced situational awareness capabilities and comes standard equipped with TAWS-B and TCAD.Providing visual and aural advisories to help keep pilots safely separated from hazardous terrain, the WAAS GPS position information is compared with the GNS 530W/430W units’ internal terrain/obstacles databases to determine conflict scenarios. If there is inadequate terrain and/or obstacle clearance ahead, based on the system’s projected flight path, TAWS caution and warning alerts are issued to you. Accompanying FLTA voice alerts also indicate the relative threat level.

    In addition to terrain and obstacle alerting, the TAWS system also features voice callouts, or VCOs, which audibly announce the aircraft’s height above terrain when descending below 500 feet. VCO altitude callout operate in all TAWS modes,

    Select the menu Add-ons | Reality XP GNS to add or remove GNS units to your aircraft panel. Once selected, the panel wizard opens and guides you through. This task-oriented context aware assistant can help you with the following tasks:
    - Configure your aircraft panel with GNS popup windows.
    - Replace any similar GPS gauge with a GNS gauge using an auto-detect feature.
    - Remove all GNS gauges from the panel.
    - Restore the panel to its prior state using the automatic backup.
    No need to edit the panel.cfg files or to restart the simulator. When you've made your choices, the assistant reloads the aircraft for you, with the simulator running!

    GARMIN GTN 750/650 TOUCH

     

    005.jpg006.jpg007.jpg008.jpg009.jpg

     

    With a wealth of multifunction display capabilities, the GTN brings enhanced situational awareness to your cockpit. With high-resolution terrain mapping — including topography features, cities, airports, terminal areas, SUAs and more — and user selectable Class A or B   TAWS alerting, you’ll safely find your way around sectional-like airspace depiction, with convenient altitude limits right on the moving map.

                Our simulation is compatible with the latest Garmin trainer software v6.41.

    Graphical flight planning capabilities allow you to preview your entire route on the map screen and easily enter new waypoints or modify existing ones. A handy "rubber band" feature lets you grab any leg of your flight plan route and move it to accommodate a deviation to your flight plan.

    The GTN also allows you to enter your most recently visited or nearest airports as waypoints and “Direct To” destinations

     

    With the GTN, you can set your standby Com frequency simply by touching the onscreen number pad. Another touch of the screen flip-flops your active and standby frequencies. Recent and favorite user frequencies also are a breeze to access.

                The GTN also automatically decodes a station’s Morse code to provide a positive identification – no aural decoding required.

    The GTN can control the simulator audio panel (GTN 750 only) as well as the transponder, with working IDENT and REPLY annunciations. This setup could save you up to 3-inch of panel space versus a typical GNS 430/530 install.
     

    In addition, precise course deviation and roll steering outputs can be coupled to the simulator autopilot so that IFR flight procedures may        be flown automatically. This includes all ARINC 424 leg types, including NextGen radius-to-fix (RF) legs.
     

    Select the menu Add-ons | Reality XP GTN to add or remove GTN units to your aircraft panel. Once selected, the panel wizard opens and guides you through.
    - Configure your aircraft panel with GNS popup windows.
    - Replace any similar GPS gauge with a GNS gauge using an auto-detect feature.
    - Remove all GNS gauges from the panel.
    - Restore the panel to its prior state using the automatic backup.
    No need to edit the panel.cfg files or to restart the simulator. When you've made your choices, the assistant reloads the aircraft for you, with the simulator running!

    Bearing in mind that these units are based on the Garmin training programs, many of the advanced features of the GNS and GTN are also included the exception of weather radar and other features are of no value to a simulator pilot. This means that apart from the features listed above, these units basically offer you a full Garmin avionics package that perfectly matches the units found a real world aircraft. To some, this may be an exciting prospect given the endless opportunities it presents to fly and navigate in a realistic fashion. However, to some users this may be a bit intimidating and especially so if the default FSX/P3D GPS is already a challenge to use! If you fall into the category of the latter, then the next segment of our review may help you in getting acquainted with these new GPS units.

     

     

     

    GETTING FAMILIAR

    For anyone new to these GPS units, the very thought of using them to their full potential may be quite daunting given their complex nature. However, RXP has made the familiarization process an easy one that requires reading a short but informative manual along with the Garmin manuals which provides in-depth details on how you can effectively use these products. While the RXP manual should suffice to get you going, I would also encourage you to read the Garmin manual if this is your first time using any of these products.

     

     

    THE EXPERIENCE

    Before we begin, although products from A2A, RealAir and practically any add-on aircraft will work with these Garmin units, I thought it would be practical to feature a few products from Carenado since they offer integration with 3rd party GTN and GNS units out of the box. This option ultimately makes retrofitting the new RXP gauges a relatively simple task and many of you GA fanatics may already own quite a few Carenado products. To keep things simple, let’s first of all examine the new GNS V2 series.

    Before we can hop into our aircraft of choice, as in the real world we first will have to install our new Garmin GNS into the aircraft. Thankfully, installing the Garmin 530/430 is much easier (and cheaper) for a virtual pilot and once the instructions are followed. Using the Setup Aircraft Panel menu, the GNS series can be installed in virtually any aircraft. Once you follow the instructions, you can add either 2D panel or in the VC version of the GNS series if your aircraft has a GNS530 or 430 unit by default. As an added bonus, users also have the option of using the Garmin GNS500 or GNS400 which is also included with the Garmin trainer. If you still require some assistance with the installation, you can always to refer to the manuals or the RXP AVSIM Forum where Panel Configurations can be found. Once this has been completed, you are now ready to experience GA flying the way it was meant to be, but before we depart, it’s important that we discuss proper flight planning.

    Unlike the airline environment, as the pilot in command, you are solely responsible for planning every aspect of your flight. In the past, you may have been quite comfortable using the default flight planner to generate a route automatically. While this is an easy option, in many cases the routes generated may not be the most efficient or realistic.
    If you are looking for the most realistic experience, there are a variety of flight planning tools and websites available that will not only aid in plotting your route, but they can also assist with the performance aspect of your flight planning. Over the years I’ve personally found PFPX, Simbrief and Skyvector.com to be quite effective in planning GA flights. If your aircraft profile is available, PFPX and Simbrief can be very useful in fuel planning while skyvector.com can be very helpful in planning the best route given the weather condition and other factors such as terrain, TFRs and other restrictions that may affect your class of aircraft. As an added bonus, skyvector.com offers a flight plan export feature for Garmin units which can be used along with your GNS units only. While this option is a bit limited for lengthy flight plans and may require some manual input, I’ve found this option to be the best method of loading flight plans without having to load each waypoint individually. Ultimately, regardless of the method you prefer, flight planning is an essential step that shouldn’t be overlooked.

    Once you’ve completed your flight planning and you’ve either loaded the necessary information manually or placed the saved flight plan into your G530/430 FPL folder, there is just one more essential step to complete before departure. As mentioned in the features list, the GNS v2 comes with a host of configuration options to further enhance the user experience. When the configuration panel is opened, you will notice that there are numerous options that allow you to select which unit will be the master device (for dual GNS installations), Connect GPS to Autopilot, Crossfill, Ryan TCAD, Terrain options and a few more advanced features that will benefit users who primarily use 3rd party aircraft.

    As an example of how beneficial these features can be, with Carenado products that offer simulations of the G500/600 and the Avidyne MFD, flight plan information entered on the RXP units will not show on these displays since they rely on default GPS data. One option available with the RXP configuration is that it allows you to link the RXP unit to default GPS waypoints and this allows all of your flight plan data to be shown correctly on all displays that are able to do so. In addition, there is also an option that auto-saves the active route to disk as a .PLN file. Upon loading the file with the flight simulator, the flight planner files the route into the ATC system for flight following!
    Another intriguing feature is that you also have the option of enabling failures that can either shut down the unit’s power, cause satellite reception failure or reduction in accuracy. These options add an astonishing level of realism to all users and it surely enhances the experience of flying GA aircraft. Another amazing feature worth enabling before we depart is the Crossfill feature for dual GNS installations. This option allows you to enter your flight plan data in one unit and have it transferred to the other. While this allows you to save valuable time, it also serves as a safety feature when one of your units fails or for better situational awareness when monitoring your TCAS or any other page of the GNS that doesn’t show your flight plan data. With so many useful features, I would encourage everyone to examine them closely to see which would be the most practical for your aircraft. Now that the GNS units are configured, let’s get into the air and examine a few more features.

    010.jpg011.jpg012.jpg013.jpg013.jpg014.jpg015.jpg016.jpg018.jpg019.jpg020.jpg

     

     

    After departing from your airport of choice, the benefit of the GNS becomes much more obvious in comparison to the default GPS unit. For example, if you are flying an aircraft with dual GNS units, you can configure them to provide a wide range of information such as having your G530 display your navigation details while having your second unit display terrain or traffic information. Personally, I prefer to have one unit set to my map display while setting the other to either TCAS or the Nearest Airport page in the event of an emergency. Either way, you as the user will have the option to set up the units to your liking.

    During the cruise phase of your flight, having a bit of idle time will allow you the opportunity to explore the features of the GNS units. My personal favorite is the G530 due to its large display, but the G430 is equally just as functional with only a few minor differences. The user interface with the 530/430 isn’t as easy as the GTN series, but the interface that was implemented by RXP making turning each knob an effortless task. As you explore the various pages you will see that these units are the closest representation to the real units that you will find. This is largely due to the fact that these units are based on the official Garmin trainer units and as a result, they offer a high degree of accuracy. The map displays are very high quality and they offer all of the display symbols that are expected with this unit to display accurate airspace, traffic, roads and terrain data.

    Digging deeper into these units by means of some of the subpages and menus, you will soon realize that these units offer far superior capabilities to the default GPS units. For example, users have the ability to enter user waypoints, save and copy flight plans, set map display options and a host of other useful features that will make flying a C172 or any other GA aircraft a pleasure.

    An interesting feature of the GNS series is that it also offers you a failure simulation. When flying in IFR weather and expecting to make an RNAV approach at your destination airport, the last thing you need is to have a GPS failure. To explain how this was implemented, here are a few comments from Jean-Luc.

    All our products are first and foremost developed and sold with the requirements and the needs of our professional customers. Our retail customer directly benefit from professional grade products at a fraction of the price, while not scarifying the level of functionality. Failure simulation is essential in any training scenario, and we do our best to offer the broadest scope available. However, failures are not simulated in our products, they are just indicated. This means our devices respond to failures, provided these are triggered by the simulator itself. Each simulator differs in its capability to simulate failures though, and we try to offer the best in both worlds.

     

    On X-Plane, there is native support for nearly all failures supported: GPS overall, GPS accuracy, COM, NAV, XPDR, Audio Panel and Avionics. These are standard X-Plane failures, configurable in X-Plane itself, for which our GTN simulation for example responds automatically. Should you want to simulator accuracy failure, just set the 'rel_gp' failure dataref. X-Plane supports timed based or condition based failures.

     

    On FltSim, the only in-sim supported failures are: COM, NAV, XPDR, Audio Panel and Avionics. For this reason, our devices publish external settable simvars, namely 'rxp.failures.gps_1' and rxp.failures.waas_1' (1 or 2). The simvars can be written to by any third party gauge (C++ or XML) or sim-loaded DLL, to trigger or clear the respective failure. The devices are not handling triggering the failures automatically upon time or condition, because we believe it is something that should have been in the simulator like in X-Plane first and foremost, and also because the requirement for these until now has been for our professional customers to trigger these failures from their controlled training environment, using their own 'instructor' station. You're raising a good idea though, and we'll see how to offer the means to setup failure conditions to the 'GPS' subsystem in the same way the simulator manages the other already embedded failures.

     

     

    From the comments above, we can see that this product can be very useful not only for the casual flightsim enthusiast, but also for more professional application. Either way, this product offers you opportunity to experience the challenge of using an advanced GPS unit under both good and bad circumstances.

     

    021.jpg022.jpg023.jpg024.jpg025.jpg026.jpg028.jpg029.jpg030.jpg031.jpg

     

    The final and perhaps the most significant highlight of the GNS series is the ability to load SIDs and RNAV approaches. In the past, loading an approach procedure was a very simplified process when using the default GPS. In fact, the inability of the default GPS to load advanced departure and arrival procedures made GA flying a bit boring and unrealistic.  However, with the GNS series being fully capable of loading advanced procedures, one can feel confident when flying on networks such as VATSIM and be able to integrate well with the traffic around them when asked to fly a particular arrival or departure. This feature is by far one of the biggest selling points of owning the GNS series and it adds a wealth of realism to your day to day flying. With a navigational database that is fairly up to date, you can load nearly any departure or approach procedure and fly them all with pinpoint accuracy. While this feature may be a favorite among users, there are many other advanced features offered by this product that allows you to fully customize your experience. Now that we’ve gotten a general overview of the GNS series, let’s have a look at the GTN Touch.


     

    GTN TOUCH

    In a similar manner to the GNS series, configuring the GTN touch is an equally simple process when using the aircraft setup tool. By using this menu, you can fully customize your experience from a list of options that are all similar to those offered by the GNS series. Once the setup is complete, you are now ready to use either the GTN750, GTN650 or a combination of both units in your aircraft of choice. What are the advantages of using the GTN Touch series?

    The GTN 750/650 is undoubtedly one of the most advanced GPS units one can buy for their GA aircraft. To a simulator pilot, this unit basically makes flying a C172 just as exciting as flying an advanced airliner given the numerous navigation options at your disposal (or at your fingertips J). When getting started with these units, it’s important to note that while the GTN series has the ability to import flight plans, the process is slightly different to the skyvector option previously discussed with the GNS series. If you would like to know more about this option, please refer to the manual or read about this topic on the AVSIM forums HERE.

    While it’s always nice to have the option of importing flight plans into your GTN unit, the GTN units are so advanced that entering flight plans manually is a quick and easy task. The option of loading airways, waypoints and other information is all automated and it even offers a bit of predictive text when entering waypoints or airports that are close by. With the GTN series carrying the title of “TOUCH,” it goes without saying that much like your smartphone or tablet, this unit allows you to have a limited “touch screen” experience with the aid of your mouse. For example, to slide the screen up or down, one can do so by using the mouse buttons. For those who are a bit more tech savvy, there is a way of bringing the GTN unit to your tablet by using a program that allows your table to work as a second monitor. When this is done, the 2D GTN panel can be moved over to the second monitor (in this case your tablet) and you can then experience an enhanced touch screen experience with this method. If you would like to learn more about this option, please have a look at this forum topic HERE.

    With the GTN series having an almost limitless list of features, it would be a challenge to review them all. Also, while these units are based on the Garmin trainers, for the flightsim environment some of the features of these units are not enabled due to various limitations. Despite this fact, let’s have a look at a few features that users will no doubt enjoy.

    The first of these features is the ability to have an active terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS) which works very well within FSX and P3D. The benefit of having this feature is that it allows you as the virtual pilot to fly confidently in poor visibility near mountainous terrain. While on the topic of warning systems, another great feature is ability to display traffic around you. For those of you who use products such as Ultimate Traffic or WOAI, being able to see a graphical representation of the traffic around you is a tremendous aid to having the best situational awareness. In addition to being able to see the traffic around you, these units also offer another amazing aid to situational awareness. Have you ever flown on an online network, requested taxi from ATC, receive your taxi clearance with specific taxi instructions only to realize that you have no clue where taxiway B1, A3 and H1 are located? With the GTN series, such an embarrassing situation will be a thing of the past thanks to the Safe Taxi feature that allows you to see the entire airfield with taxiway marking included. This feature is quite outstanding and it makes navigating complex airports an easy taxi provided that your AFCAD is up to date.

     

    031.jpg033.jpg034.jpg035.jpg036.jpg037.jpg038.jpg039.jpg040.jpg041.jpg042.jpg

     

    When flying with the GTN series, another outstanding feature is the ability to edit your flight plan in real time using the map display. By entering the Graphically Edit FPL mode, you can simple drag your magenta flight path to any point on the map that you wish to make your next waypoint. As an example of how useful this feature can be, let’s say that you’re flying along in an A2A aircraft such as the C182. Due to a bit of poor maintenance and flying practices on your part, your engine begins to run a bit rough while enroute and you are left scrambling to find a suitable airfield for an emergency landing. To make matters worse, the weather conditions are full blown IFR which makes flying visually a no go option. With the aid of your GTN unit, you can simply edit your flight plan by dragging your magenta line to the nearest airport and you will receive a direct path to your airport of choice. Another application for this feature is that allows you to make quick changes as per ATC instruction when flying in a busy airspace. Either way, I think this feature is one that users will thoroughly enjoy.

    The final highlights of this product that I would like to highlight are features that I’ve personally found to be invaluable when flying a GA aircraft. When it’s time to plan your approach in a GA aircraft, it can be quite stressful to peruse charts while also planning your descent with crossing altitudes in mind. Thankfully, the GTN series comes with VCAL feature in the utilities page that allows you to select your target altitude, target waypoint, VS profile and distance offset. What this basically means is that in a similar manner to how you can effectively manage your descent with a 737 with the aid of VNAV, you can also manage your descent with the vertical guidance provided by the GTN series. When using this feature, it is important to note that it is purely a feature that is used as a guide and it doesn’t not control your autopilot. This means that the user is responsible for setting the autopilot or managing the descent manually using the information provided. 

    The last feature we will examine is one that is especially beneficial to those of you who are keen on sharpening your IFR flying skills. When a pilot is earning an instrument rating in the real world, special attention is paid to accurately using airport approach charts. Since the GTN series is capable of flying many types of approach procedures, charts are also available for U.S airports on the GTN750. With the ability to overlay these charts on your map display, you can see in real time how your flight path matches the published approach procedure. Personally, I’ve found that this feature is a life safer when learning to fly complex procedures without the aid of an autopilot. With better situational awareness provided through this option, you can focus your attention on flying the aircraft.

     

    043.jpg044.jpg045.jpg046.jpg047.jpg048.jpg049.jpg050.jpg051.jpg

     

     

    Thus far, we’ve touched on many aspects of the GNS and GTN units and their practical value to a prospective user. There is so much more that can be said about these units, but I will leave it up to you to see an experience the benefits yourself. If you are worried about PC performance, rest assured that these units have virtually no impact on your frame rates and the displays are as fluid as can be when compared to the real units. If you would like to become a more serious virtual pilot, these units are a must have!

    CONCLUSION

     

    In conclusion, by offering the ability to utilize the Garmin GNS and GTN units within FSX/P3D and XP11, RXP has added a new level of realism to the avid GA flyer that makes flying a light aircraft just as fun and exciting as flying a 737. While the comparison may seem extreme, GA flying has evolved tremendously over the years and some of the most advanced technology in navigation is now primarily found in the GA market. By offering virtual GA pilots the opportunity to use some of these products, it enhances the experience of flying a light aircraft significantly. In addition to light aircraft, these units are also found on medium sized aircraft such as the Beechcraft KA, Cessna Citation, 690 Turbo Commander, Beechcraft Duke 60 and many other GA aircraft that are available for FSX and P3D. As mentioned previously, the practical benefit of these units are tremendous to anyone who is interested in pursuing their real world pilot’s license. Being familiar with the equipment in your aircraft allows you to put your focus on flying the aircraft rather than figuring out how to use your GPS or radios when flying in a busy airspace.

    Overall, Reality XP has done an outstanding job in bringing these units to the FSX, P3D and X-Plane platform that offers many advanced options and superb performance. While the platforms are certainly different in many aspects, Reality XP has designed these products to offer the same level of user-experience when setting up and configuring the device with the GUI assistant, or integrating the broad range of features to any aircraft*. For the price of $49.95 per unit, I think that the pricing is fair and that the products themselves are well worth it. With the FSX/P3D and X-Plane GA aircraft market seeing a significant bloom in overall quality, these units will have tremendous value for years to come.

    Reality XP may have been absent for some time, but they’ve certainly made a strong return with two outstanding products that are worthy of an AVSIM Gold Star Award for overall value, innovation and performance. With the G500/600 in development, I’m eagerly looking forward to seeing what RXP has to offer in the future.

     

    *Developer Notes - X-Plane uses OpenGL and makes any plugin capable of rendering natively with 32bits colours already. However, Flight Simulator SDK limits gauges to 15bits colours and no alpha blending. Our unique rendering technologies overcome this limit. This is most visible whenever there is any 'gradient' such as the background under the GTN buttons, or the G600/500 PFD sky/ground display. You can also experience this technology, more specifically alpha blending, in looking closely how the GNS V2 and GTN integral lighting (the knobs and keys labels at night) fade-in/out depending on their intensity (configured in the GUI Settings Panel).

     

    052.jpg

     

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS.
    I would like to thank Jean-Luc for his invaluable input in understanding the finer details of developing these products. We certainly look forward to the next RXP release!

     

    Additional information on products seen throughout this review.

    SCENERY
    Nantucket Island
    Palo Alto Airport California
    KTNP – Twentynine Palms X
    L35 Big Bear City Airport

     

    AIRCRAFT
    Alabeo Mooney Ovation
    Carenado 690B Turbo Commander
    Carenado PC12 HD Series
    Carenada Cessna Grand Caravan EX

     

    017.jpg

    027.jpg

    032.jpg

    • Upvote 2


      Report Article


    User Feedback


    Great review, thanks very much. Thanks to Jean-Luc, RXP customer support has been outstanding along with very user friendly installation tools. 

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Where can I get a print-friendly version of Avsim reviews.  It is hard for me to read this much off of a screen.

    I have purchased RealityXP since FS9 products were the only choice. They have always been great and very high-quality products.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    No mention at all about how to update the database such an integral part of an addon aimed at more serious users.

    So how is it updated through the addon menu or via Navigraph or Aerosoft?

    A unit like this where the device cant be updated has a useful life of under 4 weeks so how about a guide on database updating the single reason I have not purchased a GTN?

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

     Updates are available when the Garmin Trainer software is updated, or via a cost prohibitive Garmin database subscription.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I used my Navigraph data to update my GTN 750. There's no installer but if you're saving with an advanced text editor and building .bin files it's super straight forward.

    1mUP0bn.png

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    1 hour ago, softreset said:

    I used my Navigraph data to update my GTN 750. There's no installer but if you're saving with an advanced text editor and building .bin files it's super straight forward.

    I would be very interested to hear your method for achieving this.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    On 3/16/2018 at 5:35 AM, jabloomf1230 said:

    Unless you own a real life GTN unit, there is no legal way to update the GTN trainer navigation data.

    ..no good, ha

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now