Garmin's new GTN Avionics - Will You Upgrade?

Garmin has been very busy telling the world about their new GTN series avionics, intended to replace the GNS 430/530 series panel-mount IFR GPS systems. The new GTN 650 and 750 truly are impressive. They take everything that was good about the 430/530, all the good features of Garmin's handheld touchscreen Aera series GPS units, and many of the features available in the G1000 suite...then combine them all into a neat little package.

For a great article with a lot of details, check out what the EAA wrote about them.

The prices start at almost $12,000 for the 650 and just shy of $17,000 for the 750. As impressive as these units are, that price tag seems a little steep. For someone doing a lot of IFR cross country flying for business, I can definitely see these avionics being worth-while. However, for the average GA aircraft owner, I wonder if these fancy new toys are worth that price.

The 750 will control a remote transponder and intercom, receive info from a TCAS system and receive XM weather data. However, each of those boxes costs extra. I imagine that, with installation, a new 750 would cost the average aircraft owner more than the airplane is worth. The newest planes on the market generally have the G1000 system, which precludes a 750 retrofit. I worry that it'll be a somewhat narrow niche between planes with that G1000 and planes that would double in value by adding a 750.

That being said, I hope that a lot of the 100,000+ GNS 430s mentioned in the video get traded in for GTNs and end up on the used/refurbished market soon! Several sources, including an article at AIN Online report that Garmin plans to continue producing GNS 430s and 530s, so I'm not sure if the supply and price of used units will favor me or not.

What do you think? What is the ideal situation for a GTN upgrade? If you own a plane would you do it? Do the new GTNs lack any features that you think are necessary? Leave a comment and let us know....