Garmin has introduced an affordable Mode S transponder

Garmin has announced a Mode S transponder that ‘meets European flight regulations without breaking the bank’. The GTX 328 will comply with the proposed European regulation for Mode S implementation for VFR (visual flight rules) aircraft by 31 March, 2008. “We developed the GTX 328 to satisfy Europe’s requirement for a Mode S solution that would meet the reduced certification requirements for the VFR Mode S mandate,” said Steve Gubbins, Garmin’s International Avionics Sales Manager. It uses many of the features employed on the larger GTX 330 unit, but has the much cheaper suggested retail price of $2,995.

The GRX 328 is intended to serve VFR/Class 2 aircraft and is designed to be a straightforward retrofit. According to Garmin, it has an ‘easy to use pilot interface, high contrast LCD display and user friendly keypad featuring a dedicated VFR button’. The unit retains many of the GTX 330 features, such as displaying outside air temperature, altitude monitoring, count up and count down timers (using a built-in digitised voice annunciator to alert the pilot when preset altitude limits have been exceeded or timer expiration), density altitude functions and front panel input for flight ID.