Bendix/King new handheld GPS - AV8OR

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Bendix/King have just released their new handheld GPS, which at least on paper, is finally threatening the Garmin hold on the market, with some luck we might get a little price-war going on.

The AV8OR offers a touch screen, the usability of which I'm wondering about in a bumpy cockpit, aviation and road mode (Garmin will usually charge you extra for automotive maps, unless you go for the top-of-the-line 496), SD slot, Bluetooth capabilities, terrain warning, and so on.

What I find to be really revolutionary (again, at least on paper) is the ability to add weather XM link at a later date by connecting WxWorks receiver (USB or Bluetooth). That enables pilots to get the basic unit and upgrade later, as opposed to Garmin's situation in which you have to make this decision ahead of time.

It's currently available from Sporty's at $675 during the Air Venture, regular price is $750, putting it between the 196 and the 296 price-wise without the weather option, and far cheaper than the 396 with it.

If any of you manages to get their hands on it, I'd be very interested to hear your impression.

-- Tal Reichert, July 30, 2008


Tal: Thanks for the posting, but it looks a bit like a press release, which is great for, but this forum is supposed to be for pilots with questions. This posting just barely squeaks by under the forum policy because of the last sentence, which is implicitly the question "How do people like this new widget?"

[As to the merits of this new box, the cheesy name makes me wonder. I don't think that the ability to plug in extra stuff makes the device better. Portables should be rat-simple and not add wires to the cockpit.]

-- Philip Greenspun, July 31, 2008

This is an incredible advancement in handheld gps technology. Try to get your hands on a demo... you won't want to let go. It's great on the road too. Here is an easy link for more product details.

-- dave kirsten, October 11, 2008

I just unpacked mine. I am not impressed. You can't get from auto/car to airplane without searching for the exit. It then takes great effort to re-load the database. Very strange and non-intuitive user interface. I wanted to put a friend's house in the database and then use the unit to loacte the house by air. I doubt if this will ever work. So far I have had to pull the battery out twice to reset the unit after gettins lost in the screens.

-- Jean Scibetta, January 2, 2009