Editor’s note: The following is part 2 of a two part article series from special contributor Chip McClure of Jet Acquisitions. In part 1, Chip gives his breakdown on the differences between the two systems. In this part 2, Chip describes his hands on experience with the Pro Line Fusion and offer his final thoughts on the two systems.
I’ll start this off by saying that I encourage any King Air owner with an APS-65 airplane to check out the Pro Line Fusion before committing to an avionics upgrade. I contacted Tom Canavera at Landmark Aviation (call 210-701-7865 or email firstname.lastname@example.org). They have the STC for the retrofit and now the system as well.
I made the arrangements and documented my thoughts of my hands-on experience in a recent forum post on beechtalk.com:
“The Fusion is COOL! I mean really cool! It is MUCH more user friendly than I ever expected. We are talking true touch screen interaction with simple menus and an interface that is so intuitive that Apple should sue them! It was literally like using your iPad! Sure the joy sticks and push buttons are down in the pedestal, but don’t be misled, they are ancillary to the use of the system. Almost all command inputs are performed by a few touches of the screen. Complicated arrivals and departures, to “I have an emergency! Where’s the nearest airport…” are all input with a simple touch input, just pick the airport by touching it, touch the feather for the expected runway and it automatically loads the ILS approach… all easy and simple.
One simple but pleasant surprise was a big, textured bezel all the way around all the screens, this allows you to place your hand on the edge of the screen for stability, this is important especially if in turbulence, a concern I’ve expressed since seeing the GTN750 for the first time and knowing a bigger version was on its way. the result is a bit less of a “clean” look but the fact that you have three equal 14″ screens across the panel and better usability more than makes up for it.
I have to admit that before meeting with Tom and the guys from Landmark I was skeptical, I am unashamedly a Garmin guy after all… but after seeing the Collins Fusion in action, I’ll recommend the Fusion to my clients who have the later model airplanes or have the APS-65 to work with and want the touchscreen. I’ll continue to recommend the G1000 total upgrade for the Legacy airplanes.
I think the G1000 is and always has been a winner. I think the Fusion is a winner and a big step forward for our world.
The real winner is the pilot who is lucky enough to fly an upgraded panel Beechcraft King Air!
The King Air has survived when so many other great airplanes did not, this has allowed companies like Garmin, Raisbeck, Blackhawk and Rockwell Collins to prosper… their prosperity has brought innovation and new life to our aircraft and industry. I think they all deserve our respect and admiration. Keep up the good work!
Garmin… the bar just got raised… let’s see what you got!”
Chip McClure is the founder and CEO of Jet Acquisitions, an aircraft acquisition company based in Georgetown, Texas. He has worked in the aviation industry for over a decade, including multiple projects involving King Air. His company website iswww.jetacq.com and Facebook page is www.facebook.com/chipmcclure.aviation/. To see the article as published go to http://kingairnation.com/g1000_vs_pro_line_fusion_part_2/