Garmin Releases Palm OS Aviation GPS Handheld

Garmin today introduced the iQue 3600a, the first Palm Powered aviation device that is ready to navigate right out of the box. The iQue 3600a package includes an innovative yoke-mounted cradle as well as built-in basemap, terrain, obstacle and Jeppesen databases, all of which turn this full-featured PDA into a premium aviation navigator without any complicated set-up procedures.

In addition to the aviation aspects, the device features all of the automotive turn-by-turn capabilities and personal information management (PIM) applications of Garmin’s popular iQue product line, making it a highly versatile device for aviation enthusiasts.

“It’s like flying with a portable MFD,” said Gary Kelley, Garmin’s director of marketing. “Pilots will fall in love with the rich color, the high-resolution display, the Sectional chart-like presentation, the terrain-mapping and obstacle-alerting functions, and the overall ease of use. They’ll also have the peace of mind knowing that, when they snap their iQue 3600a into the smart cradle, they take to the skies with an enhanced awareness of surrounding terrain.”

Palm OS Aviator Garmin GPS Handheld for PilotsThe iQue 3600a has a patented GPS antenna design that folds discreetly into the back of the unit. Once released from this locked position, the antenna immediately begins acquiring satellite signals and can be adjusted for optimal reception. The iQue 3600a features Garmin’s Que technology, a set of integrated applications for mobile navigation. The company has added several new or enhanced Que applications to the iQue 3600a — beyond those for road navigation, including mapping, turn-by-turn routing, locating points of interest, trip computing, and satellite acquisition — to fit the needs and expectations of today’s pilots.

These applications include:

  • QueMap: Displays a comprehensive set of mapping data, such as a basemap of North/South America; aviation navaids, airports and airspace; navigation arc overlay with configurable data fields; Sectional chart-like topographic data; and U.S. obstacles like towers and obstructions

  • QueTerrain: Takes advantage of the topographic/obstacles database to alert the pilot of potential terrain conflicts within the proximity of the flight path using pop-up windows

  • QueNav: Displays GPS-derived speed, altitude and guidance features in an aircraft panel format

  • QueFlights: Keeps a record of flight time, mileage and start/end point as a digital logbook (also interfaces with Garmin’s PC-based FlightBook™ software, which is included in the Setup CD)

The iQue 3600a features a unique cradle with a patent-pending design that mounts to the yoke. Instead of using a stylus for data input, simply insert the unit in the cradle and navigate using the dedicated Direct To, Nearest, Menu, Escape, Enter and directional rocker buttons — giving it the same functionality as other Garmin aviation portables. When inserted into the cradle, it instinctively selects settings appropriate for aviation use and allows aviators to transition seamlessly from personal/automotive use to the cockpit environment.

“We are pleased to welcome the iQue 3600a from Garmin as it extends the Palm OS® platform to a new category of Palm Powered devices by providing users with a powerful combination of aviation mapping and PIM software in a single handheld,” said David Nagel, president and chief executive officer of PalmSource.

As a highly functional PDA, the iQue 3600a features the Palm operating system and includes the complete suite of PIM applications — Address, Date Book, Memo Pad, To Do (all of which can be synchronized with Microsoft Outlook), Calculator and Palm Reader for e-books. It boasts a bright, high-resolution (320x480-pixel) color TFT display, a voice recorder and MP3 player, and a Secure Digital slot for memory expansion.

Other specifications of the iQue 3600a:
Operating system: Palm OS Garnet
Processor: 200-MHz DragonBall MXL ARM9
Internal memory: 96 MB of ROM for pre-installed data and applications; 64 MB of SDRAM for downloading Palm OS-compatible applications and map data from Garmin MapSource CDs
GPS receiver/antenna: 12 parallel channel WAAS receiver / Flip-up integrated GPS patch antenna with remote antenna capability
Aviation calculator applications: QueE6B and QueWeight&Balance
GPS applications: Location awareness, electronic mapping, address lookup, automatic route generation, turn-by-turn directions with voice guidance, trip computer, tracklog, route avoidance, and Contact Locator (geocoding a location within the Address or Date Book applications)
Unit size (WxHxD)/Weight: 2.8” x 5.0” x 0.8” / 6.2 oz.
Screen dimensions: 3.8” (diagonally)
Display information: 320x480-pixel, transflective TFT display with 64K colors
Battery/Battery life: Rechargeable lithium ion battery / Up to 9 hours of continuous use (at minimum backlight setting) and four weeks on standby

The iQue 3600a is expected to be available in January 2005 at an MSRP of $1,099. It will ship standard with a USB HotSync cradle, yoke-mount cradle, GA27C external GPS antenna kit, AC adapter, 12-volt adapter, installation/application CD-ROM with owner’s manual, and a quick-start guide. To use the iQue 3600a around town, an optional auto kit is available for $219 and includes a MapSource City Select CD-ROM and a skid-friction mount with 12-volt adapter and speaker.

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Nice for pilots!

Strider_mt2k @ 1/17/2005 4:14:05 PM # Q
I like the custom cradle.
It looks like an excellent application!

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Certified for IFR

I.M Anonymous @ 1/17/2005 4:15:17 PM # Q
The real question is whether or not this is certified for IFR use. With a price tag of $1100, it better be.

RE: Certified for IFR
hhammer @ 1/17/2005 4:23:45 PM # Q
You will never see a portable GPS approved for IFR use. It has to be installed in your panel using an STC, or a 337 filed.
RE: Certified for IFR
LiveFaith @ 1/17/2005 4:42:59 PM # Q
Wow! You flyers are worse on acronyms than PDA freaks. I'm clueless.

Pat Horne;
RE: Certified for IFR
mikecane @ 1/17/2005 4:54:19 PM # Q
They be fleet 1337.

RE: Certified for IFR
Gekko @ 1/17/2005 4:55:21 PM # Q

MikeCon - you should get one of these for your Schwinn.

RE: Certified for IFR
Strider_mt2k @ 1/17/2005 6:02:40 PM # Q
Didn't think of that.

If it's not certified, what's the point? Ultra Lights?

RE: Certified for IFR
Strider_mt2k @ 1/17/2005 6:12:33 PM # Q

RE: Certified for IFR
cbowers @ 1/17/2005 7:56:37 PM # Q

?? Plenty. How much mapwork and NDB/VOR work have you done? Supplements are always welcome.

Even if not certified as a primary Nav aid, it's extremely useful if for nothing other than an aid to maintaining situational awareness.

Given a minimal but IFR certified panel, a lot can be done to lighten the workload. I used to use an old Sharp Wizard "PDA" with a Flight computer on it, to give full GPS/Loran type waypoint to waypoint navigation using any combination of NDB, VOR, DME fixes. Certified IFR flights are frequently still done (especially in the lower budget general aviation category) with some pretty crude and rudimentary panels. Yet time after time, accident reports state "loss of situational awareness, resulting into controlled flight into terain". Meaning-lost sense of direction, misread the information staring him in the face, believing it still supported where he *thought* he was headed - and flew smack into a mountain or tower. It's all too easy to ignore or misread the obvious in the stress of the ****pit when the weather's bad, something out of the ordinary has happened, or the like to jump the stress level up. The more clear/simple info you have (multiple sources of agreeing info), the easier it is to keep everything less confusing.

It's hard to explain until you've spent time doing it, but it's a whole different thing, hurtling at high speed with no visual queues (or worse, partial/vague/distorted, visual queues). Maybe submariners also know this well... It's something to fly your trips with only relentless cross-checking of rudimentary analog instruments that haven't changed much in 50 years.

Something like this Garmin, means you still fly the trip with your certified gear, but it's a no brainer to keep a sense of your environment and where you're headed, with help from the GPS/Garmin. No different than the portable GPS's we've been using for the past decade or so, just that pruducts like this Garmin is even more help.

Not being certified just means you can't put the map away, and ignore/shut off the certified instruments.

Craig Bowers
(with a Commercial pilots license in his jeans)

RE: Certified for IFR
cdunphy @ 1/17/2005 8:23:30 PM # Q
Most general aviation pilots fly rental airplanes with (at best) very outdated avionics. Handheld GPS units are worth their weight in gold for increasing both safety and enjoyment in the ****pit.

And the Garmin 3600a is actually even a better (and more powerful) navigation tool than all but the most recent built in panel-mount GPS systems. Systems that cost $10k - $20k.

A handheld GPS will never be certified by the FAA to fly in instrument conditions - the airplane as a whole (including the built in avionics only) must be certified for that. But a handheld used in conjunction to built in IFR instruments can greatly enhance safety.

I know I would love one of these with me the next time I go flying.

- chris dunphy / Pilot & PalmSource Employee

RE: Certified for IFR
Strider_mt2k @ 1/18/2005 10:19:30 AM # Q
Very eye-opening info!
Thanks for taking the time to explain.

RE: Certified for IFR
mikecane @ 1/18/2005 2:36:47 PM # Q
>>>MikeCon - you should get one of these for your Schwinn.

I don't need it, Gek. YOU are the one who is always lost.

Reply to this comment

Why not PPC-see what I said

Tamog @ 1/18/2005 11:23:35 AM # Q
all of you know that our friends at Garmin released a PPC based version of their navigator system a few weeks ago. However, with them basing this all-new device on PalmOS instead of PPC, we cearly see that the PalmOS is superior!
Thats my 2 cents
Tam Hanna

Find out more about the Palm OS in my blog:
RE: Why not PPC-see what I said
LiveFaith @ 1/18/2005 1:53:05 PM # Q
Visions of Windows 98 hell and the BSOD makes my spine shiver to think that I would ever put my life in the hands of an app running on Windows.

Pat Horne;
Reply to this comment

More interactive choices!

e_tellurian @ 3/23/2005 5:18:58 PM # Q
Some have thought of more ways to interact with ones wallet too.

Well, based on theses interactive thoughts combined with advanced interactive thoughts this will no longer be an issue.

Welcome to the New World of customer service where the we-customer is again the purpose for all.

This is a nice choice too.



completing the e-com circle with a people driven we-com solution

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