Aspen Avionics – Garmin Version 5.0 and GDL-88 Memo

Aspen Avionics has determined that the GNS 400W / 500W Series Unit Software Version 5.0 released on October 16, 2012, causes flight plan cross fill issues with Aspen’s Connected Panel systems. The GNS 400W / 500W cross fill interface is based on a Garmin-proprietary language, and while Aspen has successfully interpreted the GNS-to-GNS data in past software revisions, we are at present unable to reach an agreement with Garmin to provide a functional interface with this latest version 5.0 release.

Aspen recommends that our dealers and customers who have already installed, or are planning to install Connected Panel systems in their aircraft refrain from updating their GNS 400W / 500W systems until a functional flight plan cross fill capability for the version 5.0 platform has been developed. It’s also important for our dealers and customers to understand that once a GNS 400W / 500W unit has been upgraded to the version 5.0 software it cannot be restored with pre-5.0 software.

In addition, Aspen has been unable to obtain integration specifications that enable the EFD1000/500 products to display ADS-B data from the Garmin GDL-88 receiver. Aspen customers who are considering ADS-B functionality are advised to wait to purchase products that are based on open, easy-to-integrate architecture. Customers are encouraged to contact Garmin to request that open integration specifications be provided to Aspen and other manufacturers to ensure broad industry compatibility.

Aspen customers can be assured that their Evolution Flight Displays will be easily upgradable to display ADS-B data from compatible, affordable receivers that will be brought to market in the coming months, well before the mandate.

The power of the Evolution Flight Display Systems and the Connected Panel product lines reside within their compatibility with a wide range of old and new avionics products. This interoperability among all avionics manufacturers reduces  aircraft owner’s overall equipment and installation costs, while guaranteeing the investments made in aircraft panels. Aspen will continue to foster an open integration philosophy within the avionics industry and urges all manufacturers to follow such an approach for the common good of general aviation.


Mark Ferrari, VP of Sales and Customer Support, Aspen Avionics


35 years component-level Aviation/Electronics repair/Avionics retrofit experience. FCC General Radiotelephone with Ship Radar. Navcom-Audio, Transponder-Pulse-Radar, Autopilot expertise. IT Administration since 1983. Private Pilot since 1986. CAD designer since 1990. FAA Certified Repair Station Chief Inspector since 1994. Started 3 Avionics Shops. College: Business Administration/Marketing. Motorcycle enthusiast. 6 year USAF Veteran, Ground Radio Equipment Technician (30474, E-5). WordPress novice.

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