Today I want to talk you about a product that is not very well known in the X-Plane world and that is more powerful and useful than what I could ever image. I’m talking about the RealityXP GTN750/650 series.
This product wants to simulate a real GTN750 or GTN650 (separate purchase) and to integrate it into your favorite aircraft 3D cockpit (if supported by author, all the new planes have this capability) or in 2D mode visualization for every aircraft.
First of all let’s talk about the real GTN750/650: you can find the real manual here and is the only thing you will need with the RealityXP rendition.
GTN750/650 is the evolution of the well-known GNS 530/430 that is currently used in x-plane via the default renditions from Laminar and are also very popular in general aviation in the real world. This new series of products features a lot of new stuffs from Garmin that are very useful: first of all, this series is powered by full size touch screens with only two buttons and the two rotatory encoders for frequency selection like in the 530/430. As you all may know the old 530/430 series was mainly thought for IFR flying as was providing poor or none assistance for VFR flying as it has no Visual Reporting Point in the map and, so, no planning capability for pure VFR.
This new series fixes this lack introducing VRPs in map visualization and also in planning capabilities, giving you the possibility of making the aircraft fly with autopilot NAV mode a fully VFR route, making VFR flying possible also for who has none to small VFR flying knowledge. There are a lot of new features like the possibility to set transponder code directly form the user interface, and a lot of planning utilities that will help you making important and difficult calculations for your flight, another thing that a pilot definitively finds useful is the ability to plan (and also modify) your flight plane route directly from map with a graphical editing mode, that also allows you to easily create a user waypoint.
The last feature I’m going to talk here in this article is Safe Taxi: this enhancement will display a complete airport diagram with stands and taxiways names along with your aircraft on this map that will made easy taxing also in bigger airport (as a real GA pilot that usually operates in medium size international airports I can assure you that this feature would be awesome in the aircraft I fly). Of course, all those new stuffs add to the previous features of the 530/430 so It’s fully able to do IFR and also (this is a new feature) to fly airways.
We’ve only scratched the surface of this amazing Garmin product and I invite you to read the previously suggested manual to discover more about its usage and features available.
Let’s now talk about the rendition of such a complex piece of hardware/software in our favorite simulator. RealityXP has done a beautiful work portraying this addon to the sim world taking advantages from their experience and aiming to create a product that had to be used mainly for real training proposes, which users takes advantages at affordable prices.
They decided to use the training software from Garmin that simulates their product and make it possible to integrate in our simulator, making sure that the rendition is 100% realistic as it’s based on the REAL software. I would like to underline that this integration done from RealityXP is not easy and is not just a matter of capturing the screen bits and sending a few mouse events between the simulator and the trainer.
Besides plugin/gauge integration, most of the functions and settings the developer makes available via the GUI Settings Panel (and the ini file) have thousands of lines of custom code tapping the inner-working of the trainer.
I’ve tested this product for a very long time, every time with the manual in front of me, and I’ve found no discrepancy from the real thing (just a few features not working due to objective impossibility to being used in a not real and physical environment). I’ve also tried to fing any problem of integration in the simulator, but I found no bugs or problems, every flight was just like having the real equipment in my hand, impressive.
Here at Tom’s Cockpit we thought that it was important to let you know about this product that, as far as I know, is not used as much as it should be as it may help newbies as well as very well-trained pilots. This is a review, but is not like our most classical one, as we will express only the general vote.
For me the product itself it’s fantastic and the rendition from RealityXP is at a professional level and benefits from they experience in real training environments, another thing that I love from RealityXP way to work is their fantastic support service that will assist you if you have any issue, and the fact that they are constantly updating their product for integrating the new garming software versions and keeping the product perfectly working in X-plane 9/10/11.
There are only two things NOT RELATED TO REALITYXP development that may annoy some people: AIRAC updates are not available from Navigraph or Aerosoft but only from Garmin as they are the ones actually used in the real product (this is due to the use of the garming real software, it’s as real as it gets), and they are quite expensive (the good news is that Garmin sometimes releases with its software update a free cycle). The other thing that may annoy someone is that 3D cockpit integration is only supported in aircrafts that comes with the config file or for aircrafts which config file has been made by community.
General Vote: 9,5
Blog post initially written by : T.Felici, an aviation passionate