10 Mind-Blowing Reasons to Upgrade from Garmin GNS to Avidyne IFD

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Be honest — Are you one of those pilots who does a TON of research before making avionics upgrade decisions?

Us too.


Is it because we have nothing but time on our hands?

Not even close.

It’s because we demand our planes be top-of-the-line so that our flying experiences are the things dreams are made of. We believe time in the sky is personal and for making memories that last — NOT fumbling with outdated or clunky instruments that require a manual for what should be simple, “on-the-fly” adjustments.

So instead of complaining about how there “ought to be” a single, handy resource to help Garmin GNS-toting pilots to do their research about Avidyne’s IFD upgrade options… We decided to share our Top 10, not-so-secret, benefits of the Avidyne IFD, of which thousands of former GNS pilots are benefiting from, as we speak. Just be sure to stick around till the end (of the list) because we saved the best for last.


Let’s dig in:

#10: The Forefront of Modern Technology

Upgrading to technology that’s at the leading edge of the industry feels almost as good as putting on a fresh pair of socks after cleaning up from a long day’s work. And the sense of pride that comes from knowing you’ve got the best instruments possible just cannot be replicated. The IFD series is a true FMS/GPS/NAV/COM that has a track record of leading from the front with the latest advancements that are both easy to use AND worth telling your friends about. You know you’re on the right track when the competition is always playing “catch-up.”

See the latest advancements in our recorded webinar

Let’s take a look at these advancements in more detail….

#9: The Ultimate User Experience

Touch screens can be nice… but what about when things get “choppy?” No pilot wants to be “fat-fingering” flight plan updates because a little turbulence is making it near impossible to quickly navigate the touch screen. Good news? The IFD series offers the best of both worlds with its Hybrid Touch design, giving pilots the option to choose between full touch screen or manual knobs and buttons (or a healthy combination of the two).

With the IFDs you also don’t have to worry about memorizing where different settings or functions are hiding, because there are ZERO nested menu pages. Every screen can be easily accessed with just one or two clicks. No more feeling lost mid-flight or wasting time doing a refresher before take-off.

Instead, you control every step of the process with an intuitive interface that sends “guesswork” to the grave.

And we know exactly how important that is because we don’t just “talk the talk”…

Learn more about Avidyne’s Hybrid Touch Design

#8: By Pilots, for Pilots

Everything here at Avidyne is built by pilots, for pilots. The cockpit is our “home away from home” and we’ve designed the IFD series to make that home second-to-none.

Being actual pilots means we understand the features and capabilities that truly matter to, well… Pilots. It also means we’re constantly comparing notes with other real pilots to stay sharp… with our finger constantly “on the pulse” of the industry (which is infinitely more powerful than asking canned questions in a randomized survey). 

An outsider simply will not be able to imitate the insights that come from thousands of flight hours and a steady stream of real-life pilot community feedback.

This also means we know the value of being able to get up-and-running with new instruments in a hurry, and why we designed the IFDs to be “frustration-free.”

#7: Flatten the (Learning) Curve

Avidyne’s IFD series is specifically designed to enable a smooth-as-silk transition from GNS. We even describe the IFD design as being “success oriented” with easy-to-use elements that should be obvious, but are sometimes missed by other manufacturers.

Including simple things like:

  • large fonts and plain English display options
  • An insert cursor that makes it obvious where you are entering a waypoint
  • Station ID readout for active AND standby COM frequencies
  • No un-labeled pages
  • No unfamiliar icons to memorize

Learn more about our IFD’s by clicking here

There’s also the free IFD Trainer App that helps you further flatten the learning curve even before install. Imagine being able to take your IFD unit-of-choice for a “test flight” from the comfort of your couch.

Because that’s exactly what the IFD Trainer App (plus our library of detailed training videos) is for: Making you look and feel like a “whiz” from the second your install is complete, through your first IFD-powered flight, and beyond.

No matter what the weather, traffic, or visibility.

#6: Eyes in the Sky: Synthetic Vision

Speaking of visibility, our #6 spot was claimed by IFD’s Synthetic Vision capabilities. Simply put: there is nothing else like it for a GPS product. If you haven’t experienced it yet (“Hello, IFD Trainer App!”), our Synthetic Vision display gives you an amazingly detailed (and color-coded) 3D view of nearby traffic, terrain, obstacles, airports, navaids… You name it, it’s there. All in an exocentric view, showing your aircraft flying through the air as if you were watching it from afar. You’ll even find Terrain Awareness and Forward-Looking Terrain Alerting (FLTA) functionality that highlights the most potentially dangerous terrain features in yellow or red, and provides aural alerts for an added measure of safety.

Furthermore, the IFD550 offers an “out-the-window” egocentric view using Synthetic Vision with Pitch & Roll Sensing. This serves as an additional attitude reference display and if you have a legacy aircraft, it gives you a big boost in redundancy and safety.

See what we mean? There’s nothing like it! To learn more about this exciting technology, click here.

Being able to navigate congested skies during limited visibility with the kind of cool confidence that gets the job done AND puts passengers at ease is the sort of thing heroes are made of. We’re proud to say Synthetic Vision comes standard on every model in the IFD series.

On to #5:

#5: No “Holds” Barred

So what if you’re flying along and ATC says you need to be in a holding pattern?

As pilots, the last thing we want is to be scrambling and sorting through screen after screen just to enter a Hold mid-flight. Or worse: Having to dig out the manual and feel unprepared and amateurish as we flip through physical pages.

With the IFD, you don’t have to worry about ANY of that.

In #9 (above), we mentioned every screen can be accessed in just one or two clicks. Well, Holds are no exception. In what feels like no time at all, you’ll be adding the Hold to your flight plan (Random or Published Holds), and the intuitive interface lets you quickly select and customize the length (minutes or nautical miles), direction, and turns (right or left).

The whole process is such a breeze that we have to warn you: Don’t be surprised to find yourself letting out a quiet “thank you” once you realize how smooth it went, and that you get to enjoy some “bonus” stress-free time in the sky.

Next up… #4.

#4: Intelligent GeoFill

Ready to save time again? Because IFD’s GeoFill feature reduces data entry by as much as 75%.

(That’s not a typo.)

The unique, patented algorithm developed by Avidyne, empowers the IFD Series to search for waypoints geographically rather than alphabetically so you rarely have to spell out an entire waypoint. Typically within 1 or 2 letters the IFD will accurately “nominate” the rest of the waypoint name for you.

It’s so intelligent, you’ll sometimes find your desired waypoint as soon as you push ENTER. To learn more about GeoFill and other exciting IFD Series features, click here to watch our webinar.

Talk about easy flight plan entry — What a relief!

#3: Unbeatable Warranty

Welcome to the TOP 3!

With such a critical upgrade, we as pilots strive to do all we can to ensure our FMS/GPS/NAV/COM upgrade decision is the right one for us and our plane. And a key factor in that decision is how well the instruments will be supported and covered by the manufacturer over the long run. None of us wants to be grounded due to defunct avionics that died and went to overpriced paperweight heaven (because an expired shorter-term warranty led to big out-of-pocket costs… or our current model was suddenly labeled “obsolete”).

That said, you’ll be ecstatic to hear that Avidyne IFDs come with up to 4 FULL YEARS of warranty coverage for FREE*. Which begs the question: How do you guarantee you’ll get the full four years?


  • The First year of coverage is instant. No questions asked or actions required.
  • The Second year of coverage simply requires the product be registered on the website.
  • Years three and four are activated with a free AeroPlan Registration (*just sign the T&C and Indemnification).

Then (get this), for as long as you own your Avidyne products, you can continue to purchase warranty extensions beyond the four free years of coverage. So (if you choose) you can keep your IFD devices covered under warranty no matter how long you have them.

This is the kind of impressive warranty package that leaves pilots beaming with confidence in their upgrade decision because they know the equipment is covered AND the cost of ownership becomes very predictable from that point forward.

#2: Practically BOGO

Here at #2 is a tool that serves as a true “force multiplier.”

The IFD100 iPad App is exclusive from Avidyne, but (unlike the Trainer App) the IFD100 provides you with an entirely separate (and extra) instance of IFD in the cockpit via your iPad.

IFD100 gives you a Big Glass IFD in addition to the IFD device you had purchased. They operate and function separately so each device can have completely separate screens displayed at the same time. And yes, with the IFD100 App you can edit your flight plan, go Direct To, enter frequencies, and even monitor different IFD functions, including ADS-B weather and traffic.

Best part? IFD100 is FREE with any Avidyne IFD purchase. Possibly the best BOGO deal out there.

Discover how the IFD100 enhances your navigation experience

And now… it’s time to reveal the #1 benefit when upgrading from Garmin GNS to Avidyne IFD.

Drumroll, please…

#1: Effortless Glory

Topping the list today is IFD’s extremely convenient direct replacement technology for GNS units. And it’s just like it sounds: The “plug-and-play” compatibility means IFD uses the exact same connector, tray, and wiring as your existing legacy GNS… Almost eliminating install time and expense.

(Something that is not available with any other upgrade options.)

This is the fastest and easiest route to take your GNS-equipped plane from behind-the-technical-times to leading from the front. Every single advantage and upgrade feature mentioned on this list can be yours in under an hour. It’s just that easy.

And it was designed that way intentionally.

With you, the pilot, in mind.

When everything’s up and running this fast, you (and your fellow pilots) will know you made the right upgrade decision.

Now, like we said at the beginning of this resource, we pride ourselves on being effective researchers, especially when it comes to avionics upgrades. And if you do, too, this list may have only scratched the surface for your analysis.

If you would like to dig into the nitty-gritty of what the IFD Series offers, please check out our recorded webinar by clicking the link below. During this recorded webinar, you will also be able to submit questions to our team for a quick response.

The best decision is an informed decision, so click here to learn more about the IFD Series from Avidyne.

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