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Garmin G3X Touch or Dynon Skyview for flying in Europe

Greetings, my first post here, I’m not sure if this should be posted into maintenance or non-certified section.
I’m slowly building Vans RV14 and will soon have to decide which avionics brand to select for the aircraft, which basically means choosing between Garmin G3X touch and Dynon Skyview HDX. Price difference between the two solutions is almost negligible, feature wise both offer almost the same capabilities. As I understand Dynon’s database can be updated via EasyVFR subscription which is cheaper than Garmin’s.
I was wondering if anybody here did have a chance to fly across European airspace with G3X and the Skywiev and could share his experience.

Building RV14 tail dragger
EPMO, Poland

Hi !
Congratulations for having the courage to build a plane, the RV14 seems a great two seater.

@carlmeek knows one of the two suites.

LFOU, France

RV14TDbuilder wrote:

I was wondering if anybody here did have a chance to fly across European airspace with G3X and the Skywiev and could share his experience.

Why bother. Sooner or later (and sooner rather than later) you will mount a tablet with SD anyway Much better for navigation than any of those two. Honestly though, I have only tried the G3X, not the Skyview.

The elephant is the circulation

My own thought would be one PFD + the biggest tablet possible. A tablet allows you to put golze weather on your route, for a small cost.
If you want autopilot or TAS, you probably need PFD+MFD.

What you look for is somebody who has flown with both. Maybe Wigglyamp ? He just finished an RV12 with G3X.

Last Edited by Jujupilote at 03 Dec 19:00
LFOU, France

Thanks for the replies. As a matter of fact I’m using SD on an iPad Pro when flying in rented aircraft, but I was hoping that either Garmin or Dynon could replace it. I’m under impression that people choose Garmin over Dynon because Garmin is a publicly traded company and has a reputation to deliver quality products. Dynon on the other hand holds a strong position in experimental segment, has been designed to be installed by amateur builders.

Building RV14 tail dragger
EPMO, Poland

Dynon also produces certified stuff and (like with Rotax engines) I think or at least hope that this trickles down into the quality of their non-certified products. In any event, I have not heard of their equipment being less reliable than Garmin’s.

I’m not sure if the Dynon HDX line is available for experimentals. If so, you may want to have a look at those, because their screens have a similar high resolution to Garmin’s G3X, but you probably know all that..

Last Edited by aart at 04 Dec 10:15
Private field, Mallorca, Spain

One thing to consider and study is mean time between failure (MTBF). Non-certified Dynons had there fair share, and some lines of certified (example the early Cirrus MFDs) have had massive failure rates which no company likes to talk about. While everybody assumes that glass must be better than a 6-pack, the truth is TBC. Pulling it all out every 9 months is certainly no fun, and it’s hard to come by reliable data.


Dynon Skyview is rock solid and easy to install. Their subsidiary AFS (Advanced Flight Systems) is more open to innovation and experimentation therefore some quirks appear in those devices from time to time. On the other hand a recent Garmin G3X firmware update sometimes takes 2h+ to load and requires some technical insight to complete successfully – that’s what I read on Vans forum.
Anyway, the choice is not between a more reliable and less reliable brand but between something which is more or less suitable for flying in Europe. Maybe as Leswing says SD would be necessary anyway therefore choosing between Garmin and Dynon would be like choosing between BMW and Mercedes (replace with your favorite 2 car brands here)

Building RV14 tail dragger
EPMO, Poland

I fly with Dynon Skyview in Germany, France, Spain, Swiss, Italy…. It’s pure fun. The data is provided by easyVFR (EV) and is very reliable. For a short time I tried Jeppesen also. EV is a bit better as they heared to my wishes. They give you frequencies and altitudes of airspaces if you tap onto them. I do not need any SD or Tablet during flight. I use my mobile phone for TopMetSat App which gives me clouds, rain and most important cloud ceilings and tops. I never want to miss that. The appearence of airspaces in SkyView can be adapted from the typical Dynon/US style to EV style which is more convenient for european eyes. Ask easyVFR and they give you the config snippet you have to load into your SkyView. Takes only a few seconds. Did not fly with Garmin. But I know from an RV7 which had long lasting problems to get the Garmin stuff working. Dynon is made for RVs.

A week or so ago a guy I know inadvertently connected a brand new Garmin transponder with reversed polarity, I assume due to a cable problem or? He’s not a fool, but things happen… A call to Garmin gathered the following response: It cannot be submitted to Garmin for service by anybody but a dealer, despite having been sold direct through an online retailer, and Garmin recommends buying a new unit from a dealer. $3K gone in a second. My friend is pulling the Garmin rack now, and will be installing an Appareo.

My recent experience with Garmin was not quite as bad, my unit is working fine now after a software upgrade. The unit was shipped with flawed software, paid upgrades were required on a never installed, new production item as well as the time to troubleshoot: Garmin tech support hold times were about an hour and the documentation was absolutely terrible. Happily, my software upgrade was paid for with a six-pack to the local dealer’s guys – friends in low places are good to have

I had a similar experience with a high end Garmin motorcycle GPS: It is is ridiculously cumbersome to use, bizarre and awful in its functionality. I’ve finally learned my lesson now, and will not buy from Garmin again.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 04 Dec 22:18
13 Posts
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