GPS vs NAV selections

  • Hello and hoping I can ask general questions here about use of the aircrafts systems?

    I'm confused about GPS vs NAV coupler. I've been flying the arrow with the GPS 100 learning VOR but when a flight plan is loaded would it be as simple as just leaving the selector set to GPS and it would actually fly the whole flight according to the flight plan? What's the point of VORs if this basic GPS system can do the same that the more expensive ones do minus all the extra bells and whistles...?

  • Re: GPS vs NAV selections

    So i did do some searching prior to this post but i finally came across an article I found extremely interesting.

    But even with that said, i guess as long as GPS is stable there really is no good reason to choose VOR over GPS, is that true?

  • @JCae2798 Why fly a plane with steam gauges when you can get a glass cockpit (besides the cost)? 🙂 You can certainly do everything by GPS if you want, but it's still fun (for me anyway) to do some VOR only navigation every now and then. There are still times to use VOR today though, such as VOR approaches (though usually the GPS can do that so you don't actually have to tune the VOR).

    Also this isn't really applicable to a sim but you always have to consider what would happen if your GPS malfunctions. It's always good to have a backup.

  • @JCae2798
    As someone who grew up using VOR (and ADF) navigation...GPS is almost the "easy button". You can crosscheck your position using 2 VORs, or really one VOR + DME. If you learn how to track a VOR radial with wind correction it's a pretty good feeling,

    That said I flew around the world in the sim using a GNS430 and like it just fine. I wouldn't mind flying round the world using VOR / dead reckoning / pilotage though. At times using the GPS was just too easy, too "antiseptic" feeling.

    Also as vcapra said there are some VOR approaches, or arc DME approaches. Great fun and not so easy sometimes.

  • Just progress of modern technology I suppose. I prefer using VOR's and steam cockpits in the sim since as stated above letting the GPS do everything for you is almost too easy. I like manually tuning in and then intercepting and tracking radials ect.
    Back in the good old days I bet even VOR was considered "too easy"... I know somebody who flew his squadron of Venoms out to Rhodesia from the UK using nothing but a map on the lap in the late 50's!

  • All great info. Agreed that using VOR makes things more interesting and was my plan but when I found out that this simple GPS system still allows flight tracking I was a bit confused if this was how people use it. Good to know it offers basic tracking but VOR is where the real fun is with these types of aircrafts. Thanks again and happy flying!

  • I think a way to look at it, is the same with vinyl versus digital music. Digital is easier, but there's something about listening to vinyl that's more... satisfying, if that's your thing. For me it's the same, there's a sense of satisfaction I get from navigating by navaids, GPS is boring in comparison.

  • JF Staff


    Valve or transistor GPS?

  • Not a huge fan of any GPS, not really sure of the difference between valve and transistor. It put me out of a job after 20 years navigating the KC-135.

  • @Derek

    @Derek said in GPS vs NAV selections:


    Valve or transistor GPS?

    If you mean tube amp or transistor amp, I'd say tube amp, although hi-end transistor can be pretty close sometimes. 😀