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Marty_d

Alternative to steam gauges... opinions sought

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Hi all,

 

I need to start thinking about what sort of instruments to put into the 701. While looking at alternatives to traditional gauges, I came across this wing mounted pod:

 

1539940898326.png.0bb59ba13b298c2fa18703c20ead9c3c.png

 

WingBug | Fly Smarter

 

This works in conjunction with a tablet, for instance Ipad or Ipad mini, to display Airspeed, Artificial Horizon, Altitude, Turn Coordination, Magnetic Compass, and Vertical Speed Indicator (pic below:)

 

1539940470698.png.940f64e77558fca7afcca21f3337532c.png

 

There's also a company which makes powered flush panel mounts for Ipads in various sizes (they're a bit expensive, there's probably cheaper versions out there) - iPad/iPhone Panel Mounts

 

1539942233575.png.519b0d9b84309ae0a4cf5684081452da.png

 

So my thinking is that it'd be cheaper and neater to use a setup like this rather than a panel full of heavier steam gauges, and way cheaper than a "proper" glass display.

 

Of course I'd need basic engine instruments like CHT and oil temp etc.

 

What do people think?

 

 

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Hi all,

I need to start thinking about what sort of instruments to put into the 701. While looking at alternatives to traditional gauges, I came across this wing mounted pod:

 

[ATTACH=full]62151[/ATTACH]

 

WingBug | Fly Smarter

 

This works in conjunction with a tablet, for instance Ipad or Ipad mini, to display Airspeed, Artificial Horizon, Altitude, Turn Coordination, Magnetic Compass, and Vertical Speed Indicator (pic below:)

 

[ATTACH=full]62150[/ATTACH]

 

There's also a company which makes powered flush panel mounts for Ipads in various sizes (they're a bit expensive, there's probably cheaper versions out there) - iPad/iPhone Panel Mounts

 

[ATTACH=full]62152[/ATTACH]

 

So my thinking is that it'd be cheaper and neater to use a setup like this rather than a panel full of heavier steam gauges, and way cheaper than a "proper" glass display.

 

Of course I'd need basic engine instruments like CHT and oil temp etc.

 

What do people think?

I made my tablet mount out of aluminium. You would have not trouble making one and I expect will have material available. You will find it in the Skyranger new nynja to area thread. Cheers

 

 

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I like it. I would consider mounting two screens. Two big or a big and small.

 

This would give some redundancy and give a dedicated and larger moving map, with the other screen for instruments.

 

As a dynon skyview user, with pretty much everything, the one 10 inch screen can get "saturated"....

 

I have a large analogue asi and altimeter which seems to register in the brain faster than a screen display....

 

A secondary screen would allow for future tech developments too...

 

 

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Hi Marty d,

 

I acknowledge the benefits of "glass panels" (light, very comprehensive, ability to customise, etc etc) however I guess I am a bit "old school" and would suggest you look at what instruments/indicators you a need (rather than want) for this class of aircraft and the sort of aviating you will actually be doing. I would suggest that automotive engine gauges (Speco, VDO, etc) , basic flight instruments, a mounted Ipad/OzRnways and a dedicated aviation hand held style (mounted) GPS (for redundancy) will meet all your needs at minimal cost. With a little care weight can be kept down, appearance enhanced and you will have much more in your pocket to go flying with.

 

 

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Hi Marty d,

I acknowledge the benefits of "glass panels" (light, very comprehensive, ability to customise, etc etc) however I guess I am a bit "old school" and would suggest you look at what instruments/indicators you a need (rather than want) for this class of aircraft and the sort of aviating you will actually be doing. I would suggest that automotive engine gauges (Speco, VDO, etc) , basic flight instruments, a mounted Ipad/OzRnways and a dedicated aviation hand held style (mounted) GPS (for redundancy) will meet all your needs at minimal cost. With a little care weight can be kept down, appearance enhanced and you will have much more in your pocket to go flying with.

The basic instruments is what this does. At a minimum I'd want altimeter, airspeed, turn&slip and compass. Artificial horizon may be good if I'm ever so bloody stupid as to get into cloud or dusk/dark, and VSI is handy I guess.

 

The Ipad has GPS and if there were 2 of them panel mounted, that provides redundancy not only for that but also for all the gauges shown on the first Ipad in case of problems with it.

 

Interestingly they don't how much it costs for the annual subscription to the app. I'd have to factor that in if I go down this route.

 

 

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TSO'd mechanical Gyro instruments of any quality are expensive. I can say that with confidence, because I've experienced the pain of maintaining a full dual panel IFR cockpit.. Another factor to consider is how easy are they to see in bright sunshine?..

 

Don't go overboard with lots of dials. Also if you become dependent on that kind of panel for your flying , when it goes on the blink you will be a bit lost. You would have to discipline your self to still keep looking outside when flying all legs of the circuit rather than do it on the dials.. Does something like this satisfy the requirements? How is the Kollsman scale on the altimeter adjusted for QNH etc What's it powered by and is there a standby power built in.? Nev

 

 

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The basic instruments is what this does. At a minimum I'd want altimeter, airspeed, turn&slip and compass. Artificial horizon may be good if I'm ever so bloody stupid as to get into cloud or dusk/dark, and VSI is handy I guess.The Ipad has GPS and if there were 2 of them panel mounted, that provides redundancy not only for that but also for all the gauges shown on the first Ipad in case of problems with it.

 

Interestingly they don't how much it costs for the annual subscription to the app. I'd have to factor that in if I go down this route.

I have found the GT50 is handy as it give battery voltage, trip timer, time, outside air temp etc. I find the classic set of guages best. Mini tablet is plenty. Location of guage and instruments needs sorting. Avia sport for Rotax as they have the feature to link lamps or led (on constant when guage in the red band, blink in yellow and off in green. Eg as CHT rises during warmup you see blinking and then off when in the green.) I bought the combination c/b switches to save some room on panel and only have 4 separate c/b on panel (all, batt, 12 volt outlet & usb 5v. Cheers

 

 

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Personally, I'm not a fan of having "all glass" for aviation instruments. In my experience, things go wrong at the worst possible time. Translation: When the internal glass cockpit fails will be the time you find out the the batteries in the external pod are dead.

 

Don't get me wrong, I think glass panels are cool, but I also think they can be a distraction to the pilot playing with the "bells and whistles" rather than looking outside the cockpit. I've seen pilots do this.

 

 

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Seems you are "wedded" to the glass panel - I have an almost 19 year old, 850 hr aircraft and gave only had to replace one of the Speco engine gauges (oil pressure) in that time. My flight instruments are full size non certified altimeter & air speed (Chinese), small VCI & compass. My slip ball is a Sun Company Level-O-Gauge. For fun I have an AVMap AH which duplicates most of my gauges and has a slip ball. My OAT is a battery powered electronic indoor/outdoor digital thermometer (thermocouple in the cabin air inlet), my clock is a battery powered digital. I also have a dedicated hand held (mounted) Garmin GPS and an Ipad mini with OzRnways. I did splash out on an X Comm radio, BK KT 74 transponder and ELT but everything else is "on the cheap" it works, is accurate, reliable.

 

 

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but I also think they can be a distraction to the pilot playing with the "bells and whistles" rather than looking outside the cockpit. I've seen pilots do this.

Yes, a bit like “ infotainment” systems in today’s motor vehicles ! ..... Bob

 

 

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If you decide on a full glass panel you should have backup analogue gauges for ASI, Altitude and an independent compass IMHO. Even though manufacturers say their glass instruments are sunlight readable which is true, when in full sunlight they are not easily readable so when you are busy in the cockpit you do not have time to process inadequately displayed information. A quick glance at an analogue instrument registers with the brain instantly, not so with digital data although many panels do have an analogue type display but sunlight reflected from the glass (or plastic as the case may be) reduces the readability.

 

I have analogue ASI, VSI, ALT, & Tacho in front of me along with a Dynon D6 which fits into a standard instrument hole. The Compass is liquid filled and high in the centre away from any electro or magnetic interference. The Dynon duplicates ASI, VSI ALT, Compass and has turn coordinator & slip ball, A/H, AOA, Attitude & heading. It also has a voltmeter built in so a separate instrument for this is not required. There are other fancy bits like roll rate, turn rate and airspeed trend which I don't both with. If the Dynon fails I still have ASI, VSI, ALT & Compass. If the pitot & static get blocked I still have GPS ground speed, altitude and attitude.

 

 

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I'm old school too and see things very simplistically. With a panelful of 'steam' gauges if one goes wrong you can easily keep flying using what's left. You only need one item - the tablet - to go wrong and you've lost the lot.

 

I wouldn't go that route for all the tea in China thanks very much.

 

 

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I agree with the skeptics. By all means have a tablet but keep the steam gauges too. They don't have to be expensive ones and there are still instrument shops where damaged ones can be fixed. Tablets are great for navigation stuff but I accept that they can be used for other instruments too.

 

Personally, I have yet to see a truly daylight readable glass instrument, maybe its just my eyes, but I find them hard to read a lot of the time.

 

But here is a bit of heresy: you should be able to fly without any instruments at all. One of the glider training exercises was to cover the ASI and altimeter to see how the student went. Most students were quite ok, generally flying 10 knots faster. After all, looking out at the horizon should be the main input, and during the flare your eyes are not looking at the instruments at all either.

 

 

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Not doubting you Mike, on circuit I usually watch the ASI religiously. The times the ASI has been covered, I was flying faster than normal as far as I could tell by the feel of the glider and the nose-down attitude as seen by the horizon on the canopy, and this was confirmed later by the instructor who had a working ASI in the back seat.

 

So how does this lead to a spin? Maybe while turning, the horizon gives a different illusion? I never heard of anybody where the instructor had to stop the student going into a spin, but it may have happened.

 

 

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"Main" input doesn't mean "only"

 

. Pulling the stick back (too far) is what gets you killed. People who get disorientated in cloud and are lucky to fall out of it in the clear and at sufficient height, usually recover quickly in VMC. Seeing the real world is the best and most rapid way to orientate yourself. ALL pilots should be well programed to KNOW that wing AOA is what stalls it at around 14 degrees( OTA.) They should also know the elevator is what controls AoA

 

The attitude instrument (Artificial horizon) does the same for you as the REAL horizon but you SCAN other basic instruments to confirm your "chosen" attitude is achieving the situation you desire. This is exactly what you do when flying visually There's also a relationship with Power attitude and airspeed which for a given plane in a normal configuration will produce a similar result each time. IF there's NO power you remove one element but it still applies, but you are using potential energy (Height loss) in place of power. Nev

 

 

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Horizon isn't good at low altitude for a start. Also not good in non equilibrium or nearly so situations as a measure of stall margin.

 

Now consider what happens when you are at 60 knots in a modern glider and AOA is about 7 degrees. Go around the final turn and your AoA increases depending on angle of bank to as much as nearly 10 degrees. Plenty of stall margin to the stall at 15 degrees, right?

 

Now while you are rolling in to the final turn encounter a sharp edged strong thermal of say 10 knots. Your AoA is now 16 degrees i.e. the glider is stalled or perhaps nearly so. In either case the glider will try to pitch down because of the collapse of the lift on the more forward part of the wing, if stalled or the natural stability will cause the glider to line up on the new airflow direction if nearly stalled. You will have encountered this when enetring a strong thermal and feeling like the tail is being lifted.

 

So the nose tries to go down and if you fly by the horizon or attitude you pull the stick back to keep it level, thus pulling deeper into the stall or actually causing the stall. The progress of the nose around the horizon will also slow or stop giving extra incentive to pull back.

 

You are now looking at the ground starting to rotate in front of you and rush up towards you.

 

Pretty much the scenario of a spin in a Waikerie 2 and a half years ago. The pilot is not a fool but I've been told he has no idea what happened or why and thinks there is a problem with the glider type.

 

Aviation has had a lot of spin in accidents while turning base or final. I had to do a lot of analysis of the physics involved in entering thermals, turning etc while developing the Dynamis variometer over the last few years. I haven't seen the above written up anywhere before.

 

One thing we could do and is being worked on by a group at the University of North Dakota is to stop doing the "square" circuit and use a much shallower bank, 180 degree turn from downwind onto final. Be aware also that encountering vertical air motion tries to do more than just cause the aircraft to rise or sink.

 

The stick commands angle of attack. Subsequent motion of the aircraft flightpath is a consequence of that.

 

 

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I'm with Bruce, you should be reasonably confident flying without instruments. I did that test when gliding in NZ; we not only had to report to the CFI in the back seat every couple of minutes on our speed and altitude, we also had to do an outlanding into an unfamiliar paddock more than 10nm away from our usual strip. I was never told whether my estimates on speed & altitude were close, but I was cleared to fly cross-country. Air noise probsbly makes it easier in a glider.

 

My primary navigation instrument is a pair of eyeballs mounted on my head. Passengers are warned that use of a mobile phone could interfear with this navigation system.

 

Mike is correct in that assessing your speed by referencing the ground can result in stall and spinning, particularly on downwind, turning & close to the ground, but I dont think this is the case if you have the aircraft's attitude set correctly for the amount of power the engine is producing.

 

When it comes to the engine, I am far more dependent on the gauges....I know I should be able to assess the engine on the noise & vibration, but I'm a nervous Nelly with the iron thermal up front.

 

So I'm thinking an ipad panel connected as you suggested would be fine, as long as you are confident you can fly the plane if it goes pear shaped. But I would suggest you think about engine monitoring too. We just need someone to make something like the MGL RDAC with wifi connectivity.

 

FWIW, on my panel I have one MGL Xtreme EFIS/EMS & a mechanical ASI with legacy fuel flow, compass and electric vario/vsi (from pre Xtreme time), & I have a handheld GPS & an Android tablet sort of running OzRunways. I also take my little Silva orienteering compass & paper WAC....I have used that compass for steering across oceans (in a boat) with legs exceeding a thousand nm in pre-gps days...probably unecessary now.

 

 

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Sorry this "Your AoA is now 16 degrees" should read "your AoA has increased by 10 degrees".

 

In reality thermals aren't completely sharp edged so the AoA increase is less than the full 10 degrees and goes away after about 2 to 2.5 seconds. Plenty of time for you to pull the stick back though.

 

 

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Add bank and add power or lower the nose if gliding or power off. Should be second nature.. These "fall out of final turns" seem to be much more common these days than I recall earlier. If the nose drops uncommanded and you respond with more stick back your fate is sealed if you don't have much height. (and know exactly what to do and do it) The majority of my experience is with racecourse circuits . I can't see them as an advantage though with OUR circuit work. especially as relates to forced landing techniques and the landing judgement is more precise for longer with the "oval circuit" and you reconfiguring the plane in a turn and do powered approaches. Something ab initio students don't get asked to do . The max 30 degrees edict is perhaps a negative thing,. encouraging people to then rely on and apply extra rudder and the risks that entails..Nev

 

 

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Mike with regard to your #21 post a knowledge of more basic attitude /power would have saved AF 447. There are times when instruments and warnings have to be ignored and revert to absolute "BASICS". I've had an AH 'Tilt" right on rotation at night at Launceston to the west where it was as black is cow's guts and "luckily " didn't follow it.. Rule...….. Never trust ONE single instrument.. Confirm it with others. Nev

 

 

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I love all the Hitech stuff and glass cockpit and I have it in my cockpit. BUT I would always have a mechanical card compass and a analogue airspeed indicator because for me thats all you need if everything goes dark. All the hiTec stuff is just nice to have ...but it really is flashy bullsh1t thats great to use.

 

 

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AF447 was in equilibrium straight and level flight. It was going to pretty much stay there if left alone. HOWEVER the copilot (guy flying at the time) would have seen the altitude decrease suddenly (that was still working- the pitot and hence airspeed was lost because all 3 pitot tubes were blocked by ice) because the position error correction got lost with the pitot. I looked all this up. I think that is why he pulled the stick back and he didn't cross check with the attitude and engine instruments before doing so. Maybe he was worried that he'd get into the Mach buffet as a decrease in altitude would imply increased airspeed. The aircraft was heavy and near its ceiling.

 

It then went to hell in a handbasket aided and abetted by Airbus cockpit design and faulty training (not told to use manual trim wheel) . BTW the co-pilot had a fair bit of gliding experience.

 

Done again with the Air Asia A320 a few years later. I'm afraid economics takes first place from safety in airline regulation. Still reasonably safe in absolute terms but not as safe as it could be.

 

See MH370. A friend of mine has a good theory on that and it has got him permanently banned from pprune which is now owned by a consortium including Boeing.

 

 

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