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Would love to see your instrument panel set ups! Post some pics, and maybe list what instruments if its hard to make out. I'm interested in steam gauge type setups. Not too interested (and cant afford!) glass cockpit setups.

 

Also, what are peoples thoughts on the essentials. For instance, I virtually never look at the VSI. I was thinking I would be naughty for not fitting one, but on another thread somewhere someone pointed out that on an RA-AUS plane its not really needed. In which case I wouldn't feel bad leaving it out, AND my wallet would feel ok about it too ?

 

 

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This is my 63' musketeer which I only fly for recreational purposes, before and after. Panel restored to factory colour, old junk removed. The new Trigg is awesome. It is old school and I feel very comfortable with it.  

 

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I too cannot afford a glass panel, but their lightweight and simplicity intrigue me.

 

My plywood panel is meant to match the handles for throttle, trim and stick, made from Rosewood I inherited from my father, who cut the timber from a tree that fell in the 1930s. 

 

As well as long-lasting, it's heavy timber, but I like to be holding a nice momento of my dad while flying. 

 

Flying instruments on the left, with engine gauges in the right. It's meant to flow from the bottom: fuel flow and fuel pressure, then electrical flow and electrical pressure, oil temperature and oil pressure, with burn readings on top.

 

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 Danny, I think you CAN avoid the VSI. Your altimeter does the same job but most of them have what is called hysteresis. (stickyness of the mechanism) that's sometimes overcome by having a small rattler in the casing. Gyro instruments are the ones that cost lots. A gyro rate turn indicator is  the most important thing in a basic panel if you know how to use it. The Common Magnetic compass is a nuisance too as it's rarely steady but again it will suffice if you fly properly. Look outside to SEE how your circuit is panning out and judge your circuit legs that way.  It depends on how you fly. Glass is less expensive in the long run if you want gyro's A/H and vertical card compass readout. but you don't HAVE to have all that. Nev

 

 

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If you have a history which includes Hang Gliding or Gliding the VSI (Variometer in Glider terms) can be a useful way of using the elements to gain height without power. I use mine this way quite a lot.

 

The thing with panels is try for an ergonomic layout. Most manufacturers don't do this, some are downright awful so you have to change hands or look all over the place rather than glance at the important things and see them all at once. For example I have a centre stick with the PTT button on it (pretty normal) a binnacle on the left with throttle, Carb heat and flap switch. Trim is a centre wheel in the armrest. In front the 6 pack, radio in the centre along with Nav (GPS etc) and on the right engineinstruments all angled towards me.

 

 

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My panel is mainly "steam". I did a complete aircraft refurbishment some years back . Part of this was a panel "make over". I ditched a couple of full size flight instruments to free up panel space and organised everything to suit my vision "scan"

 

Panel itself is aircraft grade aluminium sheet "laminated" with aircraft grade exterior marine varnished plywood. Planning was done on full size cardboard. Measurement transferred to  aluminium sheet (later to plywood sheet) - cutting out using poor man's lazer (powered jig/scroll saw).

 

 Left, 

 

Dedicated Garmin GPS on "Ram" mount to left of panel

 

Clocks EST & UTS

 

Mainly navigation/flight instruments

 

All electrical/ignition system switches 

 

Transponder under panel

 

 Right,

 

Engine related instruments

 

Circuit breakers

 

"Glove" box

 

Auxiliary power plug

 

Anderson plug under panel - direct connection to battery, located behind panel,. Used for battery charging, "jump" start & powering 12 Volt fuel transfer pump.

 

CO2 monitor under panel

 

Whole right  panel angled toward pilot.

 

Centre

 

GPS antenna X 2 on top of panel

 

"OAT"

 

Wet" compass

 

Ipad cradle ("Ram") Ipad has a dedicated cooling vent behind it)

 

Radio 

 

Fuel on/off

 

Eyeball vents from a Mercedes W123 car

 

There is a fire extinguisher under the pilots legs.

 

I have tried hard to set everything up so that I can see and reach what I need to (ergonomics ?)

 

1912033726_IMG_08231.thumb.jpg.df193fac8f4ed86b60d688e0b4d81f2d.jpgIMG_0824.thumb.JPG.a8a471cc3377b4c45ca8645d6e31eae6.JPG

 

 

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My panel is mainly "steam". I did a complete aircraft refurbishment some years back . Part of this was a panel "make over". I ditched a couple of full size flight instruments to free up panel space and organised everything to suit my vision "scan"

 

Panel itself is aircraft grade aluminium sheet "laminated" with aircraft grade exterior marine varnished plywood. Planning was done on full size cardboard. Measurement transferred to  aluminium sheet (later to plywood sheet) - cutting out using poor man's lazer (powered jig/scroll saw).

 

 Left, 

 

Dedicated Garmin GPS on "Ram" mount to left of panel

 

Clocks EST & UTS

 

Mainly navigation/flight instruments

 

All electrical/ignition system switches 

 

Transponder under panel

 

 Right,

 

Engine related instruments

 

Circuit breakers

 

"Glove" box

 

Auxiliary power plug

 

Anderson plug under panel - direct connection to battery, located behind panel,. Used for battery charging, "jump" start & powering 12 Volt fuel transfer pump.

 

CO2 monitor under panel

 

Whole right  panel angled toward pilot.

 

Centre

 

GPS antenna X 2 on top of panel

 

"OAT"

 

Wet" compass

 

Ipad cradle ("Ram") Ipad has a dedicated cooling vent behind it)

 

Radio 

 

Fuel on/off

 

Eyeball vents from a Mercedes W123 car

 

There is a fire extinguisher under the pilots legs.

 

I have tried hard to set everything up so that I can see and reach what I need to (ergonomics ?)

 

[ATTACH]42748[/ATTACH][ATTACH]42749[/ATTACH]

 

 

 

Looks like you put a lot of thought into it. Looks neat, AND useful! I see you have the slip indicator off to one side. I wasn't sure if it had to be central or not so I've designed my panel with it central. 

 

 

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Hi Danny

 

This is what I did.  Some considerations in my opinion are:  Tacho only needs to be small size;  My engine instruments had provision for lamps (green arc off, yellow caution arc blinking and red arc lit. very good for reference or getting attention.)  I wired for started engaged lamp (Solenoid fault etc saves destroying starter and battery if solenoid keeps starter engaged.)  Also have lamp for low fuel as I fitted a Savannah collector tank 6 litre size and lamp on at 5 litres remaining in collector tank.  Re switches I fitted a number of combined switch / circuit breaker to save space on panel.  Re fastenings I fitted two camloks each side so to open panel for access is just two 90 degree turns (very convenient).  Wiring is marked with circuit description  (fine pencil text held in place with clear heat srink so wiring is identifiable and wiring diagram is easily followed.)  My turn and bank is planned for a swap out when funds are available. Also position radio and transponder where your can see it (High on panel better).  Cheers.

 

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Looks like you put a lot of thought into it. Looks neat, AND useful! I see you have the slip indicator off to one side. I wasn't sure if it had to be central or not so I've designed my panel with it central. 

 

The "slip" indicator you are referring to is actually an inclinometer. Added as an afterthought, it is just a surface mount (double sided tape). Far to sensitive for regular use. My slip ball is actually in the little central electronic gizmo AvMap Ultra. 

 

There are instrument layout conventions but they are not law - you can pretty well mount the gauges where it suit you - as long as you have the basics for safe flight/navigation.

 

Hi Danny

 

This is what I did.  Some considerations in my opinion are:  Tacho only needs to be small size;  My engine instruments had provision for lamps (green arc off, yellow caution arc blinking and red arc lit. very good for reference or getting attention.)  I wired for started engaged lamp (Solenoid fault etc saves destroying starter and battery if solenoid keeps starter engaged.)  Also have lamp for low fuel as I fitted a Savannah collector tank 6 litre size and lamp on at 5 litres remaining in collector tank.  Re switches I fitted a number of combined switch / circuit breaker to save space on panel.  Re fastenings I fitted two camloks each side so to open panel for access is just two 90 degree turns (very convenient).  Wiring is marked with circuit description  (fine pencil text held in place with clear heat srink so wiring is identifiable and wiring diagram is easily followed.)  My turn and bank is planned for a swap out when funds are available. Also position radio and transponder where your can see it (High on panel better).  Cheers.

 

[ATTACH]42750[/ATTACH] [ATTACH]42751[/ATTACH] [ATTACH]42752[/ATTACH] [ATTACH]42753[/ATTACH] [ATTACH]42754[/ATTACH] [ATTACH]42755[/ATTACH] [ATTACH]42756[/ATTACH]

 

Hi Danny - Nice panel. Very professional. Are you able to easily reach radio/transponder in flight ?

 

Like you all my wiring & pitot/static tubing is al  labelled.  The two 1/2 panels in my aircraft are held in place with 4 x 10 mm lock nuts onto anti vibration blocks.

 

The Ram mounts for my Garmin & Ipad allow placing the item/screen at the best viewing angle and  changing the angle in flight to negate sun glare.

 

Do you have a CO2 monitor ?

 

The extra gauge AH - who sells it ? how much? Why have you chosen this one?

 

 

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New still getting approval. 1.5k US. Info on google AV-30.  Similar is on my wish list; but I don't want to go glass. CO2 out of image above to port.

 

Radio and transponder in easy reach.

 

Should have added for Danny that I chose seperate ignition and start switches rather than a combined asc type keyed switch. Cheers

 

 

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New still getting approval. 1.5k US. Info on google AV-30.  Similar is on my wish list; but I don't want to go glass. CO2 out of image above to port.

 

Radio and transponder in easy reach.

 

Should have added for Danny that I chose seperate ignition and start switches rather than a combined asc type keyed switch. Cheers

 

Yeah! My power on, master, ignition L/R & start are all separate switches. If I needed to (in flight fire) could isolate all non essential electricals while leaving engine to run.

 

 

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I was going to edit my post but waited too long. I went for ergonomics and simplicity. Most panels are far too cluttered for my liking. This is what mine looks like.

 

Throttle on left with carb heat directly underneath & flap switch on the side of the binnacle.

 

Pilots side. ASI, ALT, Tach, VSI plus Dynon D6 which has turn coordinator & slip ball, AH, Voltmeter, & duplicates ASI, VSI, ALT & compass (If there is a pitot/static failure instrument switches to GPS imput). Surface mounted is a $7.50 calendar, clock, alarm, stopwatch, OAT & IAT plus humidity.

 

Centre. Space for Nav tablet, radio below. 5 switches only, Mag 1,2, Main Fuel pump, Avionics & strobe. Below that master switch/starter & 12 volt outlet wired direct to battery (connected to solar trickle charger when A/C asleep) & the only warning lamp installed indicating alt charging. Stabilator trim is a knurled wheel in the centre armrest.

 

Bottom choke, fuel transfer pump switch, main tank fuel valve & centre bottom left/right wing tank selector valve.

 

Right angled to pilot are fuel gauge (main tank only as wing tanks pump to main) oil pressure, oil temp, CHT, EGT, & Carb temp. Far right are 3 circuit breakers.

 

There is an anderson plug on the RH side of the lower cowl

 

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Here’s my Savannah S panel. The instruments I tend to focus on are the VSI (I find it great for fine tuning my hands off trim flight), and the AoA (Angle of Attack/lift reserve) The AoA gauge sits in my peripheral vision and is absolutely amazing. It takes into account the total aircraft weight in determining how close to the stall speed I am at. (There can be considerable difference in the stalling speed between that of a lightly loaded aircraft, and one that is flying at its MTOW) For a STOL type aircraft, it provides peace of mind when flying very slowly and also talks to me through my headset when close to the stall, all without needing to look at the ASI, therefore allowing me to keep my eyes focussed outside the cockpit on landing and takeoff. 

 

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For instance, I virtually never look at the VSI. I was thinking I would be naughty for not fitting one, but on another thread somewhere someone pointed out that on an RA-AUS plane its not really needed. 

 

It reacts instantly to a change in altitude. It's for situations where you need to fly an altitude very accurately, such as a busy city airport with dual runways.

 

Once you get used to it, you can have one eye on the VSI in those situations and make tiny, immediate, adjustments on the stick or yoke.

 

Directly comparing it to the EFIS fitted as to Jabirus, I found them much less responsive, so you could lose or gain more altitude and if you were fussy about maintaining accurate altitude it was easier to fall into a series of under and over stick movements.

 

 

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I was going to edit my post but waited too long. I went for ergonomics and simplicity. Most panels are far too cluttered for my liking. This is what mine looks like.

 

T.......................................................................................

 

There is an anderson plug on the RH side of the lower cowl

 

[ATTACH]42762[/ATTACH]

 

Positively Germanic/Minimalist - congratulations.

 

 

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It reacts instantly to a change in altitude. It's for situations where you need to fly an altitude very accurately, such as a busy city airport with dual runways.

 

Once you get used to it, you can have one eye on the VSI in those situations and make tiny, immediate, adjustments on the stick or yoke.

 

Directly comparing it to the EFIS fitted as to Jabirus, I found them much less responsive, so you could lose or gain more altitude and if you were fussy about maintaining accurate altitude it was easier to fall into a series of under and over stick movements.

 

Picky I know - I have been taught NOT to fly with constant reference to the gauges but rather horizon/view/aircraft feel.

 

 

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Picky I know - I have been taught NOT to fly with constant reference to the gauges but rather horizon/view/aircraft feel.

 

If you decide to get an instrument rating, you will get the opposite extreme; you will be taught only to scan the six primary gauges, and your vision outside that will be blocked. 

 

To maximise the benefit of scanning in IMC, after WW2 the panel laout was standardised on:

 

Upper Row: Airspeed Indicator - Artificial Horizon - Altimeter

 

Lower Row: Turn & Bank Indicator - Directional Gyro - VSI

 

The Directional Gyro gives you a much more usable view than a compass.

 

Scanning sequence is Airspeed > AH > Alt > TB > DG > VSI > and repeat again and again until you are out of IMC.

 

While you are flying in IMC you are also expected to be able to intermittantly check engine and the other systems for normal settings including fuel.

 

The standardised layout is so people can move from one aircraft to another and naturaly scan without having to think all the time they're doing it.

 

So once you have mastered scanning, your head will mostly be outside in VFR.

 

I'm not trying to make a case for DG and VSI, just pointing out that I would put them in for the benefits of greater accuracy in flying.

 

 

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