Panel Layout Recommendations

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Panel Layout Recommendations

Postby mnwinger » Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:44 pm

Hey all,

I plan to order my Highlander kit this summer. In the meantime, I've been working on a parts list and design for my panel. I attached a JPEG image of the FreeCAD drawing for my panel. Looking for suggestions on the layout. Anyone see problems with the layout or have recommendations on the instrumentation? I plan on using a Rotax 912 as the power plant.

Thanks in advance!

Matt
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PanelLayout.JPG
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Re: Panel Layout Recommendations

Postby BucF16 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 4:39 pm

Hi Matt,
Do you plan to use Levil tech ahars for the iFly720 airspeed and altitude reference? At the current time, I plan to use the Levil with an iPad or 2. Along with GTR eis. Your panel looks great. What material do you intend to make it from?

Cheers,
Bruce
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Re: Panel Layout Recommendations

Postby mnwinger » Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:13 pm

Hi Bruce,

I'm probably a couple years out from finishing the panel, but I'm currently planning to use the SkyGuardTWX ADS-B transceiver along with the iLevel G-Micro AHRS. That's a nice combination with the iFly 720.

The material was going to be my next question to the group. I've seen some etched plastic panels that I really like, but haven't been able to locate the manufacturer. What are most others using for panel material?? I want to keep it light as possible.

Matt
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Re: Panel Layout Recommendations

Postby Tralika » Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:05 am

My preference is to have the flight instruments directly in front of the pilot seat, rather than the EIS as shown on your image. When landing in a tight spot I don't want to have to shift my eyes any further than I have to. Glancing straight down to check my airspeed and then straight back up again is better than glancing to the side and down to see the display in the center of the panel. I wear progressive bi-focal glasses so it would most likely require a turn of my head to get a center mounted display in focus. It's a small thing but important to me. I'm building a Highlander, not a Super STOL so I won't be dealing with the high angle of attack when landing.

If you get a chance, check out Robby Pederson's Super STOL. He builds the panel and the boot cowls out of plexiglass. When he's on short final in a high angle of attack he can look down through the panel and out the boot cowl to see the ground. I don't remember what he has for flight instruments but it's not much. Most of the panel is just plex so he can see through it. Keep in mind that there is quite a bit of frame behind the Super STOL panel which makes for even less space than the Highlander panel. You won't know for sure if the equipment or layout you've chosen will fit until you get your kit.

I didn't see any switches for Landing Lights, Strobes or a Beacon on your image. You might also consider an Avionics switch for your flight instrument display and radio(s). Most manufacturers recommend having their equipment turned off when starting and shutting down the engine. You can turn each piece of equipment off individually but it's much easier to have an avionics switch to do everything at once. Also there is less wear on the individual switches. If your master avionics switch breaks you can replace it yourself for $10 in 30 minutes or so. If the switch on your expensive flight instrument display or radio breaks you have to send the equipment to a radio shop or back to the manufacturer for $100 or more and maybe weeks with your plane grounded.

The panel blank supplied by Just with your kit is aluminum and pretty light. I'm sure how much weight your going to save by replacing it with some other material. If you really want to save some weight consider replacing the stainless steel firewall from Just with titanium. I used .020 material from McMaster-Carr and saved about 8 pounds.

https://www.mcmaster.com/#titanium/=16qjqaw
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Re: Panel Layout Recommendations

Postby AV8R Paul » Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:57 am

I just watched Robby Pederson’s Super STOL You Tube Video, he doesn’t have a Panel built out of Plexiglass. He has a very small center panel with with a Small Glass Panel & gauges. The Pilot’s side & passenger side are just the truss mount frame. You can see his Headset wires wrapped around one of the tubes on the Passenger side. It definitely gives a clear view for landing, and I really like the Plexiglass Boot Cowl. I concur with your statement about having the Flight instruments in front of the Pilot for landings. I would HIGHLY recommend a Master Switch & an Avionics Switch. If I were building a panel, I like your idea of using Plexiglass in front of the pilot. I’d put the required Steam Gauges in front of the pilot in the Plexiglass panel so you could see through it. Then I would have a Center Panel very similar to Robby Pedersons with a Glass Panel in the Center Section for a small Glass Panel with GPS, AHRS & Engine Instruments, and I would leave the passenger side wide open.

Rob’s video is inspiring to someone like myself that would love to get a SuperSTOL, very well worth watching. It gives you a very good visual from the Pilots prospective.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gj4s4h8ATuI

[quote=“Tralika”]My preference is to have the flight instruments directly in front of the pilot seat, . . . . . When landing in a tight spot I don't want to have to shift my eyes any further than I have to. Glancing straight down to check my airspeed and then straight back up again is better than glancing to the side and down to see the display in the center of the panel. I wear progressive bi-focal glasses so it would most likely require a turn of my head to get a center mounted display in focus. It’s a small thing but important to me. . . . . . .

If you get a chance, check out Robby Pederson's Super STOL. He builds the panel and the boot cowls out of plexiglass. When he's on short final in a high angle of attack he can look down through the panel and out the boot cowl to see the ground. I don't remember what he has for flight instruments but it's not much. Most of the panel is just plex so he can see through it. Keep in mind that there is quite a bit of frame behind the Super STOL panel which makes for even less space than the Highlander panel. You won't know for sure if the equipment or layout you've chosen will fit until you get your kit.

I didn't see any switches for Landing Lights, Strobes or a Beacon on your image. You might also consider an Avionics switch for your flight instrument display and radio(s). Most manufacturers recommend having their equipment turned off when starting and shutting down the engine. You can turn each piece of equipment off individually but it's much easier to have an avionics switch to do everything at once. Also there is less wear on the individual switches. If your master avionics switch breaks you can replace it yourself for $10 in 30 minutes or so. If the switch on your expensive flight instrument display or radio breaks you have to send the equipment to a radio shop or back to the manufacturer for $100 or more and maybe weeks with your plane grounded.

The panel blank supplied by Just with your kit is aluminum and pretty light. I'm sure how much weight your going to save by replacing it with some other material. If you really want to save some weight consider replacing the stainless steel firewall from Just with titanium. I used .020 material from McMaster-Carr and saved about 8 pounds.

https://www.mcmaster.com/#titanium/=16qjqaw[/quote]
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Re: Panel Layout Recommendations

Postby AV8R Paul » Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:25 pm

There is a very good Panel shot of Robby Paderson’s Panel in this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtAVA3HtDXc
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Re: Panel Layout Recommendations

Postby mnwinger » Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:47 pm

Thanks for the great feedback John! Yup, I forgot the switches for the lights. Will get that fixed.

I put the EIS at eye level in front of the pilot because it has a nice, simple display with altitude, air speed, and engine temps. That's been the primary instrument set in my Challenger II for the last eight years, so I'm very comfortable with it. Might have to reconsider though. I put the iFly 720 in the center so my passenger can help with the chart navigation... I'd rather be flying the plane :D

Really like the idea of the plexiglass in the cowl and panel. I've been spoiled with the great visibility in the Challenger, so I've been a little worried about that. Would be nice for inspections behind the panel too! Will definitely be taking a look at that.

Thanks much!

Matt



Tralika wrote:My preference is to have the flight instruments directly in front of the pilot seat, rather than the EIS as shown on your image. When landing in a tight spot I don't want to have to shift my eyes any further than I have to. Glancing straight down to check my airspeed and then straight back up again is better than glancing to the side and down to see the display in the center of the panel. I wear progressive bi-focal glasses so it would most likely require a turn of my head to get a center mounted display in focus. It's a small thing but important to me. I'm building a Highlander, not a Super STOL so I won't be dealing with the high angle of attack when landing.

If you get a chance, check out Robby Pederson's Super STOL. He builds the panel and the boot cowls out of plexiglass. When he's on short final in a high angle of attack he can look down through the panel and out the boot cowl to see the ground. I don't remember what he has for flight instruments but it's not much. Most of the panel is just plex so he can see through it. Keep in mind that there is quite a bit of frame behind the Super STOL panel which makes for even less space than the Highlander panel. You won't know for sure if the equipment or layout you've chosen will fit until you get your kit.

I didn't see any switches for Landing Lights, Strobes or a Beacon on your image. You might also consider an Avionics switch for your flight instrument display and radio(s). Most manufacturers recommend having their equipment turned off when starting and shutting down the engine. You can turn each piece of equipment off individually but it's much easier to have an avionics switch to do everything at once. Also there is less wear on the individual switches. If your master avionics switch breaks you can replace it yourself for $10 in 30 minutes or so. If the switch on your expensive flight instrument display or radio breaks you have to send the equipment to a radio shop or back to the manufacturer for $100 or more and maybe weeks with your plane grounded.

The panel blank supplied by Just with your kit is aluminum and pretty light. I'm sure how much weight your going to save by replacing it with some other material. If you really want to save some weight consider replacing the stainless steel firewall from Just with titanium. I used .020 material from McMaster-Carr and saved about 8 pounds.

https://www.mcmaster.com/#titanium/=16qjqaw
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Re: Panel Layout Recommendations

Postby mnwinger » Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:51 pm

Very cool. Thanks!!

Paul Z wrote:There is a very good Panel shot of Robby Paderson’s Panel in this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtAVA3HtDXc
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Re: Panel Layout Recommendations

Postby kenryan » Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:52 pm

panel-cropped.jpg
Madrone Burlwood Panel
John is right about the truss. Dynon Skyview components such as their radio, knob panel, etc. will barely fit in the small truss openings, but there is barely 1/16 total clearance. So to locate them correctly I first made the panel out of lexan, which made it a lot easier to deal with the clearance issues caused by the truss. Later I transferred the lexan template to 1/4 masonite, which became my router template. With a proper router template it was then easy to route the aluminum and the wood veneer.
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Re: Panel Layout Recommendations

Postby mnwinger » Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:42 pm

Hadn't considered veneer over aluminum. That's beautiful!

Are there bars/truss behind the panel in a Highlander (not SuperSTOL) that would prevent me from installing the EIS high in the panel in front of the pilot?


kenryan wrote:
panel-cropped.jpg
John is right about the truss. Dynon Skyview components such as their radio, knob panel, etc. will barely fit in the small truss openings, but there is barely 1/16 total clearance. So to locate them correctly I first made the panel out of lexan, which made it a lot easier to deal with the clearance issues caused by the truss. Later I transferred the lexan template to 1/4 masonite, which became my router template. With a proper router template it was then easy to route the aluminum and the wood veneer.
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Re: Panel Layout Recommendations

Postby SheepdogRD » Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:51 pm

mnwinger wrote:Are there bars/truss behind the panel in a Highlander (not SuperSTOL) that would prevent me from installing the EIS high in the panel in front of the pilot?

The only thing going across the Highlander panel area is the single bar that the throttle normally mounts on. Further forward, there's the cluster of tubes that meet in the center, but it's about 8-1/2" forward of that bar, and about 7-1/2" above it. Your EIS4000 will sit comfortably in that space. The unit is only 2-3/8" deep, and GRT recommends allowing 3/4" to 1-1/2" for connectors behind it.

This is from the current manual:

GRT EIS4000 Mounting Dimensions.PNG
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Re: Panel Layout Recommendations

Postby gkremers » Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:57 pm

If you are a couple of years away from finishing the plane I would hold off on any panel design. Things change so fast in avionics there will be some new whiz bang EFIS or some other cool stuff that may be just what you want.
I agree with the EFIS being in front of the pilot. I would also strongly suggest you look at a good quality AOA system. I know there are opinions on each side but it's the one instrument I wouldn't be without.

Gary
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Re: Panel Layout Recommendations

Postby gkremers » Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:21 pm

Quick picture clipped from a Go Pro video.
GET Sport EFIS
GRT EIS is just to the lower right
Radio and Transponder to the left of EFIS
AOA vertical to the upper right in pilot view.
Switches for start, ignition, lights, ext... lower left to center

Sorry the pic is so dark

Gary

EFIS.jpg
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Re: Panel Layout Recommendations

Postby mnwinger » Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:34 am

Nice clean layout. Like it!

gkremers wrote:Quick picture clipped from a Go Pro video.
GET Sport EFIS
GRT EIS is just to the lower right
Radio and Transponder to the left of EFIS
AOA vertical to the upper right in pilot view.
Switches for start, ignition, lights, ext... lower left to center

Sorry the pic is so dark

Gary

EFIS.jpg
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Re: Panel Layout Recommendations

Postby mnwinger » Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:46 am

Gary,

I had started looking at the Sport EFIS, but already have the iFly 720 so figured I could make due with that and the EIS 4000. Having the Sport EFIS, could you make due without the EIS? Or do you use the EIS for other monitoring functions? I could see adding a Sport EFIS with my iFly, but wouldn't want the added weight of both the Sport EFIS and EIS.

Matt

gkremers wrote:Quick picture clipped from a Go Pro video.
GET Sport EFIS
GRT EIS is just to the lower right
Radio and Transponder to the left of EFIS
AOA vertical to the upper right in pilot view.
Switches for start, ignition, lights, ext... lower left to center

Sorry the pic is so dark

Gary

EFIS.jpg
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