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Instrument Panel

Aerotronics took my proposed design and advised me on revisions that I'd need to make to be safe for instrument flight. They worked with me through the whole process and even allowed me to visit their facility to make some final adjustments before they cut the actual panel. What you see above is the panel during installation on the airframe. It consists of an Electronic Flight Information System (EFIS) with some backup instruments, the radio stack, electrical switches and breakers, and a nice glove box. Over on the far right is the audio input (that's an MP3 player plugged into it) with an auto-isolate function switch and a car-style power receptacle. Above the glove box are the switches/breakers for the battery backup to the ignition. The near side has the master switch, ignition switch, and switches for the autopilot and battery backup for the heading indicator.


The closeup of the EFIS shows how the display is split into three sections: a Horizontal Situation Indcator (HSI) in the lower left, a synthetic vision display above it, and a moving map on the right. The moving map splits to display engine instruments at the touch of a button. On the left of the EFIS are airspeed, attitude/heading indicator, and altimeter - just in case the EFIS fails. On the right are a compass, CO detector, Hobbs (engine time) meter, and a Emergency Locater Transmitter remote. Normally, I can fly using the synthetic vision and navigate using the HSI and moving map, but the backup instruments are sufficient to get me safely home.

Engine Controls

The engine controls are standard and consist of a throttle, propeller control, and fuel mixture control. Below that is an elevator trim control and the fuel tank selector. On either side of the throttle are alternate air inlet control (in case something blocks the main inlet) and a fuel purge control that allows me to purge a vapor lock in the engine during a hot start. Notice the easy reach for the flap switch and electrical switches. In the RV, even the breakers are easy to reach.

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