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Thread: Anybody converted their Panel to full EFIS yet?

  1. #1

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    Default Anybody converted their Panel to full EFIS yet?

    I'm thinking about this seriously. Conversion to a full Electronic Flight Instrumentation System, and wondering the best way to go about it. By conversion, I'm talking eliminating the original gauges and putting in a couple of 7" or 10" displays. I'd keep a compass on the glare shield, but the rest would go.

    Recommendations on process appreciated. A&P sign off is all that's required under CAR 3 regulations, right? I really like the GRT Horizon.

    http://www.grtavionics.com/horizonhxr.html

    But Dynon, Aspen, etc., all make great stuff. Where would you have a conversion like this done? I'll fly quite a ways from my central coast of CA location to find a competent avionics shop that would do the whole thing, turn-key.

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Anybody converted their Panel to full EFIS yet?

    Looks too video gamish to me, but I learned instruments with steam gauges. I have to fly glass for my job, I never really liked glass from my introduction, I miss flying instuments with a simple six pack, it feels more natural to me

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Anybody converted their Panel to full EFIS yet?

    Interesting comment. Even knowing that you save 35 pounds near the CG doesn't intrigue you?...I guess to me form follows function and if they're equally as reliable, I'm going with performance. I actually don't really like computer screens either, having had one and a hundred since they started making them a couple blocks from my house in 1985, but they keep getting better. I'm not a professional pilot but have leaned inside, and sat in a few recent commercial cockpits and I see what you mean. IMO, Your "job" screen likely doesn't measure up to the latest stuff in view-ability. They look like 10 year old, or older, technology to me. I see why you think these screens may not be an advantage over steam gauges, or maybe it's more that they don't have the comfortable feel you grew up with in a six pack layout... Have you checked out the latest stuff from Dynon, GRT and Aspen they have available on a 7 or 10 inch screens, tho? Or might you be just carrying forward your jaundice with having to fly a machine that doesn't excite you like your own shortwing when someone else is telling you where to fly, and when, and how much fuel to burn and what time to leave and arrive? Don't mean to be too pushy. Just a thought. I'm not asking for peoples opinion on what they like with this thread. Nope. Don't care. I know what I like. I'm only asking if you know where to get the work done professionally, and signed off legally. A reputable place that can stand behind what they do. That's all. Thanks.

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Anybody converted their Panel to full EFIS yet?

    Ya hit the nail on the head with the comfort of what I learned on and flew the first couple thousand hours with, single pilot freight flying wifh a traditional six pack setup, you get sharp and comfortable with it after awhile and even good at partial panel when the attitude indicator dies on you, you gain confidence in your ability to nail an ILS approach without that attitude indicator, fun stuff.
    Try a phone call to grand rapids avi for the install, they should be able to help you out.

  5. #5
    andya's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anybody converted their Panel to full EFIS yet?

    A neighbor of mine has a Maule 235, not too old, took it up in Oregon I think near Portland and put just about everything Garmin makes in it.
    "Progress is our most important problem"

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Anybody converted their Panel to full EFIS yet?


  7. #7

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    Default Re: Anybody converted their Panel to full EFIS yet?

    Yes it does!

  8. #8
    Pacer42Z's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anybody converted their Panel to full EFIS yet?

    Subsonic, converting your panel to all EFIS is just a matter of money. I had an Aspen PFD installed in my Pacer and really like it when flying on the gauges. However, as far as taking everything else out except a compass may not work. The Aspen required a back-up attitude indicator, so I kept my vacuum driven AI in the panel for now. When ever I need to replace it I will eliminate the vacuum pump and hopefully be able (legally) to install a Dynon or Garmin back-up AI. You may check with the manufacturer of your EFIS if there are similar requirements. As far as I am concerned, a back-up of some sorts is not a bad idea when flying IFR because if your PFD goes, everything goes.

    Juergen
    Pacer N3342Z

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Anybody converted their Panel to full EFIS yet?

    Juergen,
    Very pertinent information, thanks. One question though. What back up to your attitude indicator did you have with the original equipment? If the answer is none, why does the new PFD/EFIS require one?

  10. #10
    Pacer42Z's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anybody converted their Panel to full EFIS yet?

    Subsonic, I'm not sure what the exact reason is for Aspen to require a back-up AI (other than some legal CYA). However, when you have an "old" six pack and your AI stops working you still have a DG and (electric) turn and bank for directional control and to keep the wings level and the altimeter to know when you hit the ground. Even with a vacuum pump failure you still have the T&B to keep the wings leveled and to fly standard or half standard rate turns. When the display goes blank all of the instruments are gone. I currently still have my "old" AI, airspeed, altimeter and rate of climb in the panel. Other than weight I didn't see a reason to remove them. Whenever my vacuum pump or AI need to be replaced I most likely will install a Garmin G5 as a full backup for the flight instruments. At that time I will decide if I take everything else out, but I would not fly actual IMC only with my Aspen in the panel.
    I had an alternator failure about six weeks ago (in VFR condition) and was first alerted of it by the Aspen because it showed a red box letting me know I had less than 60 minutes left before running out of back-up battery on the Aspen. Probably enough time to land somewhere in actual IMC, but could get a little tight. The Garmin G5 claims up to four hours on the back-up battery (if I remember correctly) which between the two of them is enough time to land somewhere.

    Juergen
    Pacer N3342Z

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