Glass cockpit

 

I have done things with my glass panel that you are unable to accomplish with any of the other systems. No matter how much you pay. So what? Well, the things I've done are life savers. They greatly reduce real world flight risk. This is the main reason to use this Glass Panel system.

 

So what are these life saving items?

Fuel monitoring is a big one. All of the typical causes for fuel related crashes have been addressed.

Taking off with canopy unlatched. Near impossible to occur with this system.

Leaving fuel cap off, greatly reduced risk.

Then to top it off, we have system that reduces risk across the board. A whole bunch of characteristics that optimize the interface. We have voice warnings for any condition. We are infinitely flexible. We can interface this to any sensor, have it compare sensors, do smart things like diagnose sensor integrity instead of just assuming sensor is providing accurate info.

 

When you implement this system, you can start out with all of my glass panel logic. No programming needed. But I don't want to be responsible for your system, so encourage you to use mine as demo only.

 

Simply by clicking mouse, you can remove items that don't apply to you. You can copy items to expand system to meet your needs. Or you can use the mouse to create brand new monitoring features, graphics, objects. Hugely friendly, flexible.

 

Latest info: I’m sponsoring a newsgroup on this subject.

                      Go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GlassPanel

 

You can order a copy of my glass panel….the real deal with all the source “code”. You can edit it to make your own glass cockpit (“demo” version only), or just use my panel as is. I used to provide this free( payment or return after received), but had too many guys rip me off.   Email me and I can send you ordering information. $40 for the zip files that automatically load the software to your pc.

email: alwick@juno.com …..Yeah, this is pretty weird. If you spent $20K for a glass panel, you still wouldn’t come close to the safety advantages of this system.

 

 Click here  Detailed installation instructions (Part numbers, links, costs, )

 You will be blown away how easy this is, inexpensive, and so much safer. 

 

The key to flying 10 times safer than any other aircraft.

What you DON'T see. Man there is a ton of stuff that doesn't show. First thing, under normal operation you just glance at the screen. If it's all green, then all is normal. Good example, I had an emergency a few years ago. I was flying at 10k ft when I heard a "WUMP". All I had to do was glance at the screen and know all was perfect. I diverted, landed, and discovered that a bag of Doritos had exploded in the back seat.

 

What if I don't like bar graphs?

It would only take me 30 minutes to convert every one of the virtual bar graphs above to digits. Perhaps round gages? I prefer bar graphs. Likewise, it would only take me 2 minutes to completely rearrange all of the info above. I often do this as my needs change.

 

Data recording:

The laptop records all of my sensor data while operating. This has proven very valuable. When I was doing my ground testing phase I was able to identify a spike in my cooling system pressure. The spike occurred 3 seconds after I applied full power and disappeared 5 seconds later. This was early warning that I had a compression leak into my cooling system. I knew exactly what caused it, because the fault occurred immediately after I had deliberately over heated my engine a number of times. 

 

Safety Logic:

My business background is failure prevention. So I applied many of the key prevention strategies to my aircraft. This is particularly important since my aircraft is so experimental. I learn from other peoples mistakes. I examine the failure and then address more than one of the causes. I always assume I will overlook something, I assume there is a better way, I assume failure.

 

Fuel system logic:

Fuel logic is so important. It's one of the leading causes for failure in all aircraft. All other aircraft have passive fuel sensors. Passive meaning that the info just sits there, as the tank gets lower and lower. I do not have a passive system. It tells me when to switch tanks, it tells me if the tank is too low. It adjusts reported fuel level if my flight attitude changes. It uses a different logic when the tanks are getting low on fuel. So if I have the wrong tank selected, or the fuel gets low pressure, low quantity, then my system flashes on the screen and I hear "left tank low", or " time to switch tanks" in my headset. I also have 2 independent fuel circuits in each tank, so if one fails, the other will still function.

I also measure the atmospheric pressure in the tanks. This warns me if I have omitted the fuel cap, or if my fuel vent gets clogged. Both which periodically cause loss of life.

 

What if my oil temp is high?

One of the most important features of a sys like this is to make darned sure you never get false reports. Each month I make it a little smarter. The goal is to make the computer recognize bad sensors, or at least not report every little glitch.

If the oil temp starts to creep up, I will first see the bar graph change from green to a reddish hue( there are 5 colors depicting various temperatures). If it's serious, it will turn to flashing red. At appropriate times, the computer will also talk into my headset "Oil temp high". It repeats this at meaningful intervals and there is no easy way to shut it off. Only genuine problems are flagged this way.

 

Landing gear logic:

My front landing gear is retractable. Or to rephrase it, my airplane is designed to land with the gear in up position. There are so many causes for pilots forgetting to lower gear. I am still in process of improving my gear logic. Currently, it uses two different logic statements to monitor gear status. Primary logic provides flashing gear on screen and audible " Gear not down" if it's time to put gear down. My secondary logic just prints large text on screen "gear not down". These systems help, but I suspect I still have slight failure risk.

 

Inputs to computer:

The first 16 items listed below are mostly Limit Switches (micro switches). They are either on or off. The words "Ls(NO)" means that they are limit switches that are in the normally open condition (no current flowing).

The second group of 16 items are variable inputs, meaning that they supply a voltage that varies from 0 vdc to 10 vdc. These are the pressures and temperatures that I measure. If you carefully review this information, you start to get a feel for just how smart the computer is. There is a lot of valuable info there.

Output from the computer:

These are the items that the computer currently has control of. It turns these off and on as needed. Eventually it will also control the aircraft flight path....but not yet.

How do I wire these inputs and outputs to the computer?

 All of my inputs and outputs connect to a PLC (programmable Logic Controller). The PLC then connects to the laptop thru a simple serial cable. Why did I choose a PLC? I'm familiar with them and it’s relatively simple for me to implement. They are very reliable and powerful. I utilize the built in timers to assist my system in making intelligent decisions. For example, when I switch tanks, this causes one of many timers to measure how long I’ve been on that tank. That allows the computer to recommend the next tank change. 

What are the advantages of the PLC? It's actually a computer and I have it do things like average the input values so as to reduce measurement error. PLC programming is pretty low level crude stuff using bits, accumulators, and shift registers. You are welcome to my code, so you would not need to do much programming.

 

What software do I use?

All of the images and actions are generated by "Wonderware Intouch" software.

 http://www.wonderware.com/

This software is typically used to design process control screens. It's commonly referred to as MMI (Man Machine Interface), SCADA (Supervisory, Control and Data Acquisition), and a bunch of other acronyms. There are other manufactures of this type of software. It is extremely easy to use. You don't really write any code, you just point, click and drag.

                                 Retractable landing gear:

Typical “advanced” safety for preventing gear up landings involves a light or buzzer that activates. They will have airspeed sensor that trips the alarm whenever speed drops below 80 mph. That sounds reasonable doesn’t it? Well, they fail all the time. In the canard community 60% of the pilots have had gear up landings! (From Poll Jan. 2007). The alarm or light is blasting away, but they don’t notice it. This is a common failure scenario. Landing a plane is occasionally very stressful. Our brains know to ignore everything but the immediate task in these situations. In addition to that, the airspeed sensor fails periodically and the pilot is flying along oblivious that he just lost his safety system.

           Wick glass cockpit solution:

I take advantage of sensor information that I needed for other purposes. This is what artificial intelligence is about. My computer is smart because it has info from multiple sensors. So if my airspeed drops below 120 mph, gear not down, not near full throttle, then a number of things occur. I get flashing message on screen “Gear not down”. In my headset I hear “Landing gear not down”. The image of my plane on the screen has flashing landing gear image which clearly shows it in UP position.

But that’s not all. I also use a second logic statement. If my prop is below 1900 rpm, gear not down, then I get similar messages. So this eliminates dependency on any one or two sensors.

But that’s not all. All the time during taxi and flying, the computer compares these sensors. If it finds certain errors, then it tells me that the sensor has failed.

 

How is this glass panel different from the others?

  Safety. Risk reduction. Flexibility. All of our components are off the shelf items. We are using the same equipment and software that thousands of professionals use. These are the professionals who design monitoring and control systems for such things as oil refineries. That means huge flexibility. It’s that flexibility that allows us to improve flight safety beyond all others. Here is a good example:

Actual Wick glass panel

Ref

REF# Strn

Physical Connection

0

Ls(NO) 32

Gear down

1

Ls(NO) 31

Gear up

2

Ls(NO) 30

Canopy safe

3

Ls(NO) 29

Canopy latched

4

Ls(NO) 28

Canopy cammed

5

Ls(NO) 27

Near full throttle

6

Ls(NO) 26

Idle throttle

7

Ls(NO) 25

Air brake down

 

 

 

10

Ls(NO) 24

Air brake up

11

Ls(NO) 23

Right fuel tank selected

12

Ls(NO) 22

Left fuel tank selected

13

Ls(NO) 21

Right wheel speed sense

14

Ls(NO) 20

Left wheel speed sense (red & orange to

15

Sw(NO) 19

Aux fuel pump switch

16

Ls(NO) 18

Available

17

Sw(NO)17

Nav and strobe light switch

 

 

 

20

1   0-10v

Tach

21

2   0-10v

Left brake temp

22

3   0-10v

Water temp

23

4   0-10v

Oil temp

24

5   0-10v

Fuel left tank (1v to gage=10-20 ma out)

25

6   0-10v

Fuel right tank (1v to gage=10-20 ma out)

26

7   0-10v

psru temperature

27

8   0-10v

Coolant level

120

9   0-10v

fuel pres

121

10  0-10v

low fuel right

122

11  0-10v

low fuel left

123

12  0-10v

cowl/fuel vent pressure

124

13  0-10v

Static/Airspeed pressure

125

14  0-10v

Instrument Vacuum pressure

126

15  0-10v

Coolant pressure

127

16  0-10v

Oil pressure

 

REF#

Physical Connection

30

0 circ A

Static pressure source

31

1 circ A

Aux fuel pump

32

2 circ A

Rght fuel vent pres source (no=left vent)

33

3 circ A

Horn

34

4 circ A

Coolant pressure source (no=vent source

35

5 circ A

Interior lights

36

6 circ A

 

37

7 circ A

 

130

0 circ B

Strobe, left

131

1 circ B

Strobe, center

132

2 circ B

Strobe, right

133

3 circ B

Inhibit intercom

134

4 circ B

Nav lights

135

5 circ B

Heater fan

136

6 circ B

No cabin heat (flap open)

137

7 circ B

Cabin heat (flap closed)