With the demise of Blue Mountain Avionics, I'm changing over to the Dynon SkyView system. Dynon is providing a $1,000 trade-in for former BMA customers. The trade-in is greatly influencing my decision over the Grand Rapids Horizon system. I'd love to have the Garmin G3X or the Aspen Avionics gear, but those systems are too costly for me.
I'm still committed to having an IFR-equipped airplane capable of flying docile IMC down to my personal minimums. I am instrument-rated and I use the rating every chance I get. I simply love the technical aspects of IFR flying. I still remain committed to EFIS. (See my EFIS Report.)
EFIS -- The Dynon SkyView system provides airspeed, attitude, altitude, turn coordination, direction, and vertical speed. It also provides other features that traditional round steam gages cannot. Think you can't afford Dynon? Think again. Two electric gyros cost more than this 10-inch display and ADAHRS unit. Plus, the Dynon is a fraction of the weight of steam instruments.
Backup Instruments -- Electric attitude gyro, altimeter, and SIRS wet compass (not shown).
Communications, Navigation, Traffic Avoidance, and Weather
#1 Comm/Nav/GPS -- Garmin GNS 530. I'll probably get the WAAS upgrade.
#2 Comm/Nav -- Garmin SL30. The Dynon SkyView can display pointers for up to 3 navigation sources. I'll wire the SL30 into the Dynon as the second source. The SL30 can also be used standalone. It displays the course deviation indicator (CDI) on its display screen without needing a separate CDI head. So when the need arises I can use the radio itself to display the bearings of the crossing radials to locate the route and approach waypoints.
Audio Panel -- None. I won't be using one. Instead, I'm going to use an audio mixer I found on the Van's RV site. The mixer accepts up to 9 audio inputs. It does the same job as the Garmin GMA-340 at one-fifth the price. The mixer can be mounted remotely without having to cut a hole in the panel. Getting rid of the GMA-340 will free up panel space and allow me to keep the radio stack as one column (GNS 530 and the SL30). There are two caveats with using the mixer. You need to provide the other two functions that an audio panel provides, and those are the marker beacon receiver and an intercomm volume and squelch controls for the pilot, co-pilot, and passengers.
Marker Beacon Receiver -- I'm going to buy a small, inexpensive, standalone marker beacon receiver and mount it remotely behind the panel. I'll install the status lights in a vertical row just to the left side of the pilot's Dynon display.
Intercom Panel -- I'll buy a small intercom panel and install it on "switch row".
Transponder -- I'll buy the new Dynon transponder. It can be mounted remotely without having to cut a hole for it in the panel. It does everything the Garmin GTX-330 transponder does, including Traffic Information Services. The transponder gets signals from ATC ground stations that give position, relative altitude, and direction of nearby planes. The locations and altitudes of other planes are displayed on the Dynon display and on the GNS 530. The Dynon transponder is operated from the soft push buttons along the bottom edge of the SkyView display.
Weather -- I'm waiting to see what Dynon comes up with for weather services. I know I can buy a Garmin GDL-69 weather receiver and have NEXRAD weather data displayed onto the GNS 530. There are cheaper alternatives to the GDL-69.
Clock -- The FARs say you must have a panel mounted clock for IFR flying. I can side-step this because I have at least two digital clocks on board! They are built in to the EFIS and the GNS 530.
I chose not to include an ADF receiver in the plane. I personally believe NDB approaches are on their way out. Almost all NDB approaches can now be legally flown with the GPS overlays. The only place where a no-ADF airplane falls short is when filing an NDB-only airport as an alternate. Per the regs, if an airport's only approach is an NDB approach, you cannot file that airport as the alternate unless you have an ADF receiver in the plane. The Feds just want to ensure you can make the alternate approach with traditional equipment in case your GPS goes out or if you lose the GPS signal. So I won't be able to file an NDB-only airport as an alternate. How big a deal is this? Not much. If you can't reach the 200-foot minimums at an ILS airport, it is doubtful you'll make the higher, non-precision minimums on an NDB approach.
I'll use the engine monitoring features on the Dynon Skyview. I'll probably sell the I-K Technologies AIM-3 Aircraft Information Monitor that I bought at Sun N Fun '05.
I'll use the Dynon autopilots. They are an integral part of the SkyView system. Auto-pilots are must-have's on a Cozy. Of the 18 hours or so that I've flown with Marc Zeitlin, he used the autopilot about 95% of the time.
The nose gear switch is located on the center post. The usual switches are found on "switch row". The intercom panel will be installed on switch row.
I'm using the Hanka system for roll trim and the Davenport system for the pitch trim.
I purchased two Infinity Stick Grips from Infinity Aerospace. I have the switch assignments as follows:
Switch 1. Coolie Hat for pitch and roll trim
Switch 2. Comm Transmit
Switch 3. Auto-Pilot Disconnect
Switch 4. Fuel Pump On/Off
Switch 5. Engine Starter Engage
Switch 6. Speed Brake. I may change this to Altitude auto-pilot disconnect and put the speed brake back to a toggle switch on the panel.
I bought a 3-lever reversing quadrant from Wicks Aircraft.
Navigation/Position lights (red/green/white)
Landing light in nose
Interior Cabin Lights
Maybe include an eyebrow lighting strip and the LED "eyeball" lights mounted on fuselage sidewalls.
Overhead console lighting
Small strake lights, possibly battery powered
Emergency cabin flood lighting, possibly with battery backup mode (similar to dual system lighting in pop-up campers).
Handheld spot beam stored under the seat (for directional lighting when trying to find poorly lit taxiways at a strange airport at night.
Flashlights and holders under pilot's seat.
There is a second panel option that I'm toying around with - adding a second Skyview display. Besides looking truly cool and looking very much like the panel out of a business jet, the advantages are that I can use the pilot display solely as the primary flight display (flight instruments) and use the second display to show the moving map and the engine display.
There are some disadvantages. First is the added cost. Second, two displays take up most of the room on the panel. There'd be no room to add anything else in the years to come. Finally, I'd need to move the backup attitude gyro and altimeter. To do that, I'd need to spend more cash to downsize to smaller instruments. The backup attitude gyro looks cool where it's at. I'm not sure where I'd move the altimeter.