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Old 01-05-2019, 03:07 PM
Tankerpilot75's Avatar
Tankerpilot75 Tankerpilot75 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Posts: 683

Would still like to see something for airspeed that wasn’t iPad dependent. I understand this is a VFR aircraft so attitude, altitude backup isn’t so critical but airspeed is everything when the s*** hits the fan.

If I understand your setup AHRS data will be both WiFi and USB through your FlightBox. How is gps data sent? The same way or are you dependent on an iPad’s internal gps? Engine data? If all this is being transmitted to the iPads via shared usb connection with WiFi as backup then my concerns really place a higher degree on something to provide independent airspeed information. Of course, I’m not real bright when it comes to modern technology but I’m also of a generation that says “airplanes fly on airspeed.”
Jim Harris, ATP, T38, EC/KC-135A/E/R, 2008 RV7A, 2nd owner, N523RM (2015)
Superior XPIO-360, Hartzel CS prop, Dual GRT Horizon EX with ARINC, EIS, Garmin 340, 335 w/WAAS gps, Dual 430s (non-WAAS), TruTrak 385 A/P with auto-level & auto-trim, Tosten 6 button Military Grips, FlightBox wired to EX, Dynon D10A w/battery backup, 406 MHz ELT. Custom Interior, New TS Flightline hoses, Great POH!
Retired - Living the dream - going broke!

Last edited by Tankerpilot75 : 01-05-2019 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 01-05-2019, 08:48 PM
RV7Guy's Avatar
RV7Guy RV7Guy is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Chandler, AZ
Posts: 3,000
Default A couple of thoughts

Overall it looks good. I am curious if you have flown behind several screens especially ones that size. I have and I get the same feeling as sitting in the 3 row at the movies. Too much stuff creating visual noise.

I agree with Rob in that consideration should be made to not having the center screen. Especially since your are VFR only. Do a conventional radio stack with the audio panel on top, com next and the auto pilot.

The switches are fine but fuel pump and flaps should be close to the throttle.

For a super clean look, spring for the VPX and get rid of the breakers.

Regarding the functionality of the iPads, they are horrible in heat and direct sunlight. In the medical helicopter I fly we use an iPad mini for manifests, charts, Foreflight, etc. It is our EFB. We cannot leave them in the aircraft if it is over 70 degrees or if parked in direct sunlight. We carry them with us. If you do get an over temp shutdown, they take quite some time to get back. With those mounted permanently there is no way to keep them out of the heat and/or direct sunlight.

The iPads are dependable but as a primary source of flight information, I'm not sure it is a great idea. There's probably a reason this hasn't been done on a wide scale.

Good luck and keep everyone posted.
Darwin N. Barrie
Chandler AZ
RV-7 N717EE-Flying (Sold)
RV-7 N717AZ Painted and Complete
2021 Gold Lindy Grand Champion Kit Plane
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Old 01-06-2019, 07:45 AM
bobnoffs bobnoffs is offline
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: n. wi
Posts: 866

it has been suggesterd putting the usb under the panel. I thought about that on mine but in the end it is upper right on my panel. I reasoned that if I used it in flight it might be because I was replacing a failed instrument and I didn't want to be fumbling for an unseen usb port.
a single panel is going to be much harder to access behind it. it is a lot more work to pull all those screws and juggle 50 wires while gaining access to one area. and then tuck everything back in place.
Bob Noffs
n. wi.
dakota hawk/jab 3300 built and flying. sold 6/18.getting serious about the 12. in the hangar now as of 10/15/19
RV-12 kit as of 9/13
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Old 01-06-2019, 10:46 AM
Snowflake's Avatar
Snowflake Snowflake is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Sidney, BC, Canada
Posts: 4,278

Originally Posted by Tankerpilot75 View Post
Would still like to see something for airspeed that wasn?t iPad dependent. I understand this is a VFR aircraft so attitude, altitude backup isn?t so critical but airspeed is everything when the s*** hits the fan.
That was the basis of my original suggestion to put a conventional GPS in the center stack with the radios, instead of a third screen. Speaking from experience, if you have an airspeed failure (or perhaps maybe forget to remove a pitot cover...) the GPS speed is more than adequate to get an airplane safely on the ground in VFR conditions.
Rob Prior
1996 RV-6 "Tweety" C-FRBP (formerly N196RV)
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Old 01-06-2019, 03:15 PM
Westerhuis Westerhuis is offline
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Boston (MA)
Posts: 88
Default Using iPads

I am just working on a redesign of my RV8 panel (gosh there is little space for anything) and although I have had some suggestions on mounting an iPad, I fly with an iPad mini on a knee-board at the moment and I do have issues with visibility but the iPad also switches off on me to protect itself from over-heating! So I have no confidence in the iPad despite its versatility and only ue it as a back-up. Apparently the iPad is more prone to this when it's on charge and it always is.

Also, Apple makes too many changes to its products in too short a time. So whereas I appreciate all modern avionics are out-of-date the moment you switch it on for the first time, I don't trust Apple to give me the support for as long as I would like to keep my panel...

So no iPad dock in my panel....
RV6 - co-owner G-GDRV (sold)
RV8 - co-owner G-RRVV (sold)
RV8 - proud owner N774BC

2018 dues paid
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Old 01-06-2019, 09:48 PM
ssokol ssokol is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Cupertino, California
Posts: 125
Default Test Rig / All the GPSs / Cooling

Test Rig / Too Many Screens?

I have an older panel blank that I used for a demo at OSH this past summer. It's the classic shorter panel (11" tall) so it wouldn't do for this project, but I'm going to use it as first-level prototype. I've built a simulator rig using X-Plane which I use to test various EFIS features. I'll mount the iPads on the blank and set it up on the sim and see if the center screen is useful or wasteful.

FWIW - I envision the right screen as being a passenger entertainment device as much as anything.

GPSs Galore

Several people have asked about how GPS data gets to this system. Lots of ways. Each FlightBox has a uBlox WAAS-capable GPS receiver that typically gets a lock of about 3 meters. Each iPad has its own built in GPS as a backup and to provide some cross-check capabilities. So that's a total of five GPS receivers (remember - redundant FlightBoxes).

The two uBlox receivers feed their data into the FlightBoxes via USB. The FlightBox forwards that information to the displays via either wired Ethernet or Wifi (like the other components, the displays have dual-link capability). The data is also made available in standard GDL-90 format over Wifi to any standard EFB that may connect.

The displays are built to use airspeed from the ADC if available, but will fall back to GPS ground speed if that's not available. I've tried to make the system reasonably redundant: dual core processor, dual(+) GPS, dual AHRS, dual ADC, dual(+) display, additional cabin altimeter... I don't think it matches what you would get from one of the big guys (yet) but I feel it's a pretty solid design for a VFR system.

iPad Cooling

Heat is the one significant drawback to the iPad system. To try to minimize thermal issues, the iPads are mounted about 1/4" off the panel, and each has a fan continually blowing across the back. I've been tweaking the system to try to insure we can keep everything happy. I will be testing extensively this coming summer. I may even head down to Death Valley just to see how quickly it can recover after a heat soaking.
Steve Sokol
Cedar Park, TX

RV-6A N101PR at 40XS
Open Flight Solutions - Maker Of FlightView EFIS
(VAF Supporter / Advertiser)
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Old 01-06-2019, 10:59 PM
FlyArmy FlyArmy is offline
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: AZ
Posts: 187

I use an iPad at my airline job and it has locked up, or jepp has crashed and reloaded, or another app has done the same, multiple times. I?ve had every one of my iPhones and iPads lock up, freeze, etc. at some point, and I?m pretty good with closing out apps and restarting the devices every once in a while. I used 2 different iPads in my RV8, and I will say I would never use them as a PFD/MFD. Just about every year they change shape, so obviously I would make your panel able to accept a new shape when your iPads are no longer supported (generally at 5 years). I too am concerned about overheating and washout, even with cooling fans. Hope it works out. I wouldn?t have the stones to do it without at least a G5 or something in there as well, even VFR. Good luck...will be interested to see how it goes.
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Old 01-07-2019, 12:58 PM
ssokol ssokol is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Cupertino, California
Posts: 125
Default Demo / Fit Test

Here's a shot of a full system (less the engine monitor) I put together using the blank I cut for the booth at Oshkosh last year.

In the foreground you can see the ADC, GPS puck, and FlightBox. On the far side of the FlightBox is a 4-port USB hub. Not pictured are the power supplies for the iPads.

Here's a link to a full-sized version for those who want a closer look.
Steve Sokol
Cedar Park, TX

RV-6A N101PR at 40XS
Open Flight Solutions - Maker Of FlightView EFIS
(VAF Supporter / Advertiser)
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Old 01-08-2019, 09:22 AM
Azjulian Azjulian is offline
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
Posts: 205

Steve - this is really nice work. Which radio are you integrating with that solution ? I wondered if you have considered linking in a software defined radio solution, I?ve been looking at that and bringing in VOR and ILS using the SDR apis.

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Old 01-08-2019, 11:06 AM
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kentlik kentlik is offline
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Oregon
Posts: 895

Checking your page and wondering when these ADC boxes will be available or am I missing something...

I think it looks great.

I would go with a center stack but I am old fashioned. I also like the portrait aspect but that's just me.
RV-7A in progress
Private pilot, ASEL!
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"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena..." Teddy Roosevelt
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