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Old 12-16-2015, 08:38 AM
meloosifah meloosifah is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Indiana
Posts: 286
Default Critique my panel, please

Hi all,

We are up the stage of panel layout. Most of the equipment is purchased - just trying to fine tune the layout.

The plan is dual Skyview 7" screens flanked by a Val 429 Nav and a 2 1/4" VSI on the left, a 3 1/8" altimeter and 2 1/4" ASI on the right.

Com 2 (primarily a backup) is in the panel left, along with a Vans map box.

Panel right is open, earmarked for an iPad or Mini.

I have wide side consoles angled up into the panel on both sides.

The primary Com is a Dynon in the side console left. Below that are switches for pitot heat, com 1/2, fuel boost pump.

The Dynon A/P control head is in the side console right. Below that are all ignition, master, avionics, alt, lighting, etc.

Up in the panel far left is the intercom, a vent and a power port.

Up in the panel on the far right is the Dynon knob panel, a vent and a power port.

Any thoughts? We will be following up with switch placement questions next...

Anyone flying a complete Skyview system that would care to comment on the A/P controller and Knob panel - needed or not?

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Old 12-16-2015, 09:44 AM
bobmarkert's Avatar
bobmarkert bobmarkert is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Littleton, CO
Posts: 393

Much about panel design is individual preference for aesthetics, but human factors should also be considered. I see a lot of -8s with radios and primary controls on the right side of the cockpit. I believe it is because we mostly learned to fly in Cessna’s and such with a yoke in the left hand. We learned to tune radios with our right hand. In the -8 the stick is exactly where it belongs….. in your right hand :-)

In your current configuration you will be reaching across the cockpit in front of the screens and stick to reach the AP controller (or swapping your left hand onto the stick). You will probably find yourself using the controller even when the AP is not engaged to set heading and altitude bugs etc. My 2 cents is to locate the radio control AND autopilot control to the left side of the cockpit (and all primary switches too)

In my cockpit all radios, the AP controller and all primary switches are on the left side


Bob Markert
Littleton, CO KBJC
Reserve Grand Champion Oshkosh 2016

Renegade Opposing Solo pilot and other Dirty Odd Jobs

2021 dues paid

Last edited by bobmarkert : 12-16-2015 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 12-16-2015, 11:01 AM
n82rb's Avatar
n82rb n82rb is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: fort myers fl
Posts: 1,088

I would get the ap control in a more central position. Where it is takes your eyes off the main panel. I would put it somewhere higher and more centered. When hand flying with the fd you want it in your scan.

As for the control panel and knob panel yes on both, my panel does not have the knobs panel because it wasn't available when it was installed but it's going in. The sticks are a pain to use in the slightest bumps.
Bob burns
Rv-4 n82rb

Last edited by n82rb : 12-16-2015 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 12-16-2015, 11:36 AM
rv9av8tr's Avatar
rv9av8tr rv9av8tr is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 827

All electric devices the require selections / manipulation should be on the left side since that's your free hand. The VSI should be below the altimeter. Put any backup flight instruments on the right side of your EFIS stack. IMHO with dual EFIS's, why have any round flight instruments? Include a small mechanical direct read oil pressure gauge as backup to the EFIS. Loss of the electrical OP sensor would otherwise indicate an immediate precautionary landing. Direct read gauge will let you know if it's real or not. Been there done that... Almost had to clean my pants the first time, then installed mechanical backup.
Long-EZ built 1985 -> Sold 2007
RV-9A; N539RV First Flight: 7/2010
RV-8A N468DL 40 hr Flight Test Program
Building Log:
APRS Tracking:
2017 Paid
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Old 12-16-2015, 12:29 PM
RONSIM's Avatar
RONSIM RONSIM is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Largo, FL
Posts: 1,071
Default I recently ferried a -8 with awesome panel, but

the radio stack was on the right side ---- I agree with one of the posters -- in an 8, all of the knob-turning, button pushing should be accessible with the left hand, if at all possible. (IMHO)

RV-10 Co-built, maintained, flown (sold)
RV-8A Maintained and flown (Sold)
RV-6A (Sold) Bought and Flying (N177RV), upgrades $$$
IO360, 180HP/CS, AFS 5600T, D10A, G650, G430, G327, ADS-B, VIZ385 AP
Very Happy Contributor
Based at KCLW (Clearwater, FL)
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Old 12-16-2015, 01:48 PM
Carl Froehlich's Avatar
Carl Froehlich Carl Froehlich is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Dogwood Airpark (VA42)
Posts: 3,253

Some thoughts:
- For an RV-8 there is adequate room to have a 10" SkyView display and a 7" SkyView display. You will find the larger screen provides better "normal" viewing of 1/2 map and 1/2 PDF. The 7" display is good for the EMS readout with Map on a longer range scale - and as a backup for the primary display.
- I'm a big fan of a couple of steam gauges for any EFIS install (airspeed and altimeter). I believe you will find little value adding the VSI.
- You need to check the Val Nav unit to see if it has a serial output to feed the SkyView - and if so is it compatible or not. If you have not already purchased the Val recommend you look at a SL-30 or the new Garmin replacement. These are both fully compatible with the SkyView.
- Moving the vents to below the panel saves on space.
- If you get rid of the glove box you would then have options to move the Dynon Knob, Audio, Radio and Autopilot panels to the main panel. This protects the panel "wings". This is a consideration as you will most likely want to do changes over the years. Replacing the main panel is simply a new piece of aluminum. Filling in panel wing holes is harder.
- You might want to leave room for eventually adding an IFR navigator - like a GTN-650. There is limited room behind the panel so some thought should go into where you mount the one radio you are planing for - you will want the GTN-650 on top of that radio.
Move the power ports off the panel - or at least a bottom corner of the panel. One port with dual USB outlets is more than adequate. You don't want to be staring at a bunch of wires. You can always add a port for your rear passenger near the rear seat.
- I just added the SkyView Knob controller to my RV-10 (dual 10" SkyView install). This box is a no brainier - put it in. I do not have the Auto Pilot box. I don't see a pressing need for it BUT it was not available when I built the plane. As such I installed the Safety Trim product. The Autopilot box is a full function dual axis trim controller so it replaces the function of the Safety Trim module. That makes the autopilot box a reasonable value so put it in.
- I find the Dynon Radio to be every bit as good as the GTN-650 comm.
- As previous said - keep the stuff that you most often manipulate on the left (Nav/Comm, Knob panel, etc.)

Bottom line - get all the opinions and then do what you want.

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Old 12-16-2015, 02:54 PM
SuperCubDriver SuperCubDriver is offline
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Germany
Posts: 472

I agree - get all the opinions and then do what you want.

Here is my panel, I also have two 7" Skyviews. According our regulation we have to install backup ASI and Altimeter. I have installed a RAM ball on each side, used the uppermost screws for the center panel and drilled one more below that to fit the ball mounts. On the right side I cover unimportant things like power outlets and dataports with a tablet - or leave it off. I made a map box for the lower right side panel where I also have my circuit breakers.

I was inspired by Bob Markert´s panel - can you see?

RV-7 flying, IO-375 w. P-Mags, 200RV Prop

RV-8 flying, IO-375, P-Mags, 74RV Prop

Last edited by SuperCubDriver : 12-16-2015 at 02:57 PM.
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Old 12-16-2015, 10:58 PM
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koupster koupster is offline
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: SLC, UT (KBTF)
Posts: 305

The most important back up instrument you can have is a non electrically powered airspeed indicator. I would put a 3 1/8" round ASI just to the left of the upper 7" screen. You can get altitude, vertical speed, and lots of other info from your phone or tablet. What you really need when the screens go black is your airspeed. The second most important, in my mind, would be an altimeter. An AOA indicator might serve as an acceptable substitute for an ASI. (See standard personal opinion disclaimers in similar posts)
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Old 12-17-2015, 12:27 AM
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BruceEicher BruceEicher is offline
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Wilsonville/Aurora KUAO Oregon
Posts: 760

A lot of good advice above I agree with.
One more note I found when I replaced my Icom for the Dynon radio. I placed it low somewhat like your plan. But its top knob blocks your view of its display when viewed from a higher angle. I am moving it up and putting the knob panel in its place (then move the intercom down and to the left) after I open my holiday gifts. (The other day Katie had to call me from PCA to ask if I wanted the horizontal or vertical Knob model.) . As you can see I left some room on my panel, but I still like looking out the window to fly. (Read; I'm not IFR qualified.)

This pic was shot with the camera at about chest high so it does not show the knob blockage.
Bruce, Katie, Hana and RV-8 HulaGirl

Last edited by BruceEicher : 12-17-2015 at 01:24 AM.
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Old 12-17-2015, 08:31 AM
RKellogg RKellogg is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Newark, IL
Posts: 287
Arrow Ten Inch SVs, please!!

Hi, Pilp Bilbo!
Everyone has opinions, a few of mine, no charge. >>
I have been flying with two SkyViews for 200 hours, one SV-10 and one SV-7. With this experience, I am planning to replace the SV-7 with a second SV-10. It is so much easier/faster to read info off the larger screen, especially at night, middle aged eyesight, I suppose. I would put the two SV-10s side by side at the top of the panel, closest to forward view.
I would rather have flight information displayed on the (10 inch) hardwired SkyViews, and leave the iPad in the flight bag.
Consider the space needed to climb in and out of the cockpit. Will the throttle quadrant interfere with other panel mounted controls? What will snag pant cuffs when you climb in? Worried about your ?wide side consoles??
Plan a space for an easy to use, direct acting timer. The timers built into the EFIS are too remote (menu-buried) to use during the complexities of an instrument approach, at least for me.
Arrange switches so that they can be confidently found without looking at them. Avoid a large field of identical switches that require visual verification. Group by start-up, configuration, and in-flight. Your plan sounds good.
Plan switches for ?flow?. Clockwise for start-up, counter clockwise for shutdown. Or similar.
I am leaning toward using a D2 as a back-up, and removing two mechanical gages . Not sure I see the value in a VSI as a back-up. Keep the ASI, but replace the VSI and Alt with a D2. More information in easier format in same space.
I plan on adding the Dynon 3-knob panel, but not the A/P panel. Based on 200 hours of flying, that seems like a good compromise.
Place the 12VDC outlets low in the corners of the panel, so that cords don?t droop across other instruments/controls.
Will the SV-Com be viewable in that location? I?d place it higher, and consider viewing angle. Some displays have poor off-angle viewability.
The map box consumes valuable IP space, there are other places to store charts without costing panel real estate.
It?s always a compromise, hope yours works well for your needs. Best!
- Roger
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