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Well Known Member
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The Garmin 296 is a great gps


Bob Richie
1TE4 Zuehl Field, TX
O-320 E2A
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Am to redo panel with VM1000, BMA or Dynon D100 etc, but real life been gettin in way somewhat...

One of shortlist layouts.

George Brink
RV4 ZU-RVF (bought ex N65HS)
FAGM South Africa
IO-360 VP
Is this thread showing up as "stickied" for you guys?? It isn't for me.

edit: Now showing as sticky...

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Panel pics


Here is a picture of my panel.Still have to obtain an electric horizon for the 3.125 cutout, and will have radio/xponder/CD player in the center consol.Hope to "fly it" soon.
Bill E.,RV4
WInston-Salem NC
RV4 Panel Pictures

This my final panel layout.

King KY-97 Com
King KT-78A Transponder
Full Electronics International engine instruments, including fuel gauge
Dyon D10A
AOA Sport
Tru Trac auto-pilot


Jerry Isler
Donasonville, Georgia
RV4 N455J
1949 Cessna C140A N9641A
My Panel - Complete

Van's A/S
Flight Data "G" Meter w/clock/Timer
GARMIN 296 in AirGizmo mount
Electric Elevator Control
XCOM 760 Transceiver w/internal intercom
Microair T2000 Transponder
IK Technologies AIM 1 (Digital MPH, RPM, MP, OP, OT, Fuel Gals L & R, Fuel Flow, Fuel Pressure, Linear 4-Probe CHT & EGT)
TruTrak ADI
TL Elektronics Altitude w/ internal Mode C encoder

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Panel of experts...

Good Grief, you guys Rock! When I initially put my panel together for the Bandit in 1994, I hit a NAPA store and the Fly Market at Sun N Fun. NAPA gauges, homemade throttle quadrant, Tiny Tach from my lawnmower, used handheld radio and cheesy transponder, $750. 11 Years and 1500 hours: priceless!
George, I really like the digital ADI in the center of your panel. Is that an MGL avionics (of South Africa) ADI or somebody else?

Rob Ray

The Panel was put together at Steinair in Minnesota
GRT Series One EFIS
Tru-track autopilot with alt. hold and VS
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Also...Greg's RV4 pictured previously has 2 Comm's, 2 GPS's, 1 NAV, a good audio panel, (2 axis Autopilot with GPS steering and Vertical Speed Altitude Hold), neat new Red LED swivel map/cockpit lighting (hidden under the canopy rails), and nice little EL lighted 1.25" UMA fuel guages.

It's a WHOLE lot of stuff crammed into an RV4 panel (in fact we had to do it twice because we forgot about the canopy frame the 1st time and didn't leave quite enough room over the top of the panel.

Lastly, note the new Stainless Steel striker plate for the canopy pin. I've noticed a few of you put those on up front, those of you that didn't will find a scratch/galled panel within not too many hours from the canopy pin - it's worth your time to make a striker plate there.


P.S., I'm still upset that Greg stole that airplane back from my shop....it was a veritable Rocket Ship with the powerful counterweighted 360 (new 4 pipe exhaust) & new Hartzell BA Prop - what a BLAST of an airplane to fly!
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Panel Ideas

So, I have been playing around with some ideas for a panel... like to know what you all think... the EIS is the I-K Technologies AIM-4000. I think it gives the best info for the space...I was thinking about the Vision Microsystems vm1000, but with all of the negative press I have been reading i opted against it.

plane_tech said:
So, I have been playing around with some ideas for a panel... like to know what you all think... the EIS is the I-K Technologies AIM-4000. I think it gives the best info for the space...I was thinking about the Vision Microsystems vm1000, but with all of the negative press I have been reading i opted against it.

Just out of curiosity, what are you gonna do about radios? I see VOR and VOR/GS indicators, but no radios ...

i was planning on putting them on the panel between the instr. panel and the floorboard. or, i might move the switches to the area of the right arm rest, slide the other gauges up a little and see if the will fit along the bottom of the panel. still working on that part of it. I also have to get some dimensions of some vents, starter switch, trim position indicators, suction gauge, headphone jacks, etc.
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Plane-Tech Panel

Everyone has an opinion, but since you asked . . .

I like your panel layout, but there's one thing I'd change - I'd put the VOR/Localizer Indicators on the left column of your "eight pack" and then slide everything else to the right one space. Personally, I'd rather have the Artificial Horizon in the middle, and the airspeed indicator closer to the center as well. More time will be spent looking at these and that's why I would move them over.

Just pure preference though . . .

I'm fitting the new Advanced Flight Systems AFS-3500 in my panel with an air-gizmo mounted Garmin 496 on the left. It will be hard to get the EFIS 100% centered and that's gonna drive me crazy! :rolleyes:

The wife always said I was too particular!
My RV4 panel

That's mine. RV4, D-EEES, awaiting first flight.
Cheers from Germany, Dirk Schlichtenhorst
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trim ?

rv8r said:
That's mine. RV4, D-EEES, awaiting first flight.
Cheers from Germany, Dirk Schlichtenhorst
Dirk.....Nice clean looking panel and interior and....I like the looks of your trim wheel. Do you have any other pictures ?
The trim wheel is homemade, but the mecanism (rack & spur gear, if my english is correct??) behind it is from an old Piper (don?t know which model). Maybe you can find a used one. I was able to connect the original Vans trim-cable to it, so it was not a big deal. It is bolted to the stringer that runs down there. The big advantage is that you can put the throttle quadrant where it makes sense without colliding with that original trim-lever. The original wheel that came with it was of plastic and much bigger, but this little one works really good (and looks better:eek:) )


trim throttle.jpg
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how not to wire a panel....

I know that this is not an rv panel, but I thought it might be worth sharing... as I was working under the panel of a 172 trying to troubleshoot two switches during an annual, this is what I was faced with...

my camera phone does not really take a good picture, but you get the idea.
Built in 8 years in five states (military moves, not with standing), been flying it for 5 great years. Basic old school panel; 20 years of flight test in the military and civil world makes me a little gun shy of too much glass. Panel includes a new single axis trio autopilot in the center stack, a cross country workload wonder, cheaper and lighter than a copilot, but comes up a little short when it comes to lively conversation.

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I'm going to put a 296 in the exact same position you have - I'm wondering how you mounted it?

Also, I like that flatter ball indicator than Van's supplies - what kind is it?
The Garmin 296 is mounted to a short section of "z" channel with a small interface plate that picks up the four screws in the back of the plastic mount. You could use two sections of "L" channel riveted together. The trick is to get the angle of the screen normal or perpendicular to your design eye position, in other words, the screen has to be pointing right at you as I have found the 296 and 396 intolerant of off axis viewing in sunlight conditions. I had to tinker with the look-up angle a few times (just opened up the bend in the channel) before I declared success. As for the ball, its out of a flea market parts bin, so I can't testify to its noble lineage, but it does work like a charm, even keeps me honest in the trim department most of the time. Rich
My Panel

Notice the paper Trio wing leveler. A whole lot cheaper then the real thing.

You sure you can't squeeze in one more instrument? :D Honestly, great job!

Mike Bauer
RV-3 N87LB flying
RV-4 building N742 MC

Lookin' good!!! It has a military look to me. Ready for a cat shot??? I like it.

Brian Vickers, RV4 finishing - painting cockpit before installing everything
Good job Joe!!!

Yes, it turned out great... best of all you're done with it. Is your firewall forward done too? You must be pretty close to lift off?

Brian Vickers, RV4 finishing
Panel roughed in now

Here is my roughed in panel. Pretty simple, not much explaining to do. No keyed switch (Nuckolls got to me). The amber light on the right is for low oil pressure warning (back up). The 5 amp breaker above it is for the Plane Power alternator OV circuit. The red light on the left is Enigma warning light indicating system voltage fault, etc. (time to switch to the dedicated back-up battery). The 7.5 amp breaker on the far right is the alternate feed for the massive essential bus (small fuse block). I fabricated a simple structure to secure the radio trays and facilitate the wire run from side to side. Also to support and secure wires to the back of the Enigma. I tried to keep it simple and serviceable. All controls but throttle and mixture are going to be on the panel. The only hole left to drill will be for the carb heat knob; planned for far left. I'm going to wait on that for now.

Please feel free to post comments or suggestions good or bad. I am feeling my way along without a chaperone so far. Can't wait for those $100 hamburgers outside the range of my partnership 1959 C-172!!!


Brian Vickers, RV4 project
Bainbridge Island, WA

Here is my roughed in panel. Pretty simple, not much explaining to do. No keyed switch (Nuckolls got to me).

Looking very good. I have been thinking in terms of steam gauges (when I reach that stage in the build process), but I?m kind of converting more and more towards your approach. I will also head towards simplicity and functionality, somehow I find it much more aesthetically appealing also. (Teak and leather are for luxury cars ;) ). I have only heard good things about the Enigma. The keypad looks strange at first, but it is supposed to be a stroke of genius in terms of simplicity of operation, which is needed considering all the functionality of that device.

The main reason I initially do not like the glass panels is the all eggs in one basket principle. I will probably install a backup like the Flight2 or something from MGL. My cockpit internals just have to be ?USSR cockpit blue?, but I?m not sure about the panel itself, matt black is probably the best choice all things considered. Your panel sure will be a template for mine :)
Panel is finally lit up!

Finally have the panel pre-wired so I can see what it looks like . . . still missing the standby 2.25 inch airspeed indicator and the Garmin 327 transponder.

Always wanted to do a clean, light, and uncomplicated panel, and I think this fits what I was looking for. Gotta love technology, when now you can have a lot of info, and yet still have space left over for more goodies (Tru Trak autopilot, for example . . . )
Say What?

Hey Spuds......OK....I gotta' ask.....why would you want a right hand stick with right hand prop/mixture controls :eek:??
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Nice work Roy!!

What are the two white knobs on rods that come up from the floor on either side of your legs? I am building a simple 4 and have never studied the 8 so apology extended for the ignorant question. Rudder trim? My 4 looks like a hobby shop RC model compared to your ship! Again nice work, I'm impressed.

re right mix/prop on Spud's panel

I wanted a vernier for the mixture and prop-doesn't creep, precisely adjustable, won't budge with throttle movement. It wouldn't fit of the left due to throttle quadrant (manly, full hand, throttle grip), alternate air select, and back seat rudder pedals.
The start button is right above the mixture; I've never found starting to be an issue. The location is totally transparent in flight. Nothing unnatural going on around here.

Merry X-Mas to me - N3321L Modified to IFR light

My first avionics project, was a lot of fun. Wanted to upgrade to basic IFR capability as inexpensively as possible mainly to be able to file more than anything. Also didn't want to have to re-do the whole panel, and wanted to be back in the air quickly without a lot of down time.

Removed the GNC-250XL GPS/COMM (already had a 396) and replaced with an ICOM A200. The micro Encoder, (GREAT unit for VFR, had to sacrifice it's position and taskings to the D-10A). Moved the intercom to make way for VAL INS-422. Bob Archer antenna in the left wing tip, 40" of stripped coax in the right for the markers. (Thanks to those who posted here with input on these wingtip antenna solutions -- they work great!) I really was hating the fact I was going to have to give up my analog G-meter to make way for a 2" altimeter backup, but found the Micro-Tim Spruce sells and velcroed that sucker to an open spot above the radio! Probably more reliable than the cheaper 2" altimeters. This one doesn't have a static input, (they sell a version that does) but it's usually within about 50 feet of the Dynon with the cabin air pressure.

About $3000 bucks net cost and only about 2.5 weeks' downtime.



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Nice panel, but isn't that an RV-8? :)

I'm so alert! Didn't even get your hint! :p
Should have noticed this was RV4 specific. Don't know what to do about it now.
Hope this "stupor" isn't present too much while actually building!

Minimum instrumentation. Radio will be and ICOM 200 A and there will be a G/Volts Meter.
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