Cross Posted from Avionics Forum: Affordaplane Instrumentation questions

Discussion in 'The light stuff area' started by Aviatrix, Aug 28, 2005.

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  1. Aug 28, 2005 #1

    Aviatrix

    Aviatrix

    Aviatrix

    Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Hey, all

    Finally starting real work on the Affordaplane,
    and was wanting some tips on Instrumentation and such.

    I plan on the following instruments:

    Altimeter
    Compass
    Bank/Horizon
    Fuel
    Volt/Ammeter
    Tachometer
    Airspeed

    I may also tap into the 440 for Oil Pressure, not 100% certain.

    I'm assuming I'll need some sort of a radio in order to talk to the tower if I want to fly out of any sort of a real airport.

    I received my Aircraft Spruce catalog last week and found some nice pricing on instrumentation,
    so I'm not terribly concerned about having to add a few more if needed.


    Any thoughts on my list or tips on what model of radio would serve my needs?
    I'd prefer one that I could use headphones and mic inside my helmet with.

    I'd also like to know if there are other instrument choices to consider adding, or some that could be omitted.
    I kind of fall into the "would rather have too much information versus not enough" mindset.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Aug 28, 2005 #2

    Topaz

    Topaz

    Topaz

    Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I, for one, can't imagine spending the money on an artificial horizon on this plane. Would you ever really be flying when you might need one?
     
  3. Aug 28, 2005 #3

    wally

    wally

    wally

    Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    southwest TN.
    Here is my take on instruments

    Hi again,
    When I had my Kolb Untralight, about the only instruments I used were (for sure) an airspeed and a tach to see if the max rpm was what it should be for takeoff, after that I didn't look at it.

    Since the gas tank was under my knees, I could easily see when it was time to land. Since the compass spun like a top when the engine was running, I didn't look at it either. I didn't have an electrical system so didn't need an ammeter.

    I had an altimeter, (wish I still had it for my Pitts) but didn't use it much either. I did get to 1500 one day but it felt so slow up there, I didn't go that high much after that.

    My opinion is that a good airspeed is handy for an ultralight because they are so light and draggy, it is easy to get slow. I noticed that the first time I flew it, They just don't have much excess energy. A climbing turn can end up a stall/spin if you are not watching airspeed or have some experience.

    Other than that, they are a delight to fly around in. Almost like a magic lawn chair at least mine was. I sat out in front of the wing with the engine behind me, nothing in my sight path except a little instrument panel down by my feet and nothing under the seat but the ground! I flew formation with a hawk for a few minutes too, that was cool.

    I did have a cheap GPS on a bracket on my leg for nav. One push of a button and I had bearing and distance to my field and ETA at my present speed. All for $50.

    The guys I flew with in Georgia mostly used CB radios. I know they are not legal for that but we were all tight on $$. I never got around to adding one. I think a hand- held VHF would be just fine if you could hear and talk without screaming. (it is loud in an ultralight)

    Wally, now wondering why I am spending thousands to build a Pitts...
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2005

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