Flat panel musings

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cluttonfred

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In the aviation world we are an old-fashioned bunch, slow to change, but we are not alone. For example, color LCD displays and touch screens are common in modern cars, but most cars still retain lots of separate gauges, dials, buttons, etc. The effect can be attractive and efficient, but the combination reminds me of a modern flat-panel display installed alongside the old-fashioned steam gauges in a Bonanza. Only a very few modern designs for for true all-glass displays.

cactus.jpg

Here is shot of the dashboard of a C4 Cactus, a relatively new small crossover car from French carmaker Citroën. Some have compared the design to the company's classic 2CV, not because it looks anything like the old snail, but because C4 Cactus uses some pretty daring design decisions to simply the design to cut weight and cost. Notably, almost all the displays and controls are contained in one 7" touch screen and a second smaller display. The result is significant savings in kilos and euros as well as a very clean look. How long until we feel comfortable enough with our digital displays to go that way in our homebuilt aircraft?

PS--The huge glove compartment is made possible but moving the airbags to the headliner above the windshield...they deploy down not up.
 

gtae07

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In the aviation world we are an old-fashioned bunch, slow to change, but we are not alone. For example, color LCD displays and touch screens are common in modern cars, but most cars still retain lots of separate gauges, dials, buttons, etc. The effect can be attractive and efficient, but the combination reminds me of a modern flat-panel display installed alongside the old-fashioned steam gauges in a Bonanza. Only a very few modern designs for for true all-glass displays...

How long until we feel comfortable enough with our digital displays to go that way in our homebuilt aircraft?
Like this?
SkyView_Panel_RV6A_400.jpg

I don't think physical switches (at least for critical functions) will ever go away. But all-glass cockpits with no physical gauges are already widespread. I fly an RV-6 with only a single 10-inch Skyview display, Dynon comm, and a row of toggle switches; the rest of the panel is blank.
 

Dan Thomas

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Carmakers build millions of cars per year, and their displays don't have to be built to the exacting standards that aircraft displays, built for a few hundred airplanes per year, have to comply with. There's the reason we're slow to change: cost. It's spread among too few units, and has to be nearly perfectly reliable.
 
M

Manticore

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I can't use touch screens (or touch pads on laptops). Most people can generate around 20,000 volts of static electricity - I can get up to ten times that (7 cm spark). Smart phones die fairly rapidly. Laptop touch pads go crazy after a few seconds unless I earth myself.
Makes me wonder what would happen to the flat screen stuff in the event of a lightning strike (or even a near miss).
 

TFF

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The biggest problem with touch screens, beside being a lighting rod, is turbulence. An airplane bouncing around, it is easier to use positive switches than have your finger move around and hit stuff you don't want to do. As pretty as the new touch Garmins are, most still like the Garmin 430/ 530 over the new touch for that reason.
 

Dan Thomas

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I'm a fan. I dig the black and silver :) A pleasant departure from the 1976 C-172 panel.
A few years from now the black and silver will look dated, too. One thing the manufacturers of almost anything use to sell their stuff: make the older item look archaic against the new item. They spend a lot of money on fashion designers just to get us to buy more of their product.

It's fun to look through an old catalog or magazine and see the color ads for furniture and appliances and cars, then go to the second-hand store and see that same stuff for what it really is: nothing magic, just the same old merchandise that's worn out and unfashionable before we get it paid for.
 

Daleandee

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The biggest problem with touch screens, beside being a lighting rod, is turbulence. An airplane bouncing around, it is easier to use positive switches than have your finger move around and hit stuff you don't want to do. As pretty as the new touch Garmins are, most still like the Garmin 430/ 530 over the new touch for that reason.
Truth! I have a wonderful iFly 720 GPS that is touch screen. Sometimes when it's bumpy my fumble fingers can have me looking at something I never intended to. The good news is that it's very intuitive so it's easy to get back to square one. They also come with a remote control for basic functions but, to date, I haven't had to use it.

Dale Williams
N319WF @ 6J2
Myunn - "daughter of Cleanex"
120 HP - 3.0 Corvair
Tail Wheel - Center Stick
Signature Finish 2200 Paint Job
114.9 hours / Status - Flying
 

ScaleBirdsScott

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Eventually we may find the entire concept of an instrument panel anachronistic when you have everything live-streamed to your vision spheres.

Until that day, I'm fine with digital displays and I also appreciate the physicality of analog dials. We will see more HUD use I think soon, and then eventually Augmented Reality overlays. None of that is new to aviation by now... just up until recently the fancy tech has been impossibly expensive. Now it'll be something you can hack together with parts from ebay and a $5 Raspberry Pi or similar.

What matters beyond the medium, is clean, smart layout, and ease of use. Whether you have gauges from 1942 or a direct visual injection of supplementary data in 2042.
 

Himat

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careful autoreply calling it "American bad styling" when your home country can't even muster up a design or the skills to build a car.
What happened to the Dutch car makers was they where bought up and merged with other larger car manufacturers. Still there is some companies making spesialist cars there. If you look closer at it, less the very small companies making a handful to a few thousand cars a year, cars are made by 10 to 20 multi national companies.
 

TFF

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Teslas are really cheapo on the inside when you sit with them a while; they try, have great customer service and have cool stuff, but it is more like an expensive Chevy Cobalt. I think if Tesla did not have the customer service they do, they would have been gone long ago.
 

cheapracer

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Teslas are really cheapo on the inside when you sit with them a while; they try, have great customer service and have cool stuff, but it is more like an expensive Chevy Cobalt. I think if Tesla did not have the customer service they do, they would have been gone long ago.
I'll let you know, ours arrives soon - against my protests. We do have the wall charger, came with the deposit.

It's for the Daughter, she chose it, lipstick environmentilist, you know the type; "saves the world" while shampooing her hair for half an hour in the shower, heater on all night, drives an hour away to the big smoke to buy yet another pair of shoes then yells at you if you forget the hessian shopping bag and have to use a plastic one from the supermarket, etc etc ....
 

BJC

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Teslas are really cheapo on the inside when you sit with them a while; they try, have great customer service and have cool stuff, but it is more like an expensive Chevy Cobalt. I think if Tesla did not have the customer service they do, they would have been gone long ago.
I think that if they did not have the government-provided funding that they have, they would have been gone long ago.


BJC
 
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