Have we reached the end of the Steam Gauge era?

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Toobuilder

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So there must be some EE or Programmer talent on this board...

Take the concept of the Dynon D180 to the people - divorce the screen and package all the inputs and processing in one small, remote mounted box. Provide generic VGA or CAN or Ethernet outputs to a generic display. Want a display in front and back or side to side? No problem, just plug another one in. Sure, you give up functionality of a discrete EFIS display, but for the more "simple" airplanes this would never be missed.

I think the person who brings this box to market (along with a selection of screen sizes) will crush the E-AB market at the right price point.
 

BJC

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... I still prefer an analog airspeed display for aerobatics, because I normally am glancing at it to see where the needle is pointing rather than to read a number.
And this is why I don't like glass. If I want data I want it NOW. I want to be able to spot a trend without having to mental math. ...
I saw a g meter once, made somewhere in Europe, that outputs an audible signal that indicated both g, with the tone of beeps, and how quickly the g is changing, with the frequency of beeps. I can envision an entirely audible “instrument panel” for aerobatics.


BJC
 

Hot Wings

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f you fly an airbus/ eurocopter helicopter, the engine gauge just shows a “good” meter unless a parameter goes to yellow or red.
Add in software to anticipate a parameter going out of bounds in X-minutes to activate the yellow light and you have the best compromise between keeping the pilot informed and not taking his attention from other tasks. I don't mind glass as a technology, I think it's superior to steam, but the modern screens are just a pain to look at. If they were standardized in some way...........
 

rdj

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We're very near the point now where a basic EFIS and engine monitor package is cost-competitive to good VFR steam (I think we've passed it for IFR already). I think we're at (or even past) the point where it's lighter and easier to install. Now that STCs are out there to put experimental EFIS into certified airplanes, I expect that the market for round gauges, especially gyros and vacuum equipment, will dry up.
Vacuum stuff, sure. But altimeters, airspeed indicators and engine instruments are likely to be around for some time. I'm putting little (2-1/4") round gauges on my VFR panel next to the Dynon glass. Minimal weight, simple hookup, and reliable. Whenever the Dynon goes blue-screen, or I have the glass portion of the panel out for repair or replacement with whatever new whiz-bang technology is out in 5 years, I can still putter around knowing basic airspeed, altitude, oil pressure and temperature by glancing occasionally at the little pointy needles.
 

Hephaestus

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I think the Google glass style AR systems will replace everything in the near future. HUDs for everyone!

FAA will still require some oldschool I'm sure but when we can put the information in front of you well enough that it's in front of you wherever you look there's a major safety issue gone.

But terrifying to think of the results of failure... But wifi/BTle etc are bringing it so close to reality - with adsb just think how nice it will be when traffic is highlighted in your field of vision automatically.
 

103

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My new project, a cruzer, will have airspeed, altimeter, compass, and engine gauges. Pure VFR - lookin' out and sight-seenin' is more enjoyable than info overload....Cheaper, too.
Mission driven, going to breakfast and lookin' down...It's all I need.
I am a middle earthling, Steam flight instruments, MGL EFIS with an alarm pilot light should the MGL find something approaching the limits I will catch the pilot light in my periphery and investigate/correct/Mitigate.

https://www.homebuiltairplanes.com/forums/threads/clever-cygnet-panel.31673/
 

Vigilant1

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I think the Google glass style AR systems will replace everything in the near future. HUDs for everyone!
Maybe someday in the future when ADS-B Out or its successor is required on every airplane, UAV, drone, and bird. Until then, I hope folks will keep their field of vision clear of junk and distractions so they can see other traffic. And if folks are planning to fly with Epson goggles lashed to their heads, I'd hope the FAA would/should require a safety pilot just as they do when folks fly with a hood/foggles. In any airspace where some traffic is not under positive control (i.e. most airspace below FL180) everybody is supposed to be looking out for everybody.
 
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Hot Wings

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In any airspace where some traffic is not under positive control (i.e. most airspace below FL180) everybody is supposed to be looking out for everybody.
And this is why I'm looking forward to something like this kind of technology. I'm a minimalist kind of guy and I think these would/could give me more time to be looking around. One of the advantages of electronics is that they can do the job of monitoring the mundane stuff and only alert me when my attention is really needed. The less time I spend scanning gauges, just to make sure nothing has changed, the more time I have to look for the other plane that doesn't have ADS-b.

If this technology gets used as just another crutch to enable the lazy and inept - then I agree we can do without.
 

BJC

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The hardware on the panel doesn’t keep the pilot from looking outside. Looking outside is totally controlled by the functioning of the onboard organic computer.


BJC
 

Hephaestus

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Id say glasses mounted would do better, as they're not fixed location the likely hood of missing traffic is lower, especially if you're adding a little computer power to spot traffic... Computers are pretty good at pulling spots out of the ether and identifying movement compared to human eyes that can get fatigued no?
 

gtae07

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The hardware on the panel doesn’t keep the pilot from looking outside. Looking outside is totally controlled by the functioning of the onboard organic computer.
I know it goes against conventional wisdom, but when I’m flying cross-country I spend a whole lot less time heads-down with modern glass than I did with paper and an E6-B. I’m not wasting my time trying to interpret small symbols on a map, computing ground speed, or trying to figure out wind correction angle. My situational awareness is vastly improved, especially with respect to weather and traffic (the human eye has always sucked at scanning for traffic like that and unless you’re someone like Chuck Yeager, chances are you miss a lot more than you think you do).

Couple that with an autopilot and I spend a lot less time on mundane keeping straight and level, and a lot more time looking out the canopy.


On local flights it doesn’t make much of a difference. The traffic awareness is still better but I mostly navigate by landmarks and roads and use the moving map to avoid the Class B.
 

BJC

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I know it goes against conventional wisdom, but ...
Same here. If a pilot thinks that all near traffic (other than, perhaps, the local traffic pattern traffic) is detected by eye, that pilot should use flight following (or ADS-B with a copilot) a few times and note the difference.


BJC
 

BBerson

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The traffic could be automatically custom called out on the headphones. "Traffic a Cessna at 3:00, raise right wing to see it". Or "traffic at 6:00 recommend right turn now to avoid"
 

Hephaestus

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The oleds they use in the glasses do allow transparency, it's not all or nothing, simply highlighting in the display as detected/ spotted is an option. Whether it's visual or audio - we all respond differently, yeah a really busy screen would be problematic - no arguing that.

I'm always surprised how much adsb traffic we have, this isn't even the USA where it's mandated...
 
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