# Poor Boy Airspeed Indicator

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#### Doggzilla

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Used one of these on a hang glider, I guess they work alright. Funny how they are in mph, but as far as I saw, they all are.

#### Aerowerx

##### Well-Known Member
The cheapest would be to have none at all.

IIRC, all the Wright brothers had on their early planes was a AoA (or was it slip?) indicator.

I remember reading in the AOPA magazine about a school in Wisconsin where they teach you to fly a J-3 Cub. For the final lesson they cover up all the instruments and you have to fly by sound and feel.

#### cluttonfred

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
You could make your own with some aluminum or steel sheet and piano wire, calibrated by holding it out the window on a stick while driving down the highway. This one is actually from a certified DH Tiger Moth.

#### cheapracer

##### Well-Known Member
Log Member
Interesting, I not more than a few minutes ago posted this eleswhere ...

"There's a case for planes (or cars or especially boats) being so expensive that people justify going to further expense to maintain an equal level of fitment throughout and that if the base price is cheap then the fitout will also be cheaper, win win".

Could you imagine a new Sirrius/Lancair etc with these instruments!
:gig:

#### Aviator168

##### Well-Known Member
$25 ~$50 is all you have spend for sensors to send the info to a tablet or a smart for display. For that money. You will probably be able to get your six-pack.

#### cluttonfred

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Really?!? Can you provide a source for this? I find that very, very hard to believe even if that's a price per sensor. Remember flight instrument six-pack is defined included airspeed indicator, attitude indicator, altimeter, turn coordinator, heading indicator and vertical speed indicator. Personally, I'd be happy if it were that simple and easy and inexpensive to get just a minimum VFR package like airspeed, altimeter, compass, tachometer, fuel gauge and oil pressure/temperature.

$25 ~$50 is all you have spend for sensors to send the info to a tablet or a smart for display. For that money. You will probably be able to get your six-pack.

#### Pops

##### Well-Known Member
Log Member
The cheapest would be to have none at all.

IIRC, all the Wright brothers had on their early planes was a AoA (or was it slip?) indicator.

I remember reading in the AOPA magazine about a school in Wisconsin where they teach you to fly a J-3 Cub. For the final lesson they cover up all the instruments and you have to fly by sound and feel.
My flight instructor had been an instructor since 1937 and also a sailplane instructor. I had to fly with a sheet over the instrument panel and do spot landings. The only instrument you were allowed to see was the oil pressure gauge. Dan

#### Aerowerx

##### Well-Known Member
I remember seeing something about hacking a Gameboy (or was it a Nintendo?) for an airspeed indicator.

I know I saved the link in my favorites, and also posted something here about it, but I can't find either one.

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#### Aerowerx

##### Well-Known Member
Wow! That one would sure be fun to play with!

#### Aviator168

##### Well-Known Member
[Sorry...For some reason it said that I had not 'saved' this, so I did it. Then found out that it had done it the first time.]

I remember seeing something about hacking a Gameboy (or was it a Nintendo?) for an airspeed indicator.

I know I saved the link in my favorites, and also posted something here about it, but I can't find either one.

All I remember is that it used some external pressure sensors with open source software on the 'game'. If you do it yourself (or know someone who knows electronics) you could easily do it for under $50, except maybe for the game itself. The only other thing I remember was that it was intended for use on a hang glider, but I don't know why it could not be used on an ultralight or small LSA. You don't even have to. Except for the IAS. You can get the rest (including ground speed) from an app on a smart phone. Some smart phones like the Samsung S3 even have gyroscope built in. The GPS will give you altitude, ground speed, v-speed and coordinates. The down accelerometer will give turn coordinator, and the builtin compass gives direction. Note. Altitude, ground speed, v-speed from GPS are not instantaneous. It would be much better to use a pressure sensor to get those readings. Wow! That one would sure be fun to play with! No need to buy that. That chip is in some smart phones. My Samsung S3 has it. Just need to write a simple android app to read and display. #### Geek1945 ##### Well-Known Member Thanks guys, I believe in using KISS technology rather than$200+ airspeed indicators. Why because most aircraft, boats, motorcycles, etc hardly ever met users usage expectations. 100 hrs of flight time is a lot more than new weekend warrior pilots think. Look at most GA airports, plenty of planes aging away in hangers or shading tarmac/grass. So why invest in expensive dashboards for leisure entertainment?

As some have replied most instruments are rarely used especially for flying around on weekends. I compare it to having a similar instruments on a riding mower. Of course if they make you feel safer or confident mowing grass go for it!

I often wonder why builders don't consider strain gauges on important structures, maybe because there all important. Ed

#### Aviator168

##### Well-Known Member
I often wonder why builders don't consider strain gauges on important structures, maybe because there all important

I do like to have a torque meter between the engine and the prop. It is expensive indeed.
KISS technology is as good as those expensive ones. Have you look inside one of those glass panel instruments? You will find those exact same chips. The difference is their
circuit boards are built better. However, you can get the same safety factors by using a few cheap controllers. Why spend a few thousands if you can get 3 cheap ones for a $500. #### cluttonfred ##### Well-Known Member HBA Supporter Aviator168, do you have a link or another example to show someone actually using these types of sensors in an aircraft? #### SpainCub ##### Well-Known Member #### cluttonfred ##### Well-Known Member HBA Supporter Except that Dynon solution is at least ten times more expensive than what Aviator168 was describing, if I understood correctly. There are a few inexpensive instrumentation solutions for minimum VFR package (airspeed, altimeter, compass, tachometer, fuel gauge and oil pressure/temperature) that generally comes in cheaper and lighter than the equivalent steam gauges. For example, the MGL Avionics FLIGHT 2 (3 1/8") Primary Flight Instrument includes ASI, VSI, ALT and RPM and you could add a (2 1/4") TP-1 Universal Termperature/Pressure Gauge$215 and Falcon analog compass (2 1/4). Add senders/switches/breakers/wiring and a $50 shipping allowance and you get to about$950. Other options are possible including a combination ASI/ALT gauge and using one of their engine monitors for the RPM and oil temp/pressure, but you'd lose the VSI function

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Another option could be one of the Belite multifunction LED gauges (which can include ASI and oil pressure/temp or CHT/EGT for a two stroke), Microtim altimeter, Tiny Tach and Falcon analog compass. The price would be about the same and the panel would not be so neat but it would save some weight over the MGL gauges.

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PS--Sorry for the thread hijack considering we started talking about Hall windspeed indicators and simple wind vane airspeed indicators!

#### SpainCub

##### Well-Known Member
Matthew,

What I was implying was that electrical sensors are out there, and are been used by many companies.
There is a very famous UAV the US uses to hunt terrorist that utilises these type of electronic sensors, and the OP was saying that you can integrate them and built your own.

Have you looked inside a Dynon or Garmin? I have, I do these thing and you can see that theirs is not necessarily to highest grade electronic sensors out there. particularly the gyros, which are the most expensive of the examples given.

I like the idea for the flying community to start an open source project for avionics, you can do things like deferential sensor validation, you look at minimum three sensors on the airplane, then take the value en compare the three, the one with the greatest deviation is excluded and the mean is take from the other two. it could be in fact very reliable.

Yes, I agree... back to the OP...

#### Aerowerx

##### Well-Known Member
...Another option could be one of the Belite multifunction LED gauges ...
The problem with a number of this class of instruments is that they are made primarily for ultralights and hang gliders. Their air speed and altitude are somewhat limited. What is needed is something for the smaller LSA planes. When you get to the larger LSA, the builder will most likely go with standard instruments, but if you are trying to build a smaller LSA for under \$10,000---I don't know about the rest of you, but I am hesitant to put 10% of that into just the instruments. Not to mention the limited panel space for using the 3 1/8 inch gauges.

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