# VFR panel cost analysis

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#### Toobuilder

##### Well-Known Member
Log Member
Need and want are certainly the issue. That said, even a VFR pilot with a clear view of the ground and chasing his finger along a paper chart can benefit from panel mounted display showing current winds aloft, TAS, range, ETE, traffic within 20 miles, and weather within 100, etc. Yes, one can fly just fine without even looking at the panel, but this stuff is right there, free for the taking. Even buying a basic six pack is going to cost more than an EFIS - with far less utility, more weight, and more complexity. The days of steam are coming to an end.

##### Well-Known Member
By the time you have some decent analog instruments (compass, altitude, speed, climb) that actually work well, you've spent more than a basic EFIS. Seen far too many "cheap" instruments that were utter crap. If you buy crap instruments that give incorrect values, why buy it at all?

#### dcstrng

##### Well-Known Member
one can fly just fine without even looking at the panel, but this stuff is right there, free for the taking. Even buying a basic six pack is going to cost more than an EFIS - with far less utility, more weight, and more complexity...
I find no fault in your logic and my head tends to agree with you (although my heart doesn’t), and this is undoubtedly true for a flier (especially of certificated, or quasi-certificated birds) who feels or is compelled to ACS, Wicks and the others at the retail end – I shop there too, but am very selective… I’ve price compared the budget-end of the glass-panels (if there is such a thing) against new steam-gauges and they are roughly comparable price-wise… assuming you want to emulate all the gadgetry of the glass panels in steam gauges – and that is the question…

#### N804RV

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
So, if I go with a GRT Sport Sx package, I need to also buy the EIS 4000 to drive the engine instrument display, right? So, it looks to me like this is the cost break down for the basic GRT Sport Sx package with engine monitoring:

Single Sport Sx EFIS package $2,600 - 6.5" MFD -Built in AHARS and GPS -Ext magnetometer -Ext OAT probe -wiring harness EIS 4000, basic Lycon 4cyl package purchased with EFIS$1,000

Total EFIS/EIS panel cost (not including Com and TXPDR) = $3,600.00 What else will I need? It looks like I'll need Fuel quantity probes, associated wiring, a fuel flow transducer and wiring. What else? #### Toobuilder ##### Well-Known Member Log Member If you're using an airplane as a legitimate transportation tool, that means arrival dates and times are critical. Which, in my mind, means one should have an IFR rating. Otherwise, the temptation to push the limits with a bad case of "get-there-itis" is going to be a real danger. People quite regularly get killed that way... Hold on a second - let's not place everything into one box or another. My typical transportation "mission" is from my house to Chandler AZ. This is a very VFR doable 333NM trip with zero pressure to "get there". It does require navigation around/through some interesting airspace, and the weather is certainly a big variable. In this case, my airplane is a mode of transportation, and even absent a hard schedule, very much benefits from the plethora of information presented on the display(s). Navigation, weather, traffic, engine data and autopilot all at a glance. Automation of the secondary functions allows me to stay sharp and focus on the most important thing in VFR flight - not running into anyone. Yep, it's pretty boring droning along on autopilot for hours at a time, but when my wife is on board, the last thing I want is "excitement". Boring is good sometimes. #### Vigilant1 ##### Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter If you're using an airplane as a legitimate transportation tool, that means arrival dates and times are critical. Which, in my mind, means one should have an IFR rating. +1. And, in much/most of the country, such a use would also require a plane with the ability to safely fly into known icing (FIKI) conditions. That's an expensive proposition, and flight into known icing in any small plane is not an entirely satisfactory undertaking. Without a "hard" IFR panel, any plan to fly my little plane for "gotta get there on a particular day" trips requires a backup plan. That's why, no matter how fast the plane might be, I couldn't plan to use it for business trips beyond about 500-600 miles (the distance I'm willing to drive my car in a day). More as we discussed it here. Last edited: #### Toobuilder ##### Well-Known Member Log Member So, if I go with a GRT Sport Sx package, I need to also buy the EIS 4000 to drive the engine instrument display, right? So, it looks to me like this is the cost break down for the basic GRT Sport Sx package with engine monitoring: Single Sport Sx EFIS package$2,600

- 6.5" MFD
-Built in AHARS and GPS
-Ext magnetometer
-Ext OAT probe
-wiring harness

EIS 4000, basic Lycon 4cyl package purchased with EFIS $1,000 Total EFIS/EIS panel cost (not including Com and TXPDR) =$3,600.00

What else will I need?

It looks like I'll need Fuel quantity probes, associated wiring, a fuel flow transducer and wiring. What else?
That's most of it as far as I can see. And you will have a VERY capable panel with full engine monitoring... all for the cost of a certified engine monitor.

There are plenty of Bonanza drivers who would like to have half your capability at 10 times the cost.

#### dcstrng

##### Well-Known Member
My idea of a nicely serviceable/personalized VFR panel – Ron Dixon’s venerable MiniCoupe, has traversed the better part of the continent many times over the past four decades and clearly can be assembled on a budget… notice the high-tech digital compass… Yes, still flying...

#### Toobuilder

##### Well-Known Member
Log Member
+1. And, in much/most of the country, such a use would also require a plane with the ability to safely fly into known icing (FIKI) conditions. That's an expensive proposition, and flight into known icing in any small plane is not an entirely satisfactory undertaking.

Without a "hard" IFR panel, any plan to fly a private plane for "gotta get there on a particular day" missions requires a backup plan. That's why, no matter how fast the plane might be, I couldn't plan to use it for business trips beyond about 500-600 miles (the distance I'm willing to drive my car in a day). More here.

Once again, I urge caution that we don't go hard to extremes to make a point. There is plenty of safe VFR beyond the airport pattern. And just because the mission at hand does not have a hard schedule attached to it does not in any way lessen the legitimacy of an airplane as viable transportation.

##### Well-Known Member
With good, up-to-date weather (real-time), it seems to me that even with a "normal" VFR panel one could reliable make virtually all flights at least on the right day.