VP-2 instrument panel layout ideas

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Which VP-2 instrument panel layout do you prefer?

  • Option 1

  • Option 2

  • Option 3

  • Option 4

  • Option 5

  • None of the above (please explain)


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cluttonfred

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13.jpg 5.jpg
Just for fun, here are some possible layouts for a simple VP-2 instrument panel that assumes a handheld radio, no transponder, and no navigational aids except a compass. As you can see from the images above, the instrument panel is also a critical structural bulkhead so space is limited and you can't put holes just anywhere. Note that not all layouts include a fuel gauge because I don't mind a simple wire and float sight gauge but I would use the fuel gauge function if included in a quad gauge, annunciator, or EMS. Please vote for your preferred layout(s) (you can choose more than one but don't have to) and post why below. Cheers, Matthew
VP-2 instrument panel option 1.jpg VP-2 instrument panel option 2.jpg VP-2 instrument panel option 3.jpg VP-2 instrument panel option 4.jpg VP-2 instrument panel option 5.jpg
 

Toobuilder

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There's a Dynon D-180 for sale right now on VAF for $1600. That's probably cheaper, certainly lighter, easier to install and FAR more capable than the options you have here.

Just sayin...
 

cluttonfred

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1) Ewww, just ewww! ;-p

Ewww!.jpg

2) Which part of the critical forward spar bulkhead should I cut away to fit it? ;-)

3) Seriously, I don't think any sort of glass panel would really suit something like this, but if I did want to go that route, I'd look to those designed to fit a 3-1/8" instrument from the back or the front. The main hole in the instrument panel is only 12" x 3-1/2" with rounded corners.
 
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don january

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Matthew. It shows you have 13" vertical opening for your legs to pass through the bulkhead and 12" width for your three center instruments. Why couldn't you lessen the 13" down to 11" the width of the 12" spread for the instrument. That would give you enough vertical room for a Dynon D-180 and you could even tilt it 5 degrees to get better view
 

Mark Schoening

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Option # 2.....ASI and ALT most viewed....Engine gauges important...Looks good.
 

cluttonfred

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Thanks, all. The ignition and other switch placements were just to use up the extra gauge holes in the standard layout, really just placeholders. I could see putting a bracket in place of the right one to hold the radio, for example. I am not worried about navigation, I can have a tablet on a knee board if I really want that. And for those that preferred glass panels of some sort, here's what I'd do if I went that route given the small space and trying to keep the cost down, we can call it Option 6. ;-)

VP-2 instrument panel option 6.jpg
 
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Chilton

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I would go option 2, then velcro in a convenient place to hold the radio. I would DEFINITELY have a slip ball there as well, since the sailplane yarn wont work it is the lightest way to get critical information.

If an EFIS will fit a standard instrument hole and is lighter overall I would go for it but I suspect the electrical system to run it would take the overall weight higher.
 

TFF

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Go with two Dynon 10s. One engine one flight.

The panels are so close that I would be more likely to get what instruments you really end up with and arrange on need from the seat. I would personally be more inclined to have altimeter and RPM in front and let the others trail to the side. I know the panel is small but except altitude and oil pressure, using others is going to be a lot less. IFR would have a different answer.
 

cluttonfred

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I was always planning on a slip ball directly on the bulkhead below the compass. Two Dynon displays seems like overkill for a Volksplane.

Options 3 (overemphasizes the tach) and 4 (too busy) are definitely off the table. Options 1, 2, and even 6 could work, especially with a dressed up and fully enclosed VP-2, but Option 5 seems like the right vibe for an open cockpit.

EDIT: Speedhut also makes 2-5/8” gauges that fit a 2-1/16” hole, so for an air-cooled VW I was thinking of a 2-5/8” tach in the left hole, 3-1/8” ASI/3-3/8” QUAD/3-1/8” ALT in the middle panel, and 2-5/8” CHT in the right hole. It makes for a pleasingly symmetrical look like an old sports car, but I am not sure about the alternating engine/flight/engine/flight/engine gauges in terms of the panel scan. We'll call it Option 7.
 

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Toobuilder

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Certainly you are not equating a volksplane with a work of art, are you?

The Volksplane is "minimum requirements" incarnate. Esthetic consideration is not even on the radar.
 

cluttonfred

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Them's fightin' words! ;-) I find that the VPs have a certain pugnacious charm and certainly stand out in a crowd.
 

Starflight

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Sorry, Mathew. I agree with the steam gauge concept (elder luddite), however I am using 3/4 inch Baltic birch for both bulkheads and have six 2-1/4" holes with lower edges approx. 2" above the leg opening and centered in the panel. Swift makes some nice readable small gauges and they are less expensive than the 3-1/8 units. I will let you know what my 13 ply bulkheads weigh when they are cut and ready for installation...should be before next weeks end. :) BTW- my finished ready to install modified seat weighs 6.67 pounds on a digital kitchen scale.
 

cluttonfred

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Sorry, Starflight, but are you building a VP-2 and substituting 3/4" ply for the 1/4" ply-3/4 Douglas fir-1/4" ply sandwich? I think I may have missed something.
 

Turd Ferguson

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Certainly you are not equating a volksplane with a work of art, are you?

The Volksplane is "minimum requirements" incarnate. Esthetic consideration is not even on the radar.
No doubt this builder is some kind of artist as this VP is pretty close to a work of art, the model for a 21st century VP-2, or just an all around good looking cool little plane.

volkplane.png
 
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