Instrument Panel v1
I’ve been working on a 3D model of my instrument panel. Although I’m still several months away from needing to buy avionics, there are some good rebates right now from Garmin, so I think I’m going to start buying some components, even if it means it will sit on the shelf for a little bit. I shared this render with the Sling Builders group on FaceBook, and received a lot of positive feedback.
I will be flying single-pilot VFR/IFR most of the time, so I did a pilot-centric panel. I know the dual-10.6″ screens I see on some panels looks pretty, but to me it doesn’t make much sense unless you plan to have someone flying from the right seat regularly. It’s too far over for the pilot to be able to see it or utilize the touch screen. Instead, I put a large 10.6″ GDU 460 in front of the pilot as a primary flight display (PFD), and a GDU 470 7″ portrait display in the middle for an multi-function display (MFD). The PFD displays all the important info as well as synthetic vision, while the MFD will be mostly used for moving map, Engine Information System (EIS), and to punch in radio frequecies and flight plan changes.
I put the auto flight control system (AFCS) panel top center, like where you’d usually find it on bigger jets. The blank space on the right will be for circuit breakers, heater controls, and other ancillary switches.
For a redundant (back-up) system, I put a Garmin G5 on the left side of the panel, this seems like a much more common place to put it from other panels I’ve seen. A GNX 375 GPS/Transponder will be located to the right of the 7″ MFD, acting as my IFR navigator / transponder / ADS-B in/out. Below the GNX 375 is a GTR 200 communications radio, which can be controlled through its front panel or through either of the touch screens. Although I can get a remote-mount radio, in my experience I interact with the radio a lot when talking to air traffic control, so I like the idea of having physical buttons and a dedicated screen to look at.
Garmin recently introduced updates to their GPS navigators, the GTN 650xi and GTN 750xi. I would love to buy one, but they are eye-wateringly expensive – about $12k and 16k, respectively. The GNX 375 is a more affordable alternative, and provides access to IFR approaches via GPS, which are becoming much more common.
Please watch this video before you rule out the GTN series. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQZAm0EnBrc
If you plan on using your plane to get your instrument rating then you need the GTN series equipment.