What's in YOUR Cockpit?

Central Oregon

I spent most of my life living - and flying - in the middle of the country. It's hard to find places between the Rockies and the east coast where you can't find civilization in a reasonable number of miles. Heck, keep ten thousand feet of air between you and the earth, and you'll almost always be able to reach a runway! But the west is different. Continue reading "What's in YOUR Cockpit?"

HUD's Up!


I spent some time this weekend testing a new Heads Up Display product from Grand Rapids Technologies, and I think that folks who have been lusting after a real, functional HUD are going to be wanting one! GRT has taken a very simple, commonly available product intended for automotive use (the Hudly, priced at about $300) and adapted it to the experimental market by providing an Android App that runs on a stick PC ($50) or an Android phone which talks to the GRT EFIS via Bluetooth.  Buy the Hudly, get a stick PC or your Android Phone, buy the App from GRT, and you're essentially there. I haven't talked total App price with  GRT, but this is a HUD capability for just a few hundred bucks. Continue reading "HUD's Up!"

Learn to Wire Well

nasa-workmanship-standards-pictorialWay back in my career as a NASA engineer, I spent most of my time training. You see, I wasn't a design engineer - I was an operations engineer - we got to take all the cool stuff that the rest of the aerospace industry built, and make them fly. Much of that work was operating and troubleshooting systems, and part of the job was learning how to fix things "on the fly" so to speak - including things that were never designed to be fixed in flight. Did you ever see the scene in the movie Apollo 13, when they had to make square CO2 absorber cartridges fit round holes? That successful effort lead to an entire discipline in the Space Shuttle program, and we all got a chance to learn the procedures for re-wiring, troubleshooting, and replacing avionics boxes in flight. Continue reading "Learn to Wire Well"

Now... With Bikes!

bike on the tundra wing

I've done this before, last year when I flew the new Murphy Radical, so it wasn't completely an unknown feeling when I lifted off with bicycles dangling off the wings of our Dream Tundra this weekend. But it is still hard not to look out the windows to either side and not chuckle just a little bit. It's just... odd... to see them hanging there as you lift off and climb out. Continue reading "Now... With Bikes!"

Always More to Learn

Stereo plug in a stereo jack - all contacts hit where they should
Stereo plug in a stereo jack - all contacts hit where they should

I love solving problems--it is just hard to find the time to work on the little ones. I have been wiring avionics for more than three decades, and I have wired audio panels in both stereo and mono more times than I can count. I've used just about every headset you can think of, and I have used stereo headsets in mono airplanes, and mono headsets in stereo ships. It usually works out, but sometimes, you just have this little problem that won't go away. Continue reading "Always More to Learn"

Foolin' Around with Design and Fabrication

Tundra wing-mounted bike rack

It's a quiet week between Christmas and New Year's, since my outstanding magazine staff guys got ahead of the schedule and made it that way! So I've had some extra shop time to work on a few projects I've been wanting to get around to. Continue reading "Foolin' Around with Design and Fabrication"