Ultimate Instrument Proficiency Check

I fly a lot of new experimental aircraft, which means I do a lot of flying with the latest technology when it comes to panels, EFISes, and IFR navigators. So when I went to do some multi-engine training in a friends 1967 Twin Comanche, I knew that I was in for a challenge. It had nothing thing to do with remembering the rules and regs for IFR flight - the problem was going to be getting sharp enough to pass an Instrument Proficiency Check on a six pack and raw data! Not only that - it wasn't truly what we call a six pack these days - the DG was below the altimeter, and the VSI was off wandering around in right field. The autopilot hadn't worked in the memory of any recent owners - so this was hand flying all the way. It was a challenge.

And... it was fun! Continue reading "Ultimate Instrument Proficiency Check"

Belite Offering Discounts on Instruments

Buy ANY Belite Instrument, Get 15% off with coupon code SEBRING15 through February 14, 2107.

This includes Belite's standard instruments, as well as the new RADIANT Instruments.
All RADIANT Instruments combine many functions into simple, small, lightweight units. The new instruments utilize sunlight readable full color high contrast LCD screens which are also friendly with sunglasses.

Visit Belite's website for more information.


15 second Demo: Freaky Fast responsiveness with a 2 ounce solid state RADIANT Turn Coordinator

Any pilot who has ever wanted to add a turn and bank to an experimental aircraft panel has been put off by the complexity, weight, reliability, and price of traditional electric or vacuum units. Belite's new product solves all these problems. It uses a solid state gyro and accelerometer; it weighs less than 2 ounces, and it attaches to any aircraft ship power system, and it allows for easy in flight calibration at the push of a button. Continue reading "15 second Demo: Freaky Fast responsiveness with a 2 ounce solid state RADIANT Turn Coordinator"

A Modern Turn Coordinator


It says right here, in my own handwriting on my kneeboard – “It just works!  I think I might have been upside down in a loop at the time, trying to scramble this little device’s brains – but I wasn’t able to, no matter how hard I tried.  The “little device” is the new digital, solid state turn coordinator from Belite – the makers of small, light airplane kits and gadgets for their panels. Their latest offering is something that will make folks looking for discrete gauges sit up and take notice. Continue reading "A Modern Turn Coordinator"

Belite Releases New RADIANT Turn Coordinator. 15% Discount thru Sept. 30

belite-radiant-turn-coordinatorNew Electric Turn Coordinator Features

  • Unit weighs 1.8 ounces and is thinner than a quarter
  • Excellent source of turn rate and slip/skid, simultaneously
  • Unit uses any power source from 10 to 36 volts
  • Resets from any aircraft upset position

The RADIANT Turn Coordinator provides a visual indication of turn rate along with a visual indication of slip/skid, using an ultra bright, daylight readable color LCD display. Continue reading "Belite Releases New RADIANT Turn Coordinator. 15% Discount thru Sept. 30"

Power up!


Boy, I am enjoying building "simple" for a change. Most of my airplane projects are fairly complex machines with multiple EFIS screens, IFR capability, and all the bells and whistles. The Xenos, on the other hand, is a straightforward motor glider--just the stuff we need, and none of the complexity of the bigger craft.

I pulled out the panel blank the other day, along with the Avionics that we’ve put aside for the project, and within a couple of hours, the holes were cut and the units test fit. Essentially, we have a single screen EFIS to give us flight and engine data, a single Comm radio, and an electronic Variometer for soaring (the MGL EFIS has a software-derived Vario, so we thought it would be fun to install a dedicated unit and see how they compare). Switches are minimal – a Master, to ignition toggles, a start switch and an avionics master. Four circuit breakers handle the loads, and heck, I had this little corner for a couple of warning lights, so I installed two from my stock drawer – one for the EFIS warning, and another for oil pressure.

After everything was fit, I took it apart, scotchbrited, and shot some primer and paint. While that was curing in the sun, I pulled out the manuals and figured out how the CAN Bus connections work for MGL. The answer? Quite simple and easily!. The MGL units al came with pre-made harnesses from Approach/Fast Stack, so when the paint was hard and the units re-installed, it was a matter of minutes to connect up the data lines and another half hour to mock up the power feeds so that we could throw the switch and - voila! We have a panel!

Now, of course, I have to tidy things up, figure out where to mount he RDAC (engine data unit) and Magnetometer, choose places for the headset jacks, and do some installation in the fuselage. But its nice to know that everything works,, and we can start to play with the MGL software environment..

Pretty cool for an afternoon’s work.