Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Upgrading Your Instrument Panel

Panel-mount retrofit buyer’s guide

Electronics International MVP-50P
Century Flight Systems offers the Century 4000 autopilot, with features including roll and pitch control, heading hold, NAV intercept/track, coupled approaches (including ILS and localizer back course) and compatibility with ARINC 429 GPS roll-steering. Optional features include automatic trim, three-axis flight director and yaw damper. Contact:

S-Tec 55X
Cobham's S-Tec System 55X is a rate-based, two-axis (roll and pitch) autopilot with advanced features, including vertical speed hold, control wheel steering, altitude preselect and a GPS roll-steering module. Options include a flight director, remote annunciator, slaved HSI and automatic pitch trim. Cobham also offers the Chelton Flightlogic EFIS, which provides a PFD with integrated synthetic vision and HITS, terrain awareness & TAWS, and FMS features. Chelton Flightlogic is certificated in over 700 aircraft, and is compatible with a wide range of existing avionics and autopilots. Pricing for both the S-Tec 55X and Chelton Flightlogic varies, depending on options. Contact:

Electronics International's MVP-50P color engine analyzer and systems monitor tracks volts, amps, fuel flow, engine rpm, manifold pressure and fuel level. A bar-graph display shows EGT/CHT for each cylinder. The unit also offers graphical weight and balance, customizable checklists and data recording with download through a front-panel universal serial bus (USB) connector. Contact:

Emerging Lifesaving Technologies 406MHz ELT
Emerging Lifesaving Technologies (a joint venture between the folks behind RC Allen Instruments and Nulite Instrument Lighting) offers an international standard 406MHz ELT with built-in GPS for $1,599 complete, including antenna, cable and tray. The estimated street price is about $200 less. Contact:

Flightline Systems AuRACLE CRM 2120 displays twin-engine performance and status on two bright five-inch active-matrix liquid-crystal displays. Engine parameters monitored by the CRM 2120 include manifold pressure, RPM, fuel flow, TIT, CHT, EGT, oil pressure and temperature, computed horsepower and percent power. After flying Burt Rutan's Boomerang, equipped with the CRM 2120, test pilot Mike Melvill exclaimed, "I have never seen a cooler monitor. It's fabulous." The CRM 2120 is available in both vertical and horizontal configurations, meets a wide range of TSO specifications, and is STC'd through an approved model list for primary engine operation in a wide range of makes and models. Pricing starts at $16,200. For details, browse, or call (585)924-4000.

Freeflight Systems ADS-B
By the time you read this, Freeflight Systems is scheduled to complete testing on its RANGR autonomous dependant surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) universal asynchronous transceiver (UAT) with GPS. It will fully meet the FAA's mandate for all aircraft operating in controlled airspace to have "ADS-B out" equipment by 2020, and (with a compatible display) will provide free traffic and weather. Pricing wasn't available at press time. Contact:

Garmin GTN
Earlier this year, Garmin announced the new GTN series avionics, which replace the earlier GNS series. Like the earlier models, the GTNs offer GPS/NAV/COM functionality—but the new ones offer larger displays, touch-screen functionality (including graphical flight planning with victor airways and high-altitude jet routes), remote transponder control and compatibility with ADS-B traffic and weather. Pricing starts at $11,495 for the GTN 650 (which replaces the GNS 430). The GTN 750 adds a larger display, remote audio control and electronic charting for $16,995. Contact:


Add Comment