11 thoughts on “Zenith Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Panel

  1. Yikes – that looks really bad for crash worthiness. Lots of metal stuff sticking out in the head strike zone.

  2. great innovation! I would actually also add throttle, fuel selector and all those other ugly switches of the center console as little touch screen elements onto the full-glare 17″ master piece. Maybe also an outside view camera showing you the view out front in case the glare screen might block that. And actually, why not just skip that old stinkin’ Zenair (or was it Zenith) altogether and just stay on the couch at home with your simulator…
    BTW, someone ever tried to get a 15 year old PC to work again? Where might you get spare parts or even EPROM chips for that panel if it’s 10 years old, let alone 20 years? Probably might just have to throw the whole aircraft away, or find some ol “stinkin’ ” panel somewhere to get it in the air again….
    99% of all modern cars will never become classic cars because of their electronics, so think twice about electronification of your good ol’ taildragger…

  3. To much automation is just that, to much automation. That is the reason some pilots have for gotten how to fly the plane unless it is on auto pilot. Sort of like cars with a stick shift and clutch. I got my old pickup inspected the other day and had to show the mechanic how to put the truck in reverse, or course he is much younger then I am, but then if he can’t shift gears, I wonder how good is he with the steering wheel especially on ice and snow!!!

  4. Joe, you are right and furthermore, the presentation of information is not intuitive. Too much information packed in a small display. In case of stress and emergency it will not be easy to locate the relevant guages and information.

  5. Still flying my 1975 A36 Bonanza with the steam gauges that work nicely. The iPad Mini with Foreflight helps.

  6. Not a fan of this. Just as Joe & Ray said in their posts. Some innovations are just to far out there and would put this in that category. Also it just make the interior look so bland and uncomfortable to me.

  7. Whats very cool with this set-up is that one can install a Dynon or Garmin touch screen or whatever. The Garmin G3X could be perfect for this set-up as all the switches are on the screen. Another cool set-up with be 1 or 2 ipads in the same space. Easy to install and to remove.

    Regarding safety, the panel moves so if your seat belt is very loose and you hit the panel, the panel will move easily. A 4 point seat belt is available for these who are concerned.

    What’s also important is that this new panel set-up is an option and the classic instrument panel is always available. You built it, you decide, you fly it.

  8. I agree with many of you and feel there are certainly safety issues that appear not to be addressed at all. I agree that head injury criteria in the event of an accident does not appear to be considered. Redundancy looks like another area that was not considered very well so I suspect there is plenty of room for single point failures.

    On the other hand, the cost of today’s avionics is off the chart compared to electronics in other fields. The only way I see this changing is for half baked ideas to hit the market and the chips fall where they will. This may end up being good for industry over the long run. In the short term the safety record could take a hit but that may end up stimulating the economy in the legal industry with the follow on law suits. There is always a silver lining and mistakes are part of the cost we pay in bringing new and innovative progress into our lives.

  9. I believe in glass panels. My Tecnam has 2 10” displays but I like them mounted and out of the way.

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