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Thread: Integrated AP in the future?

  1. #1

    Integrated AP in the future?

    Hello, I'm leaning towards using the AFS EFIS setup in my RV10 I am building. One of the things I like about Dynon is it's integrated Auto Pilot. Are there any plans to integrate the autopilot into the EFIS and not require the external AP device?

  2. #2
    While probably not as relgious as the primer debate, you will find a difference of opinion concerning the advantages/disadvantages of an integrated auto pilot.

    My personal opinion is that if I'm flying IFR, I want a separate AP that has potential to function independently if the EFIS dies. This will buy you think time if you in an IFR situation. If your AP dies with your EFIS, then you are going to have your hands full.

    Paul Dye wrote a great article a year or so ago in the RVator about determining your mission and then selecting the appropriate avionics to include back up planning. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it.

    bob
    Last edited by rleffler; 01-21-2011 at 01:48 PM.

  3. #3
    This is a really good point and I'm glad it came from someone else. I personally have the same mantra. The mission for my RV-7 will be an IFR capable aircraft. I personally prefer a stand-alone autopilot that will still integrate nicely with the EFIS. Our autopilot is very small (flat pack or round) and takes up very little room. It will work if many other systems fail and could possibly save your life while in clouds by keeping you right side up.

    But you are right, it all comes down to the mission... We design our units for IFR flying and therefore incorporate a lot of redundancy. We like to think we are designing products for the higher end of the spectrum.
    ---
    Trevor Conroy
    Technical Support
    Advanced Flight Systems
    Support@Advanced-Flight-Systems.com

  4. #4
    I understand and that makes sense. I definitely appreciate having the VNAV abilities of the current AFS as opposed to Dynon that doesnt have that ability today. It was just one more device to plumb and cut in the panel space. I've seen pictures of the round, but what is the "flat pack"? Also, from the research I've been doing, it looks like this is a rebranded Trutrak head - or at least looks similar. Is that correct? Is there a reason to go with a AFS AP rather than a full up Trutrak system then? Is there any integration advantages to using the AFS option?

    Also, since there will be some lag time between when I install my Servos (and AOA) and when I will get the head and fly, is there any price protection against upgrades or changes that may occur after purchase? Just thinking about what my potential expense exposure is during the build completion. Thanks for the assistance!
    Last edited by CharlieWaffles; 01-21-2011 at 05:07 PM.

  5. #5
    Yes, it is a TruTrak autopilot with special software that allows it to communicate with the EFIS. They are experts at making autopilots, so we decided to go with them rather than experimenting.

    The Flat Pack autopilot is a rectangular bezel rather than round. I like the look of it a bit better. LINK

    You can buy the servos anytime and we recommend that since things may change with the indicator. There is currently no price protection program in place. In the past we haven't seen much as far as price increases for the autopilot.
    ---
    Trevor Conroy
    Technical Support
    Advanced Flight Systems
    Support@Advanced-Flight-Systems.com

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieWaffles View Post
    Also, since there will be some lag time between when I install my Servos (and AOA) and when I will get the head and fly, is there any price protection against upgrades or changes that may occur after purchase? Just thinking about what my potential expense exposure is during the build completion. Thanks for the assistance!

    Charlie,

    Unless you're different than most folks, your build will take 3-4 years. I would recommend buying the roll servo just before you close up your wings. You can hold off the pitch servo until you start to wire your fuselage. You don't install the top skin behind the baggage bulkhead until the very end of your build, so access is easy. Don't buy the AP head until you buy you avionics. The servo technology isn't likely to change much, but there may be significant changes in the avionics over a couple year period. The price may increase a little, but it hasn't been that much recently. Your cash will be better sitting in the bank, than sitting in parts you can't use sitting on your shelf.

    If you want to see some RV-10 panel photos, got to Aerosport Products' Panel Photo Gallery. When you're done, take a look at Geoff's other products, then started budgeting for more things you'll want to purchase.

    Disclaimer: While I don't directly work for Aerosport Products, I do manage their web site.

    bob
    Last edited by rleffler; 01-22-2011 at 05:20 AM.

  7. #7
    Thanks, that's my plan, to get the servos and wait on the head unit. Looks like there is just a RV-10 servo option as opposed to servo by servo, so when you say wait on the pitch servo, how would you accomplish that?

    Also, are there any plans to upgrade the unit/functionality? Specifically, I like the Sorcerer's ability to have Altitude Select which it doesnt look like the Digiflight II does.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    charlie,
    you can use altitude preselect with the vsvg model controlling it from the efis.
    alan

  9. #9
    You can purchase single servos from any TruTrak dealer. (i.e SteinAir, Aerotronics, etc). They are about a grand each, so streching the purchase across your build will budget your spend better.
    Bob Leffler
    N410BL - RV10 - Flying
    http://mykitlog.com/rleffler

  10. #10
    Charlie, I used to have BMA EFIS/AP which is integrated. It was a nightmare. I could never tell if the EFIS was having a problem or the AP. I finally got rid of it and now have AFS system. The AP is TT and works quite well if the EFIS is not connected to it.

    If you want to see an installation in my RV9A of the 3500 and flat pack AP, you can visit me at my hangar at Lenhardt's.

    Kent
    (503) 627-4045 (days)

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