Online Community of Zenith Builders and Flyers
It'll be some time before I need an instrument panel for my CH750, BUT, just like engines, there's a LOT of choices as far as instrumentation and I want some time to think about it and perhaps look at specific brands at AirVenture next month.
I've got about 2500 hrs in a C206 with an EFIS, IFR GPS, AnywhereMap on a yoke-mounted tablet with XM Weather, etc. I still have the 206 for my "traveling" machine. My intention with the CH750 was a basic VFR plane for "puttin' around" the beautiful Sequatchie Valley in E Tenn where I live. Therefore, since my typical flight will be low and slow with eyeballs mostly outside the cockpit, I thought just a very basic panel was in order ... "steam gauges (traditional round gauges)", an intercom, and a radio. IF I wanted GPS/weather capability, I have my tablet with AnywhereMap and XM weather.
One of my friends is a prolific builder and his latest RV has all the glass bells and whistles. He pointed out to me that some of the very basic glass panels would give me navigation AND engine instrumentation for very little more than separately buying all the assorted flight instruments and engine instruments.
Since this would apply to ALL the Zenith aircraft, I thought this discussion might be better placed in the Open Forum.
What's your opinion or experience? Can you truly buy some glass panel that comes close to the price of getting all the round gauges for flight and engine instrumentation? Or, is there some combo of round gauges and glass that would be the best bang for the buck? Remember, I'm talking for a strictly daytime/VFR plane, no IFR, etc. If someone has priced out various combos, I'd love to know the bottom line!
Another question might be; "are you comfortable with a glass panel you installed, and which may be unproven in your configuation, as your sole source of information?"
I don't trust the glass panel under those conditions. I installed minimum steam gauges to get up and flying. I plan to install a glass panel later, leaving it in parallel with the steam gauges until I'm convinced I can trust it. Then I may remove the steam gauges.
It also lets me defer the cost of the panel until later. I'm on a budget - the glass panel I want would cost much, much more than the steam gauges. I can find some non-TSO'd steam gauges fairly cheap that will do the task.
John - It really boils down to what kind of flying that you reasonably expect to do with the 750. The non.TSO'd do come fairly cheap and make quick reading (not installation) easy. I have a Grand Rapids that I mainly use for oil temp, oil pressure, and rpm; I fly mainly daytime VFR but I am night time VFR capable. I also have a Garmin 500 that I really like. For weather I use my iphone. I do suggest a turn coordinator to show wings level in the event of unintended fog entrance. There's no doubt there are tons of glass out there that will do the job. I personally like to keep things simple (no button pushing) for a "puttin around" machine.
Good Luck and Safe Flying