Chapter 22/23/24 – GIB headrest cover

Today was a short shop day but I did get some coordination done as well as a bit of research of future capabilities.

I called my exhaust pipe welder, James, and ensured he was going to be around next week since I plan on starting on the left side pipes no-kidding Monday.  I want to wrap up some final tasks on the bottom cowling this weekend and press forward with the exhaust pipes next week.  If all goes well I’m hoping to have the exhaust pipe configuration saga put to rest in the next 1-2 weeks.

Out in the shop I started off by cutting the GIB headrest & turtledeck gap surround cover at about the 11:30 clock position before then remounting both sides.  With the wave that had resulted at the top middle area from pinning down both sides with the mounting screws, this cut was essentially a relief cut.  I then overlapped one side over the other and marked the edge of the front piece.  I had estimated about 1/4″ might need to come out, but it was less than half of that at just under 1/8″ to do the trick.

I then sanded about an inch on each aft edge side of the cut and cleaned the surfaces with Acetone.  I then laid up a ply of UNI and a ply of BID at the seam to rejoin the two sections of the cover.  I then peel plied the layup and left it to cure.

Switching gears… although I cut this small peek hole in the cowling before mounting it last night, I spent some time assessing it today.  Although I reworked the aft section of the bottom cowl skin I’m still not getting the clearance I want/need with the aft right cold air induction pipe.  I’m going to add a bump to increase the internal clearance by at least 1/4″ and then add a bit of pour foam and a ply of CF on the outside to hide it… yep, it has to be done.

Last night I was poking around my notes and online when I came across some info I had on the Aerovonics AV-30.  Yep, it’s been awhile since they were bought out by uAvionix.

I always liked the AV-30 and felt it had a lot of potential.  As a reminder, currently in my two 3-1/8″ instrument holes on my panel I have the Trio Pro Pilot autopilot and an older TruTrak ADI, which I installed to give me basic attitude awareness during initial flights and a backup AI for normal flight ops.

That being said, I’ve always had my eye on replacing my simple Tru-Trak ADI with something along the lines of the AV-30, which to be fair is a powerhouse PFD/MFD in its own right.  It already will drive the major basic control functions of my Trio AP by simply hooking up one wire (I called Trio to flush this out and since my unit is older it would require some firmware updates to get the AP & AV-30 talking to each other… since I can control the AP via the panel-mounted Trio AP control head it’s not worth it to me to spend the money for shipping and a firmware update for essentially TWO AP control heads when my primary means of controlling the AP will be via the GRT HXr EFIS).

Moreover, the AV-30 currently ships with a WiFi module that will pipe in traffic from my SkyRadar DX ADSB receiver on a separate screen while concurrently feeding my FlyQ EFB (and Foreflight) on the iPad with traffic updates, including updating ship’s altitude based on pressure altitude vs GPS altitude (while all other targets are based on Baro alt… pretty nifty).

Over a good number of years I’ve been like a shark swimming in the water in regards to the uAvionix AV-30… waiting for my prey to tire out and simply watching it from afar. Then I saw a quick little tidbit of someone talking to the uAvionix bubbas at their Oshkosh booth, it was a mere little flash since they wanted to blather on tirelessly about their TSO’d ADSB stuff. . .

This seemingly unworthy aside is where they announced IT (what I’ve been waiting literally years to hear): a new ARINC-429 module that will turn the AV-30’s current GPS-only CDI into a full blown HSI with vertical and horizontal guidance for ILS/LOC/GPS approaches straight from my GNS-480 GPS navigator.  This is huge and will not only give me a very capable backup AI/PFD for my GRT EFIS screens, but will allow me control over the AP (if I choose to update the firmware) and a very visible HSI for instrument approaches, especially as a backup HSI.  I’m pretty stoked about these capabilities and —again— have been watching for years to see if they would add them.

I called uAvionix to confirm this news and their tech said it would most likely be out within the next 6 months.  This is a great timeline for me since I plan on having the plane in the air, can flush out my panel requirements, and if I make the call I can most likely have the AV-30 installed in place of the TruTrak ADI in a few hours.  Plus I can have the few extra cross-connecting wires pre-wired in the panel to make this install a breeze down the road.

Pressing forward!

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