February 2013

Experimenter is a magazine created by EAA for people who build airplanes. We will report on amateur-built aircraft as well as ultralights and other light aircraft.

Issue link: https://experimenter.epubxp.com/i/108002

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Page 42 of 44

Hangar Debrief Working on the panel of his RV-7 caused Rick to reminisce about the development of various avionics. Persevering on Our Projects And reminiscing about GA advances By Rick Weiss The weather for the past week has been more like spring than winter here in Central Florida, so I have not been suffering from the "dark ages," that period of time when winter weather keeps me from working on my aircraft projects. It's been warm and beautiful, so it was out to the hangar to continue working on my RV. For me, the instrument panel is one of the more exciting parts of the building process. It's an opportunity to be creative, and it brings the experimental part of building more into play. My panel design is set in aluminum, but where in the fuselage do you place all those boxes that make the magic work? That part is easy if you don't care about having access to them later when the fuselage skin is on and you can't reach in to repair something. I spent a large amount of time trying to figure out where to place the XM weather box. So much time, in fact, that my mind started wandering to the past. Let's go back to the early 1980s. Imagine, if you will, having a weather radar picture in front of you in your small GA airplane. Most of us remember when that would have required an onboard weather radar system, which would have cost more than our entire homebuilt aircraft. In the early 1980s, I was working in the cockpit technology office of the FAA when a MITRE Corporation engineer designed a system that took EAA Experimenter 43

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