Custom Instrument Panel – First Look

A lot of thought has gone into the instrument panel. With two 10″ Garmin G3X Touch displays, remaining Sling 2 panel space is at a premium. I still needed to tuck in a GTN 650Xi navigator, GMC 507 auto-pilot control and a G5 backup flight instrument. With all that gear, finding places for switches and circuit breakers took me a while to figure out.

A Vertical Power VP-X Pro, solid-state circuit breaker system, completely eliminated panel-mounted circuit breakers. The arrangement of the quite modest number of switches has been carefully laid out. Workflow and purpose were key considerations. I’ve taken advantage of advice and feedback from many sources. So far, I think it’s turning out beautifully.

There’s a tremendous amount of functionality in the touch-screen avionics. That reduces panel clutter enormously. Remote GTR 20 VHF (COM2) radio, GTR 245R audio control and GTX 45R ADS-B (in/out) transponder are all managed through the touch-screens. There’s also integrated engine monitoring and display.

There’s so much stuff, that getting a professionally designed and fabricated wiring harness is clearly the only way to go. The absolute top shop for this work is Midwest Panel Builders in Lapeer, Michigan. They’ve been setting the standard, especially for the various models of Sling aircraft.

The integrated capability of all this equipment is truly astounding – off the charts compared to more traditional steam gauges that have been the mainstay of small GA aircraft for decades. I simply cannot wait to slip into the cockpit and learn how to put this technology to effective use. It’s going to be huge fun. My plan is to earn my instrument rating in my own technically advanced airplane (TAA) . That’s a thing, believe it or not.