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Placement of Mechanical Vario in Panel?



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 29th 07, 02:15 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
V1
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Posts: 21
Default Placement of Mechanical Vario in Panel?

I'm laying out a panel for a new Ventus, planning to get a Cambridge
302 flight computer. My question is where best to place my mechanical
vario in the panel.

I can either put it in a prominent position next to the 302, or in a
position lower on the panel. Depends on whether I'll be actively using
it during flights.

In my prior ship without a flight computer I needed the mechanical
vario for instant and electrical vario for average climb in thermals.
Now with a 302 that gives both instant and average climb, it's not
clear whether I should be looking at the mechical vario. Does looking
at a mechanical vario give additional useful information, or is that a
poor habit to get into (man with two watches never knows what time it
is)? Should mechnical be for power failure backup only?

I realize this is likely a matter of pilot preference, but I'd be
interested in hearing opinions on best practice for cross country
competion.

Thanks,
- Frank

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  #2  
Old July 29th 07, 04:18 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Martin Gregorie[_1_]
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Posts: 276
Default Placement of Mechanical Vario in Panel?

V1 wrote:
I'm laying out a panel for a new Ventus, planning to get a Cambridge
302 flight computer. My question is where best to place my mechanical
vario in the panel.

I can either put it in a prominent position next to the 302, or in a
position lower on the panel. Depends on whether I'll be actively using
it during flights.

In my prior ship without a flight computer I needed the mechanical
vario for instant and electrical vario for average climb in thermals.
Now with a 302 that gives both instant and average climb, it's not
clear whether I should be looking at the mechical vario. Does looking
at a mechanical vario give additional useful information, or is that a
poor habit to get into (man with two watches never knows what time it
is)? Should mechnical be for power failure backup only?

I realize this is likely a matter of pilot preference, but I'd be
interested in hearing opinions on best practice for cross country
competion.

I'm not a competition pilot though I do fly xc. For what its worth,
here's my two cents worth.....

I fly a Std Libelle. I have an SDI C4 final glide computer in the left
center cutout in the lower row and a Borgelt B.40 in the right cutout in
the top row. The B.40 is an electric audio vario which only shows the
instantaneous reading unless a push-button is held in to show the
average. I like to have the ASI top center but the rest of the panel
layout was dictated partly by the size of cutouts (top row is 57mm and
lower row is 80mm). However, I'm really happy with this layout.

Both varios have speakers. I usually have the audio up on the C4 and off
on the B.40 because the C4 has audio tones for cruise speed as well as
climb rate. The C4 automatically switches between climb and glide mode.
As a consequence, I don't need to look at the C4 unless I need to know
whether I'm above or below the glide slope, what the averager says or to
read the wind speed and direction. I don't normally need to touch the
controls on either vario during a flight.

The B.40 response is a faster than the C4, so its handy to have it just
below eye level for finding narrow thermals. At other times I find and
center thermals and monitor inter-thermal speeds by listening to the C4,
not looking at it.

Previously I've flown with a C4 and a PZL mechanical. The arrangement
then was that the C4 was in the panel center, just below the ASI, with
the PZL mounted off to one side. This was also optimum because the PZL
is so slow that its response rate is close to the C4 averager. I almost
never looked at the PZL (i.e. it was a pure backup) and used the C4 more
or less how I do now: mainly by listening with the occasional glance to
read average, glide slope or wind info.

I prefer to have the fastest responding vario nearest my usual
sight-lines but this judgment would be modified by the amount of useful
audio information available from the final glide computer.

Its an interesting question: its made me think about why I like my
current panel so much. I'll be interested to hear what experienced
racing pilots like and why.


--
[email protected] | Martin Gregorie
gregorie. | Essex, UK
org |
  #3  
Old July 29th 07, 05:40 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Mike the Strike
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Posts: 952
Default Placement of Mechanical Vario in Panel?


Its an interesting question: its made me think about why I like my
current panel so much. I'll be interested to hear what experienced
racing pilots like and why.


As an occasional racing pilot, here is my take:

The majority of panels in racing gliders around here have airspeed and
vario at the top with flight computer, altimeter and second vario
below.

My current panel has ASI at top left with two smaller electric varios
(flight computer output and electric backup) at top right and the
flight computer centered below these with altimeter at bottom left.

I've not used mechanical varios now for ten years, preferring a second
electric audio with stand-alone backup battery. Try flying cross-
country without an audio vario and you'll see what I mean!

I get nervous flying with pilots who have cockpits bristling with
mechanical varios and PDAs - you know they're going to be spending a
lot of time looking at those instead of watching where they're
flying. Kind of like the Hummer driver I saw recently whack into the
back of a stationary car at a traffic light because they were busy
dialing their cell phone.

Mike



  #4  
Old July 29th 07, 08:55 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Brian[_1_]
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Posts: 399
Default Placement of Mechanical Vario in Panel?

I found I seldom used the mechanical vario. After having a power
failure once and having to fly for a couples hours with only a
mechanical vario. I traded my Mechanical PZL in for a B40. The B40 is
electric but has a 9V backup and an Audio. I have had to use it once
and it works great. The other thing I like about it is the B40 has an
external averager switch. So when I am not using it as a Backup I
switch it over and use it as a Averager. I don't really need this as
my CNAV has an Averager as well. But it does let the B40 do double
duty.

My panel has ASI, B40, CAV across the top
and ALT, MNAV on the bottom.

You can see a photo of it at:

http://www.soaridaho.com/photogaller...006/index.html

You will need to scroll down a few photos to find it.

Brian
HP16T

 




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