Re: A quick hello and a request for panel layout advice


Hi Jason-

A little more info would help:

-  Will this be a complete ground up overhaul of avionics or just cleaning things up by replacing a couple of antiquated steam gauges?

-  What is in the current panel that you would like (or are bound and determined) to keep?  Remember, the used stuff in the panel now can be flebayed to partially offset the cost of something that better integrates w/ whatever system you choose.

-  A few decent pictures of the panel right now would give folks a feel for your starting point.

-  Do you anticipate flying in real IMC?  If so, you should really think things through from an overall systems integration standpoint.  Ask yourself all sorts of "What if?" questions to get a grip on what's left to safely get you on the ground when various combinations of instruments or power sources fail.

-  Pre-built harnesses are a genuinely tempting shortcut.  I advocate doing the really, REALLY hard work of building your own. The study you'll be forced to put in - of the various installation and owner's manuals, as well as wiring protocols - will yield the benefit of multiple orders of magnitude better understanding of how everything in your new system works with everything else.  If something starts not working correctly you'll be miles ahead in the troubleshooting process.

One other bit of planning info:  Should you plan a center stack of avionics, be mindful of the arc the Defiant's nose gear components swing thru behind the panel.  The really deep trays need to be kept ABOVE the space the gear swings thru.  That's why my IFD 540 sits ABOVE my audio panel.

I posted the attached picture a while back on the Defiant group's portion of the site.  It shows what I started with (VFR only GPS and single com) and where I wound up (IFR GPS navigator, full audio panel, dual com, dual VHF nav, and more) w/ my panel upgrade.

Good luck and enjoy the ride!


On 10/18/2021 9:14 PM, Jason Wagner wrote:
Hello Everyone!

I am Jason Wagner (Alan’s son). In addition to being a long-time fan, I am now a Defiant owner. (I have acquired Charles’ beautiful bird (N176PC)).

My father and I flew it back to Virginia last week, and the O-360s hummed along nicely. As I am preparing to do some transition training and work towards evolving this into the ideal family/island-hopping aircraft, I am looking to update the avionics.

Any recently redone, or designed panel pictures or layout recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

I am not a purist on brand, but have had nothing but positive experiences from the time with the G1000 system as I have done my IFR training, and I have seen firsthand the rock-solid performance of the legacy GRT suite in my father’s defiant.

Any insights and advice on the above (or really anything Defiant related) are always welcome.

Looking forward to flying with all of you soon!

- Jason

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