Avionics News July 2020 - 66

GRAND CHAMPION BONANZA
Continued from page 65

finished the first-ever installation of a three-display EFIS
system using the Dynon SkyView HDX touchscreens.
"Not long ago, I thought the only thing I would not
change on the Bonanza was the basic six-pack instrument
layout. I'm old-school and love the round dials - the
romance of flying a 1960's era airplane and all that. Well,
now it's all glass, and I love it.
"Along with wanting something totally unique, the threescreen setup allows me to declutter the displays so that I get
the information I want exactly where I want it. I have the
big MFD right in front of me. I can put a big map display in
the center, and then on the right side, I can have additional
airport information or weather or a combination of whatever
displays work for that flight.
"Most importantly, it lets me fly with my eyes outside of
the airplane - where they should be. This setup makes my
flying so much safer."
Eichhorn said that another side benefit to the newgeneration Dynon SkyView HDX is, compared to a lot of
the competition, it was "amazingly simple to learn and use."
In fact, complemented by a bit of training from Dynon, he's
self-mastered the systems' operation.
"Everything I need can be found in one or two steps - it's
not buried under layers and layers of pages like some other
equipment," he said. "I also like the system's flexibility to be
controlled via the touchscreens or with buttons and knobs.
This is particularly important when entering information or
selecting frequencies when flying in turbulence. Controlling
a touchscreen at arm's length can be quite challenging."
Of course, it takes more than glass displays to create a
modern panel, so along with the three Dynon SkyView HDX
displays, Eichhorn's panel also features Dynon's Mode S
transponder with ADS-B Out, ADS-B In traffic and weather,
Dynon's new three-axis, including yaw damper, approachcapable autopilot, the Dynon comm radio, and a Dynon
DA10A EFIS backup primary flight display.
Easy to use. Easy to install.
While Eichhorn is a talented craftsman and an A&P/
IA, he is not an avionics technician, so he was originally
a bit reluctant to tackle much more of the installation than
designing and cutting the metal for the new panel.
"Since Dynon has its roots in the homebuilt/experimental
aviation market, they already excel in making, not just
great avionics displays and modules, but many of the other
pieces that make installation so much easier than the oldschool certified avionics that are out there," he said. "For
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2020

example, there are Dynon Certified versions of all the wiring
harnesses, and the wires themselves are color-coded to match
the instructions and diagrams that are in the installation
manuals."
With that said, a bit of expert installation insurance is
always a good idea, so Eichhorn enlisted the help of his
friend and avid homebuilder, Mel Jordan.
"Mel has a lot of experience installing Dynon equipment
in various RV aircraft, so his expertise was a great help,"
Eichhorn said. "He and I spent four days on the installation.
The only wiring harness that we needed to fabricate from
scratch was the one that ran from the Dynon displays to the
Avidyne 550 and the audio panel. Mel had that one done in
just a few hours."
Eichhorn said that his state-of-the-art avionics suite, with
triple redundancy, not only gives him all the information he
wants, an added benefit was saving 65 pounds of weight,
which translates to about 10 gallons of avgas.
While the weight savings is a nice bonus, the most
important benefit to the full-panel upgrade was an array of
new capabilities that will help make his upcoming trips safer
and easier.
When asked about how the Dynon/Avidyne system in the
Bonanza compares to the avionics capabilities in the Airbus
A320 he flies for JetBlue, Eichhorn explained, "Comparing
the Dynon to the Airbus is kind of unfair. The reality is our
Airbus has one big PFD on each side, with the navigation/
MFD screens to the left next to the center engine display. The
drawback of the nav display is it can only display one of five
different items like altitude and speed constraints, airports,
VORs, or NDBs at one time. It's very antiquated when
compared to the Dynon/Avidyne units in the Bonanza."
The power to conquer the Poles
Eichhorn stated that the final upgrade needed prior to
his North Pole flight has been to upgrade the IO-470 to a
Continental IO-550B, which was custom-built by Pinnacle
Aircraft Engines in Silverhill, Alabama.
"The main reason I changed engines is the 550B will
give me 40 more horsepower," he said. "That will allow me
to climb significantly quicker and to carry an additional 40
gallons of fuel, which can make a huge difference. Pinnacle
did a marvelous job on the engine. It runs exceptionally
smooth, which is a huge benefit to prevent fatigue.
"The North Pole flight is through some pretty severe
conditions. The leg from Norway to Alaska alone is about 18
hours over the North Pole. This is no easy jaunt."
And coming from a pilot who's already done some
amazing things in his truly unique Bonanza, that's saying
something. q



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