Pilot's Guide to Avionics 2016-2017 - 64
ALL HAIL THE HUMBLE
TODAY, THEY DO MORE
THAN EVER BEFORE
S T O R Y
D A V E
nocking around fly-ins, air shows and general
aviation airports, you still see a significant
percentage of light GA aircraft flying without
an audio control panel . Many aircraft simply lack the
With one comm, some form of navigational receiver
and a transponder, these aircraft often lack an audio
control panel but sport a portable intercom or a simple
panel-mounted intercom .
The first Part 23 aircraft in my life had one VHF
nav/comm combination with glideslope, a Mode C
transponder, a Loran C navigator and a four-place
portable intercom to manage cockpit communications .
A stand-alone marker beacon receiver rounded out the
IFR equipment .
No audio panel; no need .
H I G D O N
But decide to upgrade such a basic panel, and an
audio panel may come into need . Such simple avionics panels still come off production lines, often in light
sport aircraft or experimental aircraft with panels built
around simple needs .
As many owners decide to move beyond their only
basic panels, and for aircraft sporting era-straddling
stacks - a mix of 1960- and 1970-vintage audio panels
sharing stack space with a same-era VHF nav/comm
plus a moving-map GPS - an audio panel becomes a
viable option .
Go beyond VFR to IFR, and an audio panel is a
smart choice to be part of the aircraft's panel .
Aircraft owners with functional audio panels may
covet some of the features available in today's newgeneration stacks .
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