Avionics News July 2012 - 30

EXTRA AVIONICS

Continued from page 29

Smith “broke me in, kept me out of trouble and familiarized me with the industry,” Upchurch said. “He recently retired, and we miss him. Brian Tyler is the new manager of our two-man avionics department.” Jim Moser succumbed to cancer in 1999, and as AeroSport negotiated the transition, Southeast Aero became Extra’s North American distributor in Southeast Aero avionics technician Todd Lind (left) and department manager Bryan Tyler at 2003, according to Upchurch. Today, work on an Extra 330. it covers the eastern half of the U.S., sidewall-to-sidewall, and the avionics squeezed into the subwhere Southeast Aero sells, assembles, panel between the pilot’s legs. In the early days, “it wouldn’t equips, licenses, tests, delivers and supports Extra Aircraft. “At be unusual to have this big King package with a nav/comm, our height, we were doing 20 to 30 airplanes a year,” Upchurch 135 (GPS/comm.), transponder, and then maybe gyros up top, said, who added that they were bare, without avionics, and along with an engine monitor or fuel computer,” Upchurch said. usually arrived two at a time in a single shipping container. As it entered the market, new equipment like Ryan TCAD and Southeast Aero installed the avionics packages specified during Stormscopes found space in some airplanes. “It was all customer the sales process, customized to each owner’s precise aviation driven,” and each of them would start with a clean sheet of paper. desires. Delivering what the customer wanted was a rewarding test of “Walter Extra designed thoroughbred competition (aerobatic) the shop’s creative abilities, “and we prided ourselves on being aircraft,” said Doug Vayda, Southeast Aero’s director of sales and versatile… with high quality.” chief pilot. Rated to 10-G positive and negative, the steel tube Garmin changed the game with the introduction of its and composite airframes also were light, because ounces count revolutionary equipment that “consolidated a lot of what had in competition. Never certified for night or instrument flight, the been separate boxes,” Upchurch said, “and the packages got typical suite of avionics in a competitive or performance mount smaller but more capable. For a long time, the standard was a was, and still is, a comm, transponder and portable GPS. Garmin 250 (GPS/comm) and transponder.” Garmin’s new When American pilots discovered that the Extra was pretty touchscreen GPS/comms, which integrate remote-mounted fast (the 315-hp Extra 300-series cruises between 180 and 200 transponders, audio panels and datalink receivers, is becoming knots) and easy to travel with, the airplanes sold for competition the new standard. “We’re doing one this week with the large and/or air show work quickly became the smaller market, Vayda Garmin display, dual Aspens up top, with an EDM 700 engine said, and “90 percent of (customers) were using them as daily monitor in the middle. What used to be a lot of weight has now flyers.” become a lighter, cleaner, more capable installation.” Vayda compared the typical Extra owner “to the guy who buys Before the advent of glass, vibration was the second Extra a Ferrari; he wants the thoroughbred… he likes the horsepower challenge. “Aerobatic airplanes usually don’t have shockand the handling, but he’s not going to race it,” Vayda said. mounted instrument panels,” Upchurch said, because it is a weak “Owners typically fly recreational, positive-G aerobatics. Most link in 10-G security. As a result, instruments with moving parts, of (them) do negative-G one time and go, ‘that’s no fun,’ and from gyros to altimeters to engine gauges, pay the price. Aspen that’s the last time they would do that on purpose.” Avionics stepped up to the challenge of an aerobatic installation. But, Southeast must still install avionics in mounts rated While the hardware was impervious to 10-Gs, the software to the airplane’s positive and negative limits, Upchurch said. couldn’t keep up with 360-degree-a-second rolls – until the Throughout the years, the shop has refined a robust avionics rack Aspen programmers made it more robust. Extra pilots can still that includes a support structure tied to the airframe. Every detail make the self-righting glass go tilt, but now they have to work is important. “What happens if, down the road, someone pulls a at it. radio, puts it back in and doesn’t seat it properly?” he asked. “So, Extra Aircraft introduced two new models in 2012. The we have simple external clips that back up the primary locking 330 LX is optimized for aggressive aerobatics, and the 330 LT mechanism.” is a traveling machine, optimized for speed and range, but it Space is at a premium. With tandem seating, the pilot in command occupies the rear cockpit. The panel is T-shaped, Continued on page 32 with the flight and engine instruments filling the panel that runs
30
avionics news

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july

2012

Photo courtesy of Southeast Aero



Avionics News July 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News July 2012

Point of Communication
AEA Now
The View From Washington
International News and Regulatory Updates
Going Glass
Member Profile
Extra Avionics
Member Profile
Glass Panel Upgrades
Aviation Aces
Business Basics
Member Profile
A Conversation With...
Making A Difference
Theory & Practice
Legal Ease
Meet the AEA Staff
What's New
Marketplace Classifies
Avionics News July 2012 - Cover1
Avionics News July 2012 - Cover2
Avionics News July 2012 - 1
Avionics News July 2012 - 2
Avionics News July 2012 - 3
Avionics News July 2012 - Point of Communication
Avionics News July 2012 - 5
Avionics News July 2012 - AEA Now
Avionics News July 2012 - 7
Avionics News July 2012 - 8
Avionics News July 2012 - 9
Avionics News July 2012 - 10
Avionics News July 2012 - 11
Avionics News July 2012 - 12
Avionics News July 2012 - 13
Avionics News July 2012 - The View From Washington
Avionics News July 2012 - 15
Avionics News July 2012 - International News and Regulatory Updates
Avionics News July 2012 - 17
Avionics News July 2012 - 18
Avionics News July 2012 - 19
Avionics News July 2012 - Going Glass
Avionics News July 2012 - 21
Avionics News July 2012 - 22
Avionics News July 2012 - 23
Avionics News July 2012 - Member Profile
Avionics News July 2012 - 25
Avionics News July 2012 - 26
Avionics News July 2012 - 27
Avionics News July 2012 - Extra Avionics
Avionics News July 2012 - 29
Avionics News July 2012 - 30
Avionics News July 2012 - 31
Avionics News July 2012 - 32
Avionics News July 2012 - 33
Avionics News July 2012 - Member Profile
Avionics News July 2012 - 35
Avionics News July 2012 - 36
Avionics News July 2012 - 37
Avionics News July 2012 - Glass Panel Upgrades
Avionics News July 2012 - 39
Avionics News July 2012 - 40
Avionics News July 2012 - 41
Avionics News July 2012 - 42
Avionics News July 2012 - 43
Avionics News July 2012 - Aviation Aces
Avionics News July 2012 - 45
Avionics News July 2012 - 46
Avionics News July 2012 - 47
Avionics News July 2012 - Business Basics
Avionics News July 2012 - 49
Avionics News July 2012 - Member Profile
Avionics News July 2012 - 51
Avionics News July 2012 - 52
Avionics News July 2012 - 53
Avionics News July 2012 - A Conversation With...
Avionics News July 2012 - 55
Avionics News July 2012 - Making A Difference
Avionics News July 2012 - 57
Avionics News July 2012 - Theory & Practice
Avionics News July 2012 - 59
Avionics News July 2012 - Legal Ease
Avionics News July 2012 - 61
Avionics News July 2012 - Meet the AEA Staff
Avionics News July 2012 - 63
Avionics News July 2012 - 64
Avionics News July 2012 - 65
Avionics News July 2012 - What's New
Avionics News July 2012 - 67
Avionics News July 2012 - 68
Avionics News July 2012 - 69
Avionics News July 2012 - Marketplace Classifies
Avionics News July 2012 - 71
Avionics News July 2012 - 72
Avionics News July 2012 - Cover3
Avionics News July 2012 - Cover4
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