Your instrument panel
is one of the major areas where you can customize your airplane.
First, give some serious thought to exactly which instruments
you want. Next, consider instrument layout: what
should be reachable with your right or left hands? Extend
this thinking not only to your main panel, but also to your left and
right quadrants. Here's how I did it.
exactly which instruments to
much like deciding which kit to
build. You have to
first decide what you
want out of your instrument panel, and second, how much are you going
to spend. I wanted
an IFR panel with
as much glass as I
could get. And I
wanted to spend as
little as I could get away with. As
added bonus, fewer instruments meant a lighter panel.
Taking into account the available space, buy
the instruments you want, then figure out how to place them later. Click here
to see my
handed, so fly with my right hand on the stick and my left on the
throttle. I want to
take my hand off the
stick as little as I can. I
taking my hand off the throttle, but not off the stick.
I also don’t like swapping the stick to my
left hand to throw a switch with my right.
With this in mind, I designed the layout of my
First I placed the EFIS
in the middle. Then
I placed the
instruments that I would
have to touch in flight on the left side.
It looks a little crowded, but I really don’t
switch hands while
flying. Then I put
the engine stuff and
circuit breakers on the right. I
be messing with them as much in flight, so the right side was the right
(no pun intended).
probably noticed, I don’t have the standard Van’s
quadrant. My short
arms made the
standard one hard to reach. So
and I came up with this custom
design for the throttle quadrant of our RV-8s.
the same logic here. Switches
preflight went on the right, and in flight switches went on the left.
I had the design, and had my parts bought, here's
how I built,
and tested everything.
Tell Us About Your Instrument Panel
What were your requirements? How did you decide to lay everything out? What worked? What didn't work? What would you do differently? All of the Kit Plane Advice readers would like to learn from your experience. You just may give some readers some great ideas, or help solve some problems.
Or, if you want to ask a question about Instrument Panels not already addressed here, please do so.
I will respond to all entries.