What would be a reasonable minimum instrument panel for an experimental VFR aircraft?
Two heads are better than One...
Dynon skyview or similar EFIS/Engine combo
Garmin 496 ( overkill if skyview nav avaiiable? )
Loss of a Skyview means:
1. No engine instruments.
2. No voltmeter.
3. No fuel gauges.
Therefore land ASAP? Could one continue to the next destination? I suppose so. Could one take off from there without engine instruments assuming fuel calculations were done? Would that be legal if the engine "sounds right" on a mag check?
If you are talking minimum instrumentation for basic VFR !
Clock (mandatory) Compass, Magnetic Altimeter Airspeed
As far as what you are proposing, it would seem fairly sensible, with or without the 496.
Ideally if you were worried about Skyview failure you would add a few basic engine instruments such as oil pressure, oil temperature and a CHT. That way you can happily keep flying if your Skyview gives up (it has happened before) or if it's out for maintenance or upgrades. You're not talking about a massively significant cost for that, however it certainly gives you far more options. With the 496, if the Skyview is out of action and you can handle not having a GPS, no dramas.
I've had several people look at me incredulously when I say I'm building a plane, 'You're actually happy to fly a home made aircraft?'
When you are driving the rivets yourself, you're going to make sure that all of them are near perfect. A Cessna or Piper can have a certain number of rivets that are not ok, they tend to be driven by minimum wage labourers that do not have a stake in the quality of the finish. I will bet that the rivet finish in my aircraft is far better than any GA aircraft.
Apply this to your avionics research, if you feel you don't have the confidence to put together a panel, get a LAME involved. Better still, join a few forums and soak up all that has been written. (Welcome to Doug Reeves' Van's Air Force Web Site) The vast majority of experimental aircraft have a far superior avionics setup than most GA aircraft. (I'm not talking Kingairs etc)
You can certainly use the CAO's as a starting point. Use TSO'd instruments if you want?
Depends what your going to do with the machine, if it's VFR then what's wrong with what Mr X's said? Old bombs like Pipers just had Airspeed/Tacho then mag compass with Altimeter/combination gauge the combination gauge was just oil pressure/oil temp Really that's all you need, whack a garmin on the dash and your set to tour. Some want tripple IFR garmins with world data bases, just in case they do the round the world trip some day or two ILS's in case they happen into cloud and need to do an approach down to minimums into Mascot. Some say you need an engine anylizer with five pickups' on each cylinder and gami washers on your needle and seat so yoo can lean it to within a mm of it's life. So waddya want to have an all singing all dancing bells and whistles jobby or just go for a fly? Choice is yours.
Advice for especially altimeter is get TSO stuff, Yellow tag (ie fixed and calibrated) ex US is less than than non TSO and will last longer and be fixable.
In my case, non TSO altimeter packed up after ~200 hrs so old altimeter (smiths probably pre TSO) cost a slab, maintenance (ie cleaning to deal with stuck setting) and VFR calibration cost $160. Didn't fit as knob in wrong place (not the first time I've had that problem !) didn't want to hack the panel so swapped with an Auster guy for a United with 3 month old calibration certificate
Talking to the instrument guys at MB they were told by CASA not to calibrate the (insert well known non TSO brand) altimeters.
Edited to add - Radios are a nightmare get an Icom VHF panel job not one of the things that fit in a 3 1/8 hole.
Deaf..........sort of agree, the chineese altimeters are CR@P to say the least.
An OHC altimeter is a better bet for not much more than say two or three chineese altimeters, that being said a Dynon D6/D10/D100 or skyview will blow away the TSO'd altimeters for accuracy and longevity every day. Before anyone gets all wound up.....its FACT.
...........so if you were building a Day VFR panel you would really be best with a simple D6. Has everything, and more, and costs less than the chineese quality 6 pack, and will meet the AD inst8's etc for years to come.
I have TSO gear and a D100 and D180....you can guess which is more accurate accross the range can't you....