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Has anyone gone dual G5s (in certified aircraft in UK) and lots of related questions.

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Has anyone gone dual G5s (in certified aircraft in UK) and lots of related questions.

Old 31st Oct 2019, 21:08
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Has anyone gone dual G5s (in certified aircraft in UK) and lots of related questions.

Might be time for me to upgrade, as old instruments are getting past it. If anyone has gone dual G5s I'd appreciate info. What was complete cost including necessary extras? Where did you have it done (and to what aircraft type)? What was weight saving getting rid of suction system? What are the best pluses and any downside? And if you are reading this, and did something different that you'd recommend - same questions! And in both cases, how long was aircraft in the shop getting it done?
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Old 31st Oct 2019, 22:11
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We are currently going dual G5 on most of our training fleet. They save naff all on weight. They are expensive but nice. It takes a couple of days per aircraft to do.
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Old 1st Nov 2019, 10:49
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No comments on the technical side, but I sometimes instruct on a G5-equipped two-seater and these two things struck me:
  • I find myself looking at the ASI more often than at the speed tape of the G5. There may be a small discrepancy between the two sometimes (no more than 3-4 kt at most) but I find that the needle on an ASI is better at showing me the trend (rough location of the needle shows me where I am on the speed scale, and movement, slow or fast, shows me what speed I'll be at in a few seconds time) without having to interpret the digits on the G5 speed scale.
  • From the righthand seat, the G5's bezel actually obstructs the view of the ASI's righthand side, making it harder to use it from the instructor's side. This will not be a problem if you're going with G5s on both sides, but keep it in mind if you install them on the left side only.
One positive aspect of a G5 for me: I can switch it off if I want to make sure that my student flies attitudes based on what he/she sees outside, instead of on the AI... so no more messing around with bits of card, post-its or dedicated instrument covers. More of an issue during VFR instructing of course.
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Old 1st Nov 2019, 13:26
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I have flown an older aircraft with dual G5s and also one with total glass (Cirrus). I find both a little difficult but then I am a very old pilot and years of scanning 6 basic instruments is something that is difficult for me to un-learn.
If the old steam driven DI or AH on my aircraft failed, I would consider replacing with a G5.
The cost of installation would, I guess, vary depending on what you hook up. From what I know, the G5 is far more than just a DI as it can display your ADF needle and be an HSI. I think they can flush fit as well.
The problem is I cannot, after a lifetime of looking at the ASI to the left, stop myself looking left for the speed.
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Old 1st Nov 2019, 15:02
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Thanks for comments so far. I think I'll need to do it, because of recent problems AH "leaning" and DI deciding to suddenly spin of own accord. Had suction checked and not that, so maybe age is getting to both of them. Would be a simple fit as would only connect one to new 8.33 Garmin radio so that the GPS would allow radio to show me nearby frequencies etc. No need for any other instruments to attach. I'm pretty sure I'd still look at the regular ASI rather than tape as the scan is drilled into me. Only private use, so no worry about instructor seeing anything (except maybe IR(R) renewal time). At present I still have back-up in that the 496 has an instrument panel page, so might give them a little longer, before breaking the bank. More comments and advice gratefully received!
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Old 1st Nov 2019, 18:30
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Originally Posted by Curlytips View Post
Thanks for comments so far. I think I'll need to do it, because of recent problems AH "leaning" and DI deciding to suddenly spin of own accord. Had suction checked and not that, so maybe age is getting to both of them. Would be a simple fit as would only connect one to new 8.33 Garmin radio so that the GPS would allow radio to show me nearby frequencies etc. No need for any other instruments to attach. I'm pretty sure I'd still look at the regular ASI rather than tape as the scan is drilled into me. Only private use, so no worry about instructor seeing anything (except maybe IR(R) renewal time). At present I still have back-up in that the 496 has an instrument panel page, so might give them a little longer, before breaking the bank. More comments and advice gratefully received!

Its basically why we have gone that route as well. Of course its a slippery slope as when you do one you have to keep going!!! We have done 6 so far from the "steam" fleet.
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Old 6th Nov 2019, 10:44
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They are really good units - not designed to replace the ASI but instead add a backup ASI (and ALT) all together on the EFIS screen.
I suspect that the speed discrepancy reported above is more likely to be the original ASI fault rather than the G5.

Weight saving - removing the entire vac system with pump, hoses, regulator, both AI & DI, vac gauge & filters, and installing 2 G5 with backup batteries , magnetometer & nav interface is around 9 lbs.

They are approved as primary AI & DI replacements and can add HSI capability to compatible navigators (GPS, VOR & ILS)

Costs - standard EFIS kit £1725, HSI kit (inc magnetometer & nav interface) £2300, labour around £1600 depending on exact interfaces/aircraft etc, and need around £200 of other installation bits (circuit breakers, pitot/static fittings etc). All plus VAT.

Hope this helps - feel free to PM any direct questions.
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Old 24th Nov 2019, 12:04
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though not on certified models, but already installed 4 of them G5 on different aircraft. Install (with the kit) is quick and easy. Very nice to use in flight, kinda mini replica of the screens I had on the Bus
Regarding the eventual masking of any instrument as stated above, the G5 alone or dual, can be installed flush to the panel, different kits available on the market.
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Old 24th Nov 2019, 21:27
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The G5 is a very nice bit of kit that will do things that thirty years back you would have has to spend $20k to do but as with all these things the devil is in the detail.

To get the most out of the system there is likely to be a few add-on’s needed in the way of adaptors to get things like the full air data computer functions.

As far as I know there is no ADF input but it will give an HSI with auto-slew and RMI functionality for both VHF NAV & GPS.

I am sure that Garmin have not finished yet with the function software and I would expect to see further improvements to the G5.

The best bit of advice I could give is to sit down with an expert and find out what you really want from the system as the cost of doing the avionic fit right the first time is far lower than having to go behind the panel for a second or third time.
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Old 25th Nov 2019, 19:31
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Good Advice

Thanks A and C. I'm still in a quandary - because the rest of my 172 is so simple (no autopilot, no GTN device etc), I still can't see the advantage of the HSI function - effectively I'd just have a DI. Although the weight saving would be nice (but not essential), at the moment I'm just considering just one G5 and a new vacuum DI. And as there is so much work to do just that one, why wouldn't I just go for a new attitude indicator too - then when the King 155 and ILS's become redundant and I need the GTN setup for GPS approaches, I do a complete refit and remortgage the house (or sell my wife?)..........
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Old 25th Nov 2019, 19:47
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I think we've got to get used to the fact that our avionics are going to cost more than a new factory engine, possibly be most of the value of the aircraft.

There are a bewildering variety of installations available, have a look inside some of the new permit machines.

Personally, if your flying is strictly VFR, then I would pay for a refurbished vacuum AI and DI, for those times when you're going to inadvertently enter cloud, or intentionally for a short period. If you are going to do any serious IMC flying, then I'd advocate an autopilot. I've flown with the new generation of Garmin and they are lovely, a major step forward from the old Piper and Bonanza models. So, if you're going to do that, then you'll need some form of GPS to drive it, Avidyne is nice, as well as the Garmin GTN750, which I've used in a Rockwell Commander. I thought the touch screen would be a pain in turbulence, but it's easy to rest your hand on the moulding on the side to steady yourself.
You mention GPS approaches, so I'm guessing you are IR(R) rated. At the moment, they are few and far between in the UK, a national scandal which the CAA still haven't addressed. At present, it wil be mandatory for IR holders to be PBN-rated by next year, though I don't think there are plans to extend that to IR(R) holders.
There's plenty on YouTube about various people's installations but none of it is cheap. If you think of a number, probably add 50% to it by the time you're done. i.e. £20,000 will likely actually be £30,000. I'd say the latter is realistic to re-equip a 172. Then, you're going to look at the 25 year old paint and interior and spend another £25,000. Go for it, it's only money and you're only here once.

TOO
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Old 25th Nov 2019, 20:25
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Curlytips

My advice would be to get your AI & DI overhauled and hang on a bit until the avionic market matures a little. There is a company oop north that will overhaul most gyros at reasonable cost ( https://aircraftinstrumentsltd.co.uk/ )
Garmin are now making a GPS / COM & a GPS / transponder Both have GPS approach capability.

If I was looking for an inexpensive lite IFR fit it would be the GPS/ transponder, Garmin NAV / COM with the PS engineering audio panel that has a built in COM. Add the two G5’s and you have a very powerful fit that gives you two COMs , ILS, VOR, GPS approach including LPV and ADS-B. Added to that the PS engineering intercom is the best in the business by far.

Last edited by A and C; 25th Nov 2019 at 20:28. Reason: added link.
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Old 26th Nov 2019, 11:07
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Will there be a replacement for the G5 any time soon?

I hear rumours of a replacement but nothing more than that.
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Old 26th Nov 2019, 21:00
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Irish seaplane

I donít think there will be. G5 replacement very soon but I would expect software upgrades to increase the functionality.
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Old 27th Nov 2019, 12:25
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I have an airways approved Archer and faced the same choice as both DI and AH were showing their age. Given that I'm also Instrument Rated I wanted reasonable reliability for the few occasions that I operate IFR. Since those are infrequent the cost of twin G5's and the requirement to add a Garmin autopilot made the economics a simple choice. I replaced the drive shaft on the vacuum pump (actually a Tempest Service requirement) sent both instruments to the company linked above and in total spent less than one G5 would have cost.

Also, as previously mentioned. When you were trained to fly six packs in a previous age the G5 is wasted as your scan still rotates around the panel. If you want the 'EFIS' experience go Aspen, then you can really spend some money!
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Old 27th Nov 2019, 16:52
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Thanks for all advice, and now another query!

Yes, I'm coming round to overhauled or new replacements for the vacuum pair. Depite loving instrument flying, I've only managed 160 hours of real instrument time (over 34 years!), and with everything else, I think I'll keep it simple. So there's more questions for the team. Both instruments are original 50-year old Cessna, so they've done pretty well (over 3700 hours). Having spoken to the recommended overhaul company, IF they are fixable it's probably about £720 inc. VAT, plus transport etc. But I could buy new for about £2000. That's only a little difference compared to the extra for a pair of G5s. Does the team think it worth the extra to go RC Allen or similar, and if so, any recommendations as to most reliable manufacturers (or any that should be avoided)?

And one more question, if I may. By staying vacuum, my Garmin GTR225A still won't have a gps source for frequency database. Has anyone tried attaching a portable (such as my 496)? Reading both handbooks it looks doable.......

Thanks again! Curly.
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Old 27th Nov 2019, 17:17
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My experience with gyro instruments is they fail in the first few weeks or go on for a long time. I have had a number of instruments overhauled by the company linked above, one did fail quite quickly and they fixed it almost by return of post with no quibbling.

As to the GPS source for you Garmin you might be able to use the output from the GPS unit that Trig fit to their transponder ?

The other option might be to fit one of the FLARM / ADS-B boxes and use the GPS output from that , the advantage would be traffic information, especially useful in detecting gilders.

if you can find Wigglyamp on these pages he is the bloke to ask.
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Old 27th Nov 2019, 21:35
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A & C

Thanks for that. I've a recent GTX328 so no GPS source there, and unlikely to change as so recent. I've also gone SkyEcho 2 for traffic, but the gps on that goes to Skydemon via bluetooth, so that won't connect either. I'll have a search for Wigglyamp! Best regards!
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Old 29th Nov 2019, 00:00
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Curlytips

Just one last thing if you think your DI is giving trouble check the compass. I had instructors telling me an aircraft needed a DI replacement, it turned out the compass was sticking.

It is always worth a quick compass swing if the DI is suspect but not toppled.
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Old 29th Nov 2019, 16:33
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A & C

Compass is definitely good. DI has too much precession needing regular adjustment and sometimes decides to rotate quite quickly. Reset it and it behaves for a reasonable period.......

At 50 hour check suction line and filter checked, but OK.......
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