When I built my RV-10 panel, there was room for a set of 3 round gauges to use as backup gauges for IFR flying. I had a 2-1/4" round altimeter, an airspeed indicator, and an ADI as a pseudo-attitude indicator. It's a workable setup, although I'm still waiting to replace the ADI with a 2-1/4" round electronic gauge like the RC Allen 2600-2. If only they would be somewhat reasonable about the cost of that instrument. It's very weak on features for the high price they ask for it...around $2600. In the experimental market that thing would be worth $1000 tops, and it would likely include many other EFIS features. I've been waiting 2 years of OSH for someone to come out with a competing product in that 2-1/4" form factor, or for RC Allen to get experimental pricing. The instrument itsel is made for RC Allen by the folks at iLevil.
In my RV-14 I wanted to have backup gauges for IFR flight, but there is only enough panel space for me to get an all-in-one 2-1/4" round gauge there, and I wasn't about to even think of spending $2600 on the RC Allen. Fortunately there is a better, more feature filled, and cheaper option available. This would also work for me in the RV-10 but I am of the opinion that if you intend to do a lot of IFR flying with the airplane, just throw the gauges in the panel. This option will work well for me, but will require a little pre-planning for the IFR flight.
At OSH during the OSH special time, I purchased the iLevil 3 AW, the latest of the fully featured systems from iLevil. Retail price is $1,395 for this sytem, but they had a special at OSH so I was able to save a little. The iLevil 3 AW is their top of the line flagship instrument. Here are some of the features of the iLevil 3 AW:
1) It is a complete ADS-B-In system for Weather and Traffic (both 978mhz and 1090mhz)
In short, this system on it's own could replace everything but engine gauges for a non-IFR plane, and when paired with the output of an engine monitor it can even display all of your engine instruments. I did not integrate engine instruments on mine because most of the software packages I use now in iPad wouldn't display it anyway, and my engine monitor has it's own screen if my EFIS's (all 3 of them) were to fail.
The removable antennas are important to me because I wanted good performance, so I added a Delta Pop Aviation UAT antenna on the belly, and put the GPS antenna on the glareshield.
The install itself was very easy. I tapped into the Pitot and Static lines under the panel, and for mounting I have just used industrial velcro to attach it to the top of the tunnel, forward of the center support. From there I can see the status LED, and get to the SD memory card if I want to. The only other item that is an optional install is the remote power switch. If the power is shut off to the unit, it will shut down in I believe 15 seconds. They told me that some software packages will warn you that the unit will be turned off and you can click a button on the iPad to cause it to stay on, but, if you are really relying on this for a backup gauge system, you want a remote switch. I put in a standard pushbutton panel switch that when pushed, will run the unit on its internal battery. With my power bus design, I am unlikely to ever need this unless I choose to turn off ALL power to the plane, or I run both my primary and aux batteries dead and my alternator is also dead. The tunnel surface angle is a close enough angle to level that I don't see the need for any other leveling of the system. I believe there was also a way to set the level in the config of the unit to compensate for any climb or descent angle caused by mounting. One thing I was concerned with is that I didn't want a system that forced me to calibrate it before every flight, or have my iPad connected before flight. If I had an instrument failure while IFR I wanted to be able to do this as a plan:
1) Set autopilot to HDG and ALT hold while I sort things out
2) Fire up iPad and get my instrument display going
3) Make sure the flight path is displayed on the app
4) Navigate to where I'm going
As it turns out, the iLevil will always be running in the background, and it doesn't require me to have my iPad running before flight. Yes, on an IFR flight, I would pre-enter my flight plan and have it all running anyway, and then let the iPad sleep, but it will not require me to do this before each flight.
So this one little box takes care of all of my backup instrument needs and more. You may realize that I already had NavWorX ADS-B in/out by using their ADS600-B unit, and I already had ADS-B info to my ipad via wifi from that system as well. That system does work well, but at this point, ipad integration would be unnecessary but is just a backup. I still need the system for ADS-B OUT functionality, and I still use the weather provided by NavWorX for my Chelton EFIS system. The benefit of using the iLevil for ADS-B in for ipad is that it is a dual-channel IN receiver, for both 978Mhz UAT frequency and 1090Mhz ADS-B as well. Yes, I would receive all traffic via ground station in theory, but in practice I don't find that I get every target from every location. Using the iLevil, I will receive direct air-to-air reception of any ADS-B traffic on either frequency, and it will display on the ipad. Some day I hope to have dual freq on my NavWorX as well, and I think NavWorX does plan to offer that upgrade in the future, but until then this will help improve my traffic awareness if I choose to use the ipad on a flight.
Regarding the apps, since ForeFlight is very pig-headed about their system integration, I can't/don't use this with ForeFlight. While they are not fully-closed and proprietary anymore, they still shake down their integration partners for lots of money if they want to be integrated into foreflight. So with that in mind, I have 3 other Aviation apps.
These 3 are great apps to use, each having thier own strengths. Additionally, ALL THREE apps offer something that ForeFlight doesn't, that really bugs me about ForeFlight. You see, my wife occasionally flies as well. Rarely will we not fly together, but she is a pilot. And my daugther is also taking flying lessons and will be a solo pilot when she turns 16 and an actual pilot at 17. But ForeFlight only allows you to use one iPad, one backup iPad, and one iPhone on an account. This means that I can't have my wife use ForeFlight on her phone at all, nor my daughter. And I get all of that for paying $100/yr. What a ripoff. There's no way I'm paying $75-100 per person to have the foreflight app, when it's all used within my family. Until they get this, and openly integrate with 3rd party ADS-B systems, I can say I've gone as far as I will, with ForeFlight. Check out the other apps...ALL THREE of these can be installed on every iOS device you own. So, I have them on my ipad and phone, my wife's ipad and phone, and same with my daughter. (Note that FlyQ is not available on the iPhone, only their flight planning app is) Now, even if they are just passengers in the plane, they can use ADS-B and watch for traffic or follow our flight.
I've found WingX to be the most stable of the bunch, and they offer a 3-year subscription, so that right now is my go-to iPad app if i'm on an IFR flight. I do have a lifetime chart data subscription to FlyQ, so I try to use that on non-IFR flights, just to keep up on it's functionality and check it's stability. It's been pretty good lately so I may start using it for IFR flight as well. In the long run, with a few more features, it would be nice if FlyQ was the only package I needed. Aerovie is a new one that many of us in my RV-10 camping group bought during OSH 2016. While in-flight it seems to not work perfectly yet with AHRS systems, it offers some things that none of the other packages do, as far as weather planning goes. With it's SkewTLog info integration, you can find enroute cloud bases and tops, which is a big one. It also allows you to overlay both current and future prog charts onto the flight path, so you can scroll ahead and see the future weather that you will be flying thru. The buttonology of Aerovie isn't yet intuitive enough that I'd want to force my family to use it, but if they keep working on the app, it will have a potentially permanent place in my software arsenal. My intention is to hopefully have Aerovie replace Foreflight in the short term for flight planning and filing, as it's something the whole family can use, and it's only $69/yr. ($69/18mo was the OSH special)
Below I'll show you some install pics and app pics as well. Note that this isn't a full representation of what the apps can do. You can set your altimeter on the app and do all sorts of things, but these screenshots were just taken quickly to demonstrate the AHRS and pitot-static integration.
|GPS antenna on the
||iLevil 3 AW on Tunnel
||Remote Power Switch on
|WingX without HUD -
||WingX with HUD - iPhone
||Aerovie iPhone Horizontal
|WingX with Hud - iPhone
||iLevil AHRS Utility App -
||Aerovie - iPhone Vertical
|FlyQ - iPad Split Screen
Notice the Highway in the sky display!
|WingX - iPad Split Screen
The Vertical descent info is nice and
traffic display is top notch on WingX
|Aerovie - iPad Split
Sorry, I didn't enter a new flight plan for