Custom Panels

With the advantages of new technology, many owners of legacy aircraft are opting to replace their 'steam' gages and and their old-style panels with glass flat-panel instruments.  LV Avionics is well experienced in these custom retrofits across a wide variety of airplanes and avionics manufacturers.

LV Avionics specializes in:

  • Instrument selection
  • Design
  • Fabrication
  • Silk-screening
  • Installation

We can provide guidance on the configuraton that best fits your mission and budget.  We take great pride in delivering a professional installation that won't fail when you need it the most.

One of our most recent custom installations was for a 1988 Beechcraft F33A. The airplane had stock King avionics including a KLN-90B.  We replaced the legacy King equipment with a modern Garmin suite of dual 430W's, a G600 PFD/MFD, a GTX330 transponder w/ traffic, GMA340 audio panel, GDL69A datalink receiver, and charts.  The install required the machining and silk screening of a new panel...all of which we did in-house.

 

Below are some of our other recent installations, with before and after pictures, that illustrate the equipment selections and quality of our work across a variety of airplanes:


Piper Cheyenne (PA-31T):  One of our recent panel upgrades was for a Piper Cheyenne which included replacing the steam gages with a Garmin G600 MFD/PFD, interfacing to a Honeywell Radar RDR 2000, a Century 41 AP, and a Garmin GAD 43 autopilot adapter.  Additionally, we installed a ground clearance switch to power up the GMA340 audio panel and GNS430, updated the Garmin units to WAAS, and powder coated the panel for a more modern appearance. 

Before (click to enlarge) After (click to enlarge)


 


Piper Cheyenne (PA-42-1000):  This airplane's panel was upgraded with a Sandel SN4500 and Garmin's new touchscreen GTN 625.  The big challenge here was integrating the new technology with the existing equipment given the lack of complete schematics for the existing equipment.  The installation was very succcessful and we even remedied several bugs in the existing equipment.

Before (click to enlarge) After (click to enlarge)
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Piper Cheyenne (PA-31T):  This airplane received a Garmin G600 MFD/PFD, a Garmin GWX 68A radar for weather, and Garmin GTS 820 traffic system using the HPA (high power amplifier) antenna.  While the G600 install was very straight-foward, the HPA was the most challenging.  For proximity requirements, the best place to locate the amplifier was above the head liner.  We engineered the installation with an easy service access and relocated the chime several inches forward.

Other challenges and solutions:
  • Horizontal vs. vertical location of the magnetometer:  tested best on the vertical
  • Vibration concerns of the AHRS:  tested best behind the R/H instrument panel. (Flight checks confirmed very good AHRS stability)
  • The autopilot rate setting for a KFC 250:  tested best at 100 mv per degree.
  • The center control shaft's impact on the centering of the co-pilot's instruments (including the standby ADI and RMI):  customized a new co-pilot panel and positioned the instruments based on the constraints.
  • The 26 VAC inverters:  cleaned-up electronically and installed new filter caps.
  • The size and location of the GWX 68A radar:  replaced the existing Bendix 10" antenna plate with the GWX 68A's 12" plate with the correct clearance.

 

Before (click to enlarge) After (click to enlarge)
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Meyers 200D:  This airplane was upgraded with Garmin's G500 MFD/PFD, GTN 750 and GTN 650, along with L3's ESI 500 standby indicator and JPI's EDM 930 primary flight instrument.  This owner opted to upgrade the instruments and the panel itself for a modern, more functional appearance.

Before (click to enlarge) After (click to enlarge)

The Meyers 200D is a unique and highly-capable airplane.  For more information about his remarkable airplane, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Mooney 20K (252):  The owner upgraded to a Garmin G500 with the synthetic vision option and retained the existing #2 CDI and Attitude Indicator as back-up.  This installation required a new pilot's panel, powder coating, and silk screening and is certain to provide the situational awareness one has come to expect in glass cockpit technology.

Before (click to enlarge) After (click to enlarge)
   

 And here's the Mooney ready to go!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Beech Baron (E-55):  The owner upgraded to an Aspen's Evolution™ Primary Flight Display (PFD) and a Garmin GNS 530W which made several of the other instruments obsolete.  This installation included repositioning the remaining avionics for easier access and a new pilot's panel with powder coating. 

Before (click to enlarge)         After (click to enlarge)             


   

 And here's the Beech Baron ready to go!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Cessna 152:  Modern avionics can be beneficial in all types of aircraft.  The owner of this 1979 152 upgraded his legacy ARC stack to a Garmin GNS 430W with a GI-106A CDI.  This WAAS-certified GPS provides precision ILS approach guidance along with LPV “glideslope” approach guidance into thousands of U.S. airports previously inaccessible in IFR conditions.

After (click to enlarge)  (click to enlarge)

 


Piper Comanche:  The new owner of this 1965 Comanche opted to upgrade the legacy stack to a Garmin GNS 530W moving map GPS with a GI-106A CDI, a GTX 330 transponder, and a PS Engineering PMA8000 audio panel.  From the pilot's seat, this installation might appear to be pretty straightforward; however, the installation required careful engineering.  The Comanche design has a cable running horizontally behind the panel between each yoke's control shaft.  Given the vertical space requirements of the new avionics, this immovable obstruction restricted the available vertical space with which to work to only 1/4 inch.

Before (click to enlarge) (click to enlarge)


Mooney M20K Encore (252)
:  You might be asking if the 'before' photo is acutally the 'after' photo?  The answer is no - this is indeed the 'before' photo.  Arapahoe Aero Avionics did a superb job with this installation which, for many pilots, would be their dream panel.  However, like many Garmin users, the new owner of this Encore wants to upgrade the Garmin GNS 530, GNS 430, and the PS Engineering PMA8000 audio panel to Garmin's new GTN 750 and 650 with the new remote audio panel and intercom, the GMA 35.  With integration with Garmin's GTX 33 for traffic, the GDL 69 for XM satelite weather, and the G500 with synthetic vision, this certainly raises the bar for the 'dream panel'.  Nice!

Before (click to enlarge)           After (click to enlarge)               
 

And here's the Encore ready to go!