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REFLECTOR: VFE (Virtual Flight Engineer)
Just finished 4 days representing Velocity @ AVIEX'98 - a 4 day trade and
airshow at Bankstown in Sydneys' west. Attendance was not brilliant as a
result of bad weather and the Australian Civil Aviation Authority
restricting the display to non aerobatic activity (...can you believe
it!...What's an airshow without aerobatics??) But I digress;
A brand new Australian product was released at this show & given recent
discussions on the Reflector on this subject; may be worthy of your
attention - it certainly impressed me! The extremely favourable exchange
rate (your way!) should make this a very attractive option for American
Velocity builders. The Virtual Flight Engineer monitors flight and engine
parameters and verbally advises you whenever preset limits are exceeded. It
gives airspeed readings/voice on approach and departure at settable
intervals normally preset at 3 secs and 5kts spacings for fast aircraft
like the Velocity. You can concentrate on flying your bird and on what is
goining on around you
Getting forgetful? The unit contains a ready customisable database of
checklists (prestart up, prelanding etc) for all aircraft types and will
include all Velocity models. Hit the button and these will be step read to
you as you hit the acknowledge button! Engine (oil P, oil temp, EGT's
CHT's (bar graph display is being finalised), battery voltage etc) and
flight parameters (approaching VNE, stall, digital inputs for landing gear
status, speed brake, doors secure (how would you like to be told you have
left a door open!) are all monitored and voiced to you.
The VFE is specifically designed to be added to existing instruments
* 90 useable inputs: 32 thermocouple, 16 voltage, 24 general purpose,
5 pressure,1 pulse (fuel remaining),1 serial (for GPS, data logging).
* Built in "G" meter - not only provides alerts that the limit has
been exceeded but
also stores the value and day and date of when it occurred.
Whenever the "VFE" is
switched on it alerts the pilot to the fact that the aircraft has
preset limit until the unit is reset by the sales agent/engineer
* In built "intelligent" multiplace intercom with cellular
input and automatic radio transmit/receive priority.
* Backup battery is standard in case of power out.
* Adjustable backlighting levels on LCD screen (which are memorised
* Verbal message alarms stated twice if condition remains with auto
scrolling of the
LCD to any parameter that is in alarm condition (LCD then
alarms on critical parameters and auot prioritising of critical
items such as air
speed during multiple alarm situations.
* ASI; provides verbal alarms and verbal monitoring (calls
airspeeds on climbout and
* Integral altimeter / VSI ( second electronic pressure sensor
module plumbed in
parallel with existing static pressure source)
* QNH up and down adjustment buttons (QNH memorised on shutoff)
* Real time 24hr (yr 2000 bug immune) clock / calendar with time
* Fuel flow option: An extra sensor (readily available in the USA)
flow,fuel remaining and fuel time at current burn figures to be
* Additional display port for large digit displays
* Fully ISO 9002 certified
* In process of full Australian aviation certification which will
* Compact:6.25" wide x 2.75" high x 8" deep, weight 3lbs 5ozs
* 12 months warranty, with a US Distributor currently being setup.
This unit has been designed to replace what quite a number of units do
separately and is likely to retail at under USD$2,200. If these seems like
an advertisement then let's make no mistake - ...I was so impressed with
the unit (that I have organised to assist the originators with
international distribution and local sales (I'm fitting one to my Std RG).
First full production run will be February.
If you are interested in purchasing a "VFE"and need a brochure (until we
set up the US distributor) then please return email me.
Regards to all,
Greg Poole (Building a Std RG Elite Velocity - "down under")