December 2011 Issue

It’s no secret Apple’s iPad, mounted to the right of this Bonanza’s center avionics stack, has become an essential cockpit tool. It’s also put a new spin on budget-conscious avionics upgrades.

Trailing Edge Avionics Upgrades

Neglected panels can increase workload and risk. With the right planning, a low-budget avionics project can still enhance utility and put an edge on safety.

The dismal economy has been no help to the average aircraft upgrade budget. If you’ve recently solicited proposals for an ultra-modern avionics retrofit, you may have discovered the soup-to-nuts avionics upgrade you lust for probably isn’t affordable. Moreover, sinking half or more of the aircraft’s value into the panel pushes the boundaries of smart economics. Even the most modest of modern avionics upgrades could put the aircraft upside down financially. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t upgrade at all. In many cases, a budget that can’t afford the latest and greatest gear has the owner sitting on his hands. This leads to neglected panels while safety and utility hang in the balance.

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