Mr. Ford's T210G was in excellent shape airframe and engine wise. He recently installed a new 310 horsepower power plant and a new Garmin GNS 430, the rest of the avionics were OK but the avionics weren't quite up to speed for serious IFR flying. Then Mr. Ford had a "Better Idea". He figured that since the engine was new and the airframe was in excellent condition; why not install the avionics he always wanted and complement the rest of the aircraft?
After several emails and ballpark numbers Mr. Ford flew up with his instrument instructor, Kim Huntington. Kim instructs and runs an A&P shop out of Upland CA. Mr. Ford and Kevin went over the avionics that he wanted in the T210D. Kevin came up with a fair bid and the job started. Sorry I didn't get earlier pictures before tearing the aircraft apart. The installers were anxious to start on the project.
We are going to install much needed custom instrument panels on both sides along with lower custom switch panels. Mr. Ford asked us to install an S-Tec System 55X two axis autopilot that includes GPSS for roll steering supplied by his present GNS 430. All of the old avionics wiring is coming out because of age and excessive butt splices. It's our policy to completely rewire the center radio stack anytime we install a package of this size. Do it correctly now and the wiring will be trouble-free for decades. The System 55X autopilot will also incorporate auto-trim to ease the pilot work load, altitude pre-select to aid in accidentally busting altitudes assigned by ATC, a flight director and a remote annunciator to show the pilot what mode the autopilot is in. A King KCS-55A compass system is being installed also.
Because we are designing new panels for the aircraft, Mr. Ford decided he would like the instruments laid out somewhat differently than they were prior for better scanning. Custom lighting will be installed so the instruments appear to be back lighted without having the high cost of back lighting. A new Garmin GTX 327 transponder will fill the bottom of the radio stack and his present Garmin GMA 340 audio panel will remain at the top of the stack. For the main attraction we will install the monster size MX 20 UPSAT MFD along with the optional Chart View. Of course the proper encoder will be installed to allow the MX 20 to display terrain. A five-function Davtron will be placed in the new panels, new altimeter, low vacuum warning lamps and a host of other items added. As you would imagine, many of the circuit breakers will be changed out to the proper current draw needed and a cooling kit will be installed.
This aircraft promises to be one of our most
challenging installs yet; you'll see what I mean if you follow along
with the install. Check this page
often, I hope to have updates on a regular basis. You can bet the end
result will look a lot different than you see in these early pictures.