Sunday, February 13, 2011

Upgrading my as-yet-unpurchased avionics

In a shockingly unconventional weather development, I think we actually got up to 50 degrees yesterday. While I've often said that the best things ever to come out of the south are NASCAR and salted peanuts, I feel that I've been remiss in slighting the warm winter weather we sometimes receive from our friends down south. Now you would think that weather like that would send me to the hangar in a frenzy of airplane building excitement, but something strange has happened over the last few months: as I've become ever more comfortable with the bone-chilling winter cold, I've found that I can use the nicer weather for things that are even more outdoorsy than working in the semi-protected hangar.

To that end, I took the new trap out to the farm to see how well it could throw clay pigeons. As it turns out, it throws them quite well. Unfortunately, my ability to hit them was not nearly as stellar. Out of the 100 shells I fired, I don't think I hit two dozen of the clays. My niece's dog Alex, who is currently residing with my brother while she's off to college, had a lot more fun than I did. He absolutely loved chasing after the clays that I missed and bringing them back. And once we broke him of the habit of chewing them to pieces before we could re-use them, he actually made a financial contribution to the whole endeavor. The clays cost about seven cents each, so it wasn't a huge contribution, but for a family member that has been challenged throughout his entire life by his lack of opposable digits, it was more than we've come to expect.

So what's this got to do with the airplane? Well, nothing. But I did get to thinking about how things are going from a timing and finance point of view, and that got me thinking about the Dynon SkyView again. Van's has not yet completed their efforts to bring the SkyView to market so pricing is not yet available, nor are their plans regarding the fate of the current D-180 offer available to me as a decision making point, but I got to thinking about it again anyway. As I've possibly said before, unless there are compelling reasons to spend the extra dollars, whatever the eventual price may be, I don't know that I would go ahead with the upgrade. I had initially been concerned about Dynon sunsetting support of the D-180, but one of their employees has laid those fears to rest on this very blog.

I decided, then, to see if the feature set of the SkyView has progressed further than what I knew to be included in the first version. It has.


It will still come down to price differential, but I have to say that I am now strongly leaning towards the upgrade.

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