Planning to Build a Home Flight Simulation Panel? Keep it Simple with SLAVX

March 23, 2019 / Comments (0)

AFSBI Standard Building Tips Flight Simulation

/ By staylevelavionix

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   Stay Level Avionix came onto the Aviation and Flight Sim market in early 2018.  John Albers, President of Stay Level Avionix, simply wanted to create a more realistic training environment in his home office. 

The goal was to gain non-logbook proficiency while he was training for his Private Pilot Certificate.  Ultimately, this enabled him to be more purposeful with his flight training with Certified Flight Instructors.

Once he understood how adding additional realism components such as RealSimGear Avionics and PilotEdge ATC Software in X-Plane, he quickly realized that fellow aviators could also benefit from this learning and proficiency opportunity in the comfort of their own home.

Fast forward 1 year, and today he couldn’t be more passionate and thrilled about who he has met on this journey and what the future continues to hold. 

For John, it’s the little gratifying customer success stories, like when a customer receives their panel, sets it up, then e-mails a picture of their new simulation experience. 

Hearing about how this integration of panel and avionics will enable them to practice procedures and approaches more thoughtfully with discipline is rewarding. 

This is helping to shape future pilots and ones who can ultimately be safe in GA through an intentional understanding of avionics and cockpit layout.

John initially set out to create a panel that was unique from a design perspective.  The uniqueness in design would lead to SLAVX : a tabletop unit that requires no clamping, fixtures, or additional hardware to use the panel on a desk. 

All components (Avionics, Yoke, Throttle) are mounted to the SLAVX panel itself.  Simply put, pick up the panel, place it on your desk, plug in with a single USB connection. 

“Often in the home simulation community, we see components stacked on top of each other or perhaps mounted with materials that appear to be toppling over if you push a button, this is not a realistic experience when flying an airplane. 

Structural design and material selection played a purposeful role in SLAVX panel design.  For example, we were able to eliminate the need of a rear back bracing system so customers could physically fit the G1000 PFD, MFD, and Audio Controller, just like in a real C172.”

John Albers – CEO Stay Level Avionix

Beyond just the materials and structural design, the finish of all SLAVX panels is very intentional.  All panels are powder-coated, which translates to a finish that is durable, cost-effective, and safe for the environment. 

Beyond powder-coating, the foamed leather glare-shield is finished and wrapped with a bespoke edge-trim molding, with LED light strip array below the glare-shield. 

All these features culminate to a product that is ready to go for the avionics a customer wishes to use in their panel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QykSW1Rk2E8

Along the way, Stay Level Avionix has learned a few things and would like to share a few keys tips to consider when thinking about building a home cockpit or avionics panel:

  • Be Intentional – It’s easy to want to support all avionics.  Thinking of using a G1000, GTN 650/750 and GNS 430/530 in a single panel is a neat idea, but not realistic.  Be realistic with the type of aircraft you may being doing real-life flying in.  You wouldn’t see an actual aircraft with a G1000 and GNS 430/530, therefore you probably won’t see a SLAVX panel supporting that either
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  • Leverage Strengths – Know what you are good at doing and do that well.  There is a very specific reason that Stay Level Avionix don’t make the avionics, nor have any intentions of growing in that direction.  There are incredible avionics manufacturers out there, such as RealSimGear, SIMiONIC, and Virtual Fly who manufacture these avionics well.  These companies know the software, and ultimately, this means the customer will receive better support, in a shorter time period. 
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  • Component Selection – Off the shelf, consumer-grade electronics will save time, money, and software troubleshooting.  Stay Level Avionix makes it a mission to support as many pre-built avionics as possible. 
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  • Dimensional Requirements – Smaller, compact panels translate to being lighter in weight and less cost overall.  Understanding the length and height limitations you have is beneficial to the fitment of avionics in the overall SLAVX panel.
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