Menu Sign In Contact FAQ
Welcome to our forums

Avionics are the one thing that's actually progressing in aviation (Levil BOM etc)

And in giant leaps, as well. Levil has some really cool stuff at Sun N Fun:

Pretty amazing… always better to wait it seems!

Tököl LHTL

Levil has been around for some time. They specialize in using consumer electronics (pads, phones etc) as display technology for their boxes. A year ago or so, one RV-4 here went all iLevil panel, using 2-3 iPads instead of instruments. The “bomb” is the same thing in a different wrapping.

I don’t really see the giant leap here. Our Cub from 1949 has a “bom” between the landing gear charging the battery. Their ADSB-out seems much more fiddle and cost more than for instance TRIG’s alternative. Levil has a different focus, that’s all, but their idea of using consumer products as the main display technology may actually have some merit. For simple microlight with no electricity, this “bom” may be useful, but you still need to charge the pad.

The big leap in aviation is electric drive.


That’s a neat convergence of features but certifying it will be very hard. Just starting with getting an STC for mounting it, with the not insignificant lever arm due to the aerodynamic drag.

Many (most) metal planes won’t have a suitable point; the best you could do is for the (approx) 3" wide baseplate to straddle the location of a rib, but with the ~1mm underside skin that will flex too much if you simply put four rivnuts into the skin. So, unless you can find a location e.g. near the landing gear, it will need a substantial doubler plate which will need to integrate into the rib. That’s a large job whose magnitude will make the self powering aspect irrelevant, and as LeSving says the display device still needs to be powered.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

Many (most) metal planes won’t have a suitable point;

I think the shown baseplate is a mockup, and iLevil suggests the end product would be attached to an inspection plate.

That’s definitely not going to work, because of

  • the significant lever arm
  • inspection plates are usually nowhere near a rib, so the skin is unsupported all around
  • there is an IMHO obvious potential for flutter with such a big thing, especially with the propeller creating a disturbance at potentially just the right frequency

The AOA sensors (multiple threads e.g. around here) have an FAA dispensation as a Minor Alteration provided it is mounted in an inspection cover, but they are a lot smaller and no worse than a pitot tube.

I reckon this will work OK on a composite homebuilt plane, where you can just screw it anywhere you can make some holes in an area which doesn’t bend too much. Anyway, that’s their market – with an uncertified product.

@pilot_dar might know about this topic – he does it for a living.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

GoPros have been attached to inspection panels, and while the lever arm might be shorter they exhibit far a far larger frontal area and higher weight (with FSDO approval – simple logbook entry, mind, minor alteration), all with no ill effects sofar.

Last Edited by Shorrick_Mk2 at 07 Apr 12:13

This device looks like a lot more drag.

But it will depend on the skin rigidity. For example on the TB20 the underside skin thickness is about 0.9mm.

BTW an FAA Minor Alteration is usually a logbook entry; this is not the same as an EASA Minor Change which needs an approval process and is arguably closer to the FAA Major Alteration if done as a Field Approval (but even a field approval is not charged for by the FSDO).

But this product is uncertified anyway…

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

But this product is uncertified anyway

And so is a GoPro…. with the difference that this product is on the path to certification, unlike the GoPro.

Last Edited by Shorrick_Mk2 at 07 Apr 12:54

Peter wrote:

This device looks like a lot more drag.

So a rectangular flat plate perpendicular to the prevailing airstream has less drag than an ovoïd streamlined shape of smaller cross section?

18 Posts
Sign in to add your message

Back to Top