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Getting rid of the vacuum pump

Today my Socata TB20’s vacuum pump died, with no warning, at FL120 VFR on top.

As I don’t want to replace it with a new, dry or wet pump that is still prone to fail sooner or later, would it be possible to get rid of the entire vacuum system, and put an AHRS system instead, such as Garmin G5 attitude?

I already have a Sandel SN3308 EHSI, and I think nothing else depends on the vacuum, except the gyro attitude indicator, that could be replaced by a Garmin G5.

Any opinion would be appreciated.

LRIA, Romania

G5 or Aspen will do the job.

I don’t know if you have one now but if you are doing IFR flight you might also want a backup AI. I would want one whether I was on Vacuum or AHRS based instruments. I think you can achieve this with 2 G5s and definitely with two Aspen units giving you an MFD and reversion capability, but others will know more about these option.

Darley Moor, Gamston (UK)

Two G5s provide a very nice combination indeed. Besides providing a backup for each other, they have standby batteries that last about 4 hours. My plan for the coming months is also to put them in and eliminate the vacuum pump.

LKBU (near Prague), Czech Republic

If you have an attitude based autopilot, you’d still need to retain the vacuum system. You will also lose gyro feed-in to the older Stormscopes if you go G5.

EIMH, Ireland

I have a WX-500 stormscope and an S-tec 60.2 autopilot. I am not sure if any of these will get affected.

LRIA, Romania

AlexTB20 wrote:

I have a WX-500 stormscope and an S-tec 60.2 autopilot. I am not sure if any of these will get affected.

I believe the STEC 60.2 is rate based.

EGTK Oxford

Yes indeed, the 60-2 is rate based. From the producer’s description:

‘If you’re looking for an all-electric autopilot, S-TEC’s family of rate-based autopilots gets their attitude information from the electric turn-coordinator. So if the vacuum pump or gyro fails, that has no affect on the autopilot’s continued functionality.’

I hope the WX-500 stornscope does not rely on the vacuum, so I can switch to G5.

LRIA, Romania

From a quick glance at the manual it seems the WX-500 takes XYZ heading info from the HSI/gyro so you would lose that. You just need to press a button after a heading change to right it on the WX-11 so I guess the 500 is the same.

Last Edited by zuutroy at 12 Sep 19:55
EIMH, Ireland

I have an EHSI, Sandel 3308, hopefully it takes the heading info from it. Now I just have to find enough space for 2 G5s :)

I hope the G5 can be installed on an FAA Socata without too much paperwork needed. Maybe @Peter has some insights on this…

LRIA, Romania

I know very little about the G5. We had some threads here on the G5 versus Sandel and the Sandel has way more connectivity options of the two.

Unfortunately there is a fair bit of detail involved in this and I wish I knew it all. One guy does but I have not seen him posting here in any detail recently.

There are issues with getting rid of the vacuum system, partly to do with the backup duration and partly to do with there being very few “legal” options for replacing the KI256 vacuum AI when this is used as a pitch and roll source for a King autopilot.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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