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Avionics - Certificated

Dream Panel?

Wagon Driver

Thinking about a panel upgrade for my 79 185.  Mind you this probably won't resonate well with the traditional crowd as my goals might be a bit different.  First, let me list the current setup:

  • Garmin GMA-340 Audio Panel
  • Garmin GTX-327 Transponder
  • Garmin Aera 510 w/GDL-39
  • 2 x KX-155a
  • 1 Glideslope
  • 1 Standard CDI
  • STEC-50 AP

The overall goal is to add an IFR certified GPS with GPSS so I can file /Golf.  


My secondary goals are as follows:

  • Decrease weight if able
  • Decrease complexity on the backside of the panel
  • Maintain a reasonable budget
The dream part of this is I'd love to get rid of my vacuum system (please don't ask me why, I just want to do it) .  I know it can be done I just don't know if it can be done for a reasonable price keeping the other goals in mind.  I also don't know exactly what works with what in terms of being legal with respect to going vacuum-less.
I'm currently thinking of something along the lines of Garmin and Aspen, such as the GTN 650/750 with an Aspen unit or maybe G500 though that might be a budget buster with the panel work required, etc.
Also debating the merits of running a single Nav/Com vs. dual.  The IFR part of the mission is mainly for pop up clearances to get through layers in coastal areas and any summertime east coast clag.  This is not hard IFR stuff.  Not interested in minimum approaches, etc.
One avionics shop is pushing the Avidyne IFD540 really hard coupled to the Aspen units.  Something about having WiFi and Bluetooth onboard  I like the Garmin stuff overall and do use Android devices with Garmin Pilot currently.  My aircraft is a No Steve Jobs zone.
Any thoughts or comments are welcome.  Thanks.