Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mixing the New with the Old

Recently I became friends over the internet with Scott Raczynski of Rapid City, SD. I was impressed when he told me about  the cross-country flying he was doing in his 1946 Taylorcraft BC12D.  He explained that he's worked hard to incorporate some tasteful upgrades to his airplane, making it a practical cross-country flying machine. He sent me some photos of his nice Taylorcraft. 

Normally, I am a stickler for the old style of flying... dead reckoning...etc.  But I do admit the GPS has really made navigation a snap for pilots, and in my opinion, this really improves the safety of flying.  Now... most of us have enjoyed GPS navigation... but... HAVE YOU SEEN SOME OF THE REALLY NEAT NEW GADGETS AVAILABLE THESE DAYS???

Glass Panel Taylorcraft
Scott is certainly up with the times.  Through the modern marvel of the Apple I-Pad, and some rather tricky aviation Apps, you can combine GPS, Weather information, and sectional charts all in one package.  Scott tells me he can get real-time weather updates at each airport fuel stop, including winds aloft.  This information is saved so that he can adjust his altitude selections in flight for optimum tailwinds... all this based on (practically) real-time data. One leg of his trip, Scott says he was showing a ground speed of over 140 knots. And with his STC'd C85 engine, he's burning less than 6 gallons per hour... that's some economical flying.  Sectional charts are displayed on his screen... no more fumbling with paper maps.  Scott has literally created a Glass-Panel Taylorcraft.  And he doesn't even have an alternator installed!

I admit... this has me re-thinking the old ways of flying and the possibilities of mixing in a bit of new gadgetry in my own antique airplane.

Scott's sweet Cross-country flying machine
Before the mods to his panel.

So, I am now trying to convince my wife that we "need" an I-Pad.  :)  TLB

1 comment:

  1. Terry: Thanks so much for including my recent piece. It is always a pleasure working with you, and I am greatful for your friendship. I am looking forward to flying with you soon! If you need a ship to take you to Fort Parker, let me know as I can only fly one at a time! Best wishes. Doc


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