RC Allen Mini6

How to keep the Cessna 170 flying and airworthy.

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Fishsticks
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Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2022 12:14 pm

RC Allen Mini6

Post by Fishsticks »

I've been daydreaming about yanking all the steam gauges from my panel and replacing everything with a single RC Allen Mini6. (Or Perhaps GI-275) I only fly VFR.

My 170B is a bit on the nose heavy side of the spectrum. From what I'm reading I should be able to save myself a good 15 lbs off the back of the panel by removing the vacuum system and swapping to a single EFIS.

From what I can tell I can legally do this... what am I missing?

https://kellymfg.com/images/MINI%206%20Information.pdf
voorheesh
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Re: RC Allen Mini6

Post by voorheesh »

Airspeed indicators and altimeters are required for VFR operations and to get answers on your question (“What am I missing?”), I would recommend consulting a certified repair station or technician that installs and maintains avionics and pitot static systems. I am assuming this instrument replaces your current altimeter and airspeed indicator and/or is connected to your pitot static system. It sounds like it conforms with TSOs and is probably fine, but you should get this advice from a professional source who might also assist with a proper installation. It looks like an interesting system at least from your link.
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dstates
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Re: RC Allen Mini6

Post by dstates »

I believe it comes down to what instruments the RC Allen part can be primary for in a panel. For example, a Garmin G5 AI version can only legally replace either an attitude indicator or a turn and bank indicator. It cannot replace both or anything else like airspeed indicator or altimeter. That is all the STC for the G5 allows. So I would be surprised if this one RC Allen part can cover more than one. However, on a VFR only plane technically you just need an airspeed indicator and an altimeter. I would recommend calling RC Allen to find out what it can be used for.

The difference may be that there is an STC for the Garmin G5. Maybe if the RC Allen instrument is certified to be an airspeed indicator and altimeter you would be good to go. IFR panels would require the next lever of research.
N1235D - 1951 170A - SN: 20118
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GAHorn
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Re: RC Allen Mini6

Post by GAHorn »

I’d keep my airplane panel filled with instruments… for the possibility…of inadvertent entrance into IFR conditions….and reduce weight some other way… .That Mini-16 might fill the bill however…. it looks pretty capable and meets some TSOs’. (I’d hang onto my AS and ALT however.)
'53 B-model N146YS SN:25713
50th Anniversary of Flight Model. Winner-Best Original 170B, 100th Anniversary of Flight Convention.
An originality nut (mostly) for the right reasons. ;)
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Fishsticks
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Re: RC Allen Mini6

Post by Fishsticks »

So after speaking too the Product Manager at RC Allen. While the Mini 6 is certified as a primary instrument for Airspeed, Altitude, Attitude, Heading ,Turn/Slip, and Vertical Speed he still recommended that I speak to my FSDO prior to yanking everything out of my panel.

"The FSDO may ask you to retain your airspeed and altimeter. To my knowledge no one as attempted to remove everything and replace it with a single Mini 6."

I'm not sure I want to be breaking new ground here...

EDIT:

The more I think about this the less sense it makes. The TCDS does not specify any instruments which leaves 91.205 - Altimeter, Airspeed, Magnetic Direction. If the Mini 6 carries TSO authorization to serve as these instruments there should be no need for backup instruments.
hilltop170
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Re: RC Allen Mini6

Post by hilltop170 »

Plenty of guys are going full digital. This is my nephew’s 1956 C180 that is full IFR, minimal but everything that is required.

Two GI275s and engine monitor with fuel flow. Everything is STC’d. iPad with Foreflight for charts and approach plates.

The nice thing about this is you can start with one GI 275 and add radios and other components as needed until it is complete. Remove the vacuum system and fab a new panel at any point in the process.
1956 C180 IFR panel
1956 C180 IFR panel
Richard Pulley
2014-2016 TIC170A Past President
1951 170A, N1715D, s/n 20158, O-300D
Owned from 1973 to 1984.
Bought again in 2006 after 22 years.
It's not for sale!
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GAHorn
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Re: RC Allen Mini6

Post by GAHorn »

A point to consider is…. the Power Source. A standard aircraft installation will have different power sources for gyroscopic instruments… Typical is AIR for Attitude and Heading…with Elect backup( for attitude) in a T&B…. and a magnetic compass for a D.G. backup. No single source of power leaves one completely without a method to stay right-side-Up and with Heading and Pitch informtion.

If a single instrument… even one with battery backup is used…. all your eggs are in only One Basket.
'53 B-model N146YS SN:25713
50th Anniversary of Flight Model. Winner-Best Original 170B, 100th Anniversary of Flight Convention.
An originality nut (mostly) for the right reasons. ;)
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Ryan Smith
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Re: RC Allen Mini6

Post by Ryan Smith »

I’m considering a mini6 to replace my vacuum system while I save my pennies for some 275s and a 650. Glad to see this thread. I love RC Allen attitude indicators and my airplane has had one installed as long as I can remember.

I plan to put the original panel overlay with the square compass window in my 1952 in a 7-hole configuration. I’d love to make the airplane IFR capable, but the reality of the situation is that I’ve got much more capable airplanes if I need to fly in the soup. I enjoy the simplicity of the 170 as a contrast to the day job, so I may just forego the 275s/650 completely.
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n2582d
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Re: RC Allen Mini6

Post by n2582d »

Gonna have to be careful as you transition from the old Sperry horizontal card DG to this RC Allen one. They “turn” in opposite directions. Who knows — card direction is probably something the pilot can customize one way or the other! :D
Gary
voorheesh
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Re: RC Allen Mini6

Post by voorheesh »

Does the airspeed indicator and altimeter display rely on electrical supply? (Goes blank without electricity) If so, do the certification requirements for pitot static systems applicable to this airplane allow for these required instruments to be dependent upon electrical supply which is subject to failure? If not, the original airspeed/altimeter might need to be kept in place. Not sure a FSDO would have enough information to provide a definitive legal answer on this. I’m surprised the manufacturer has not researched and provided information.
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ghostflyer
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Re: RC Allen Mini6

Post by ghostflyer »

All my vacuum gauges are gone . They have been replaced with 2 of G5,s but I left my ASI and Altimeter behind . All engine instruments are now “Electronic International digital .
HUGE weight saving . The G5,s have each a standby battery . My biggest problem was aligning the Magatron in the wing . Getting my digital tacho to work at all was a marathon effect . not my fault but a story that would take 2 pages . BUT a big thank you to Electronics I International for a phone hook up for nearly 4 hours totally . They were great . Removing the Venturi,s off was a fun thing . Some one had bonded them on with ??. The aluminium fuselarge panelling was buckling when some force was used.
My original battery [Concord] has gone and I have fitted a “Earth X” battery which weighs 4.5 lbs [??] . There is a STC for it being fitted to a Cessna 182 and they are working on a STC for 172 including 170. My battery was originally fitted to the fire wall . Old interior carpet thrown out and new carpet fitted ,all new instruments , new battery and all the junk tossed out of the cargo area. . I used to carry around a heaps of parts [spare tail wheel included ] that I might need in the future . Never used them in nearly twenty years . Only carry 1 bottle of oil now , not 5 in the past. Tool box gone ,now just a plug socket and bar, pliers ,lock wire and a roll of 100mph tape .
Now with full fuel and about 400lbs of lard [2 persons] on board it leaps off the ground . The new certified carpet weighs just 7.5 lbs while the old carpet with ground in dirt, food scraps and KFC bits weighed approx 17 lbs.
PS. when the aircraft was locked up in the sun for some time many people used to say they could smell KFC inside when it was then opened .
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