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At Airtime we pride ourselves on taking great aircraft and making them even better.

This was the case in point when the owner of the lovely G-LOLA, a 1984 Beech Bonanza, asked us to look at fitting a truly amazing digital cockpit. Now all we had to do was design and fit what he really wanted within the tight constraints of the space available.

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This is the avionics fit on arrival. Not a bad set of instrument by any standards but as you can see on the right there is a lot of unused panel area, just asking to be more productive. The centre and left side sported a KLN903 GPS, KY197 Radio stack, KMA24 Audio and intercom with a KT76C Transponder.

As you can see below an avionics refit is no small matter as every system is vital and interconnected. Once the design process has been completed and before the fitting any new equipment comes the process of dealing with those items hidden behind the panel. All of these cables, wires and tubes have of course to be correctly identified and dealt with correctly and behind the panel is where everything is hidden away, until you unleash it...

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Once a clearing was made in the forest a bespoke brand new panel was manufactured in house to fit perfectly using the old panel as a template. Each cut out has to match the avionic equipment being kept as well as the new equipment going in, which also had to be checked for space.

The following avionic kit was fitted - Garmin GTN750 interconnected to GMA340 remote radio stack with a GTX33 Transponder and a mounting point and power supply for an iPad. As you can see in the pictures it looks fantastic!

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After about 100 hours of labour and at a cost of around £17,000 this 1984 Beech Bonanza has a new lease of life in the modern digital age of aviation making the pilot's job easier, the flying more precise and leaving him much more time to enjoy the actual flying experience.

All of the old avionics kit will be recycled either as complete units or used for spare parts.

The customer said "It took a while but it's been worth the wait and the results are stunning, it's like flying a brand new aircraft." He also wished to express his thanks to Airtime and the Avionics Team, "The guys at Airtime have really excelled themselves, it looks and feels like it has always been there as if it were direct from the manufacturing factory at Beech themselves."

No avionics design and fit is simple or easy to do but we enjoy the challenges, and the delight of the customer when they see the finish makes us very proud.


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