Equipment and Mods

One of the greatest things about building a kit aircraft is that you can make your own modifications to match your personal taste or to match your type of flying.   N191EW incorporates several such modifications.

Instrument Panel

The most obvious modification in my plane is the larger instrument panel.  1EW’s panel takes advantage of the instrument glareshield designed and produced by S7 builder extraordinare – Joel Milloway.  In addition to adding a….uh…glareshield…it moves the panel forward and more vertical so the fuselage cross tubes do not run through the instrument panel.  This opens up additional space over the stock panel.

My goal was to be able to incorporate the new Garmin 696 “portable” GPS, mounted in the new AirGizmo dock for theDSC_1303DSC_1298unit.  The 696 is an amazingly capable unit, not only providing a large moving map (the primary navigation in the aircraft), but also animated re-time XM weather, simulated instrument panel, terrain avoidance, advanced flight planning, safe-taxi diagrams, and even XM radio.   Most of the Garmin aviation portables also provide these features, but the big screen, soft keys and scroll/joystick knob make a HUGE difference in quickly accessing all of the units capabilities – and is just a lot nicer to navigate behind!

The panel shape and instrument  “clusters” were inspired by the beautiful design of the CubCrafters Sport Cub panel.  Incorporating more flowing industrial design as opposed to more traditional instrument panel layouts, the panel uses curvy “inlays” made of laser-cut plastic.  I loved the look and ended up designing a new panel for my plane using similar elements.

The inlays are CNC cut form carbon fiber, and the panel is CNC cut from aluminum.   I designed the panel in CorelDraw and then exported to CAD for the cuts.  Panel Key

I fabricated a fiberglass stiffener for the bottom of the panel as the standard stiffening bend could not be put in the bottom due to theDSC_0139curve of the new panel.  It worked out well

Other Mods and Equipment

  • Reinforced Gear Sockets
  • Expanded Baggage compartment with 3.5 gal. Aux tank
  • Internal Comm Antenna
  • Reduced Cowl weight
  • Fuel Computer
  • 29″ Alaskan Bushwheels for off-field landing and take-off capability
  • Vortex Generators for reduced stall speed
  • Custom fabricated cargo platform for increased payload
  • On-board camera system

More Pictures here

One response

2 07 2010
Mike Marker


I like the mods you have made. I wonder if you could answer a couple of questions about the big wheels.

I’m thinking of building a RANS S-7S and setting it up for flying the Utah and Idaho backcontry. What is you accessment of operating 29″ Alaska Bush Wheels on the S-7S? Is there a down side? Also, what is the brand or type of wheels and brakes?

Mike Marker
Los Lunas, NM

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