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Tue, Apr 13, 2010

Vertical Power Rolls Out Integrated EFIS/Electronic Circuit Breaker System

Designed To Simplify Wiring For Advance Electrical Systems In LSA's, Experimental Aircraft

Vertical Power has taken the wraps off its new VP-X system, designed to simplify wiring and provide advanced electrical system capabilities using Electronic Circuit Breakers (ECBs).

The VP-X integrates tightly with Advanced Flight Systems, GRT Avionics, and MGL Avionics EFIS products, allowing pilots to monitor the status of individual devices and the entire electrical system right from the EFIS. Avionics, lights, trim, and flaps can all be controlled using standard  switches and the EFIS. The VP-X is for use with experimental and light sport aircraft.

The VP-X replaces 80-year-old thermal breaker technology with modern solid-state Electronic Circuit Breakers. ECBs can detect short circuits, over-current conditions, and open-circuit faults. ECBs are intelligent, configurable, and offer capabilities not otherwise available with old-style breakers. For example, ECBs can detect a burned out landing light or disable the starter circuit while the engine is running.

"The VP-X offers a tremendous amount of capability at a very affordable price. We're able to keep the price low because the user interface is an integral part of the EFIS," said Marc Ausman, President of Vertical Power Inc. "The VP-X is based on the same field-proven technology used in hundreds of Vertical Power systems flying today."

The ability to monitor the status of the electrical system is critical to aircraft with glass cockpits. "We see Electronic Circuit Breakers made by Vertical Power as a modern alternative to the old method of mechanical circuit breakers and complicated wiring," said Rob Hickman, President of Advanced Flight Systems. "Currently all of our systems display attitude, moving map, engine gauges, traffic, and weather. We are working on giving the EFIS the ability to monitor and control the entire electrical system and even reset circuit breakers in the new VP-X system."

Over 30 power circuits provide enough capacity to wire a typical RV (including the RV-10), Glastar, Lancair Legacy, Velocity, Cozy, or other 2 to 4 place experimental aircraft. Summary of key capabilities:

  • Detects short circuits, over-current faults, open circuits (no current draw), and displays individual current draw for each circuit.
  • The circuit breaker value for each circuit is user-configurable.
  • Flexibility to use any style of panel-mounted switch. Each switch is configurable to control one or more electrical devices. The VP-X can turn on and off devices up to 18 amps.
  • Solid-state trim motor control for pitch and roll trim. The trim system includes runaway trim protection, variable-speed pitch trim based on airspeed, trim motor travel limits, and backup trim controls on the EFIS.
  • Solid-state flap motor control. The flap system includes intermediate flap stops, the ability to disable the flap down switch above a specified airspeed, flap over-speed warnings, flap motor run-on protection, and backup flap controls on the EFIS.
  • Landing light wig-wag with adjustable warm-up period. Landing lights, when turned on, are steady on the ground then automatically pulse when the aircraft is in the air.
  • Backup circuit capability for critical avionics.
  • Starter disable when engine running.

Aircraft wiring is greatly simplified using the VP-X. The builder simply runs wires from the VP-X to each electrical device such as a radio, transponder, landing light, flap motor, and trim motor. Then the setup menus in the EFIS are used to configure each circuit. The system is  completely configurable, allowing the user to set each circuit breaker value and determine which device or devices are controlled by each switch.

The VP-X supports a single bus electrical architecture (with or without an aux battery) with a single or dual alternator configuration. The VP-X integrates with:

  • Advanced Flight Systems AF-3400s, AF-3500s, and AF-4500s EFIS.
  • Grand Rapids Technologies HX EFIS
  • MGL Avionics Odyssey Mk II and Voyager Mk II EFIS

The VP-X retails for $1,800, and will begin shipping in April 2010. A complete wiring harness including over 600 feet of wire and connectors is also available.

FMI: www.VerticalPower.com.

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