One of the cool aircraft mods on
the market today is the AOA indicator system sold by Alpha Systems.
Using a small probe that mounts
through one of the aircraft’s wing
inspection covers, the AOA system
transmits the relative pressures from
under the wing to either a mechanical or electronic gauge on the panel.
This indicator shows the pilot what
the angle of attack is for the wing and
how much “lift reserve” is left before
the wing will stall. Because it’s not
affected by temperature, altitude, or
aircraft weight, it makes it possible to
fly a more stable approach and land
with less kinetic energy than you
would by using the same approach
airspeed for all conditions.
Alpha Systems AOA systems sell
for $550 to $895. While they are
not certified flight instruments, the
company has a number of letters
available from FAA FSDOs that have
reviewed the system and approved it
for installation as a minor modification (no 337 required). Advanced
Flight Systems is another AOA instrument manufacturer. Its systems are
specifically designed for experimental aircraft and utilize holes on the
top and bottom of the wing instead
of a probe. Prices for their systems
range from $890 to $1,495.
It’s hard to fight the ravages of
time for us mortals, but it’s a different story for our aircraft. With a little
investment and sweat equity, we can
actually improve our aircraft with
age. All it takes is a plan for constant
improvement, and the willingness to
make small investments over time to
keep making our birds better.
Jeff Simon is the president of Approach
Aviation, a provider of educational
products, tools, and supplies for aircraft owners. To learn more about
aircraft ownership and maintenance,
visit Approach Aviation at www.
ApproachAviation.com or call, toll-free, 877-564-4457.
Answer: Yes you do!*
* Question: Do I need one of these?
Find out why at:
Ellison Fluid Systems Inc. • 350 Airport Way • Renton, WA 98055 • 425-271-3220