Monday, July 16, 2007

C172 TDI cockpit retrofit

During a recent flight with a C172 retrofited with a Thielert 135 TDI engine, my passenger was kind enough to make some inflight photos of the cockpit, so you can show how it looks after the diesel adaptation.

My apologies to the photo gods, this is not exactly a great luminosity balance, contrast, and whatsoever, but it shows what it has to.

The first big change is obviously the AED / CED displays, positionned each side of the control column. The one to the left is partial on this plane, as there are no fuel quantity gauges, this plane still uses the original ones.

You can see on the left indicator that the engine is burning 7.3 USG / H of Jet A1, and the right side one indicates that the prop is turning at 2280 RPM, and that the engine is developping 96 percent of its power.

All parameters are in the green, but if it was not so, some LEDs would be orange or red. As you can see, even in this visibility, the LEDs are easy to read, which is true under any light conditions, as far as I can say after more than 50 hours of flight using such indicators.

Other changes to this vintage Cessna cockpit can be noticed on the left side, below the fuel gauges. Here is a new panel with some lights, for low fuel, glow, AED and CED alerts. On the top row are also two buttons: the left one is for the FADEC test, and the rightmost one is to acknowledge any caution / warning.

In posts about FADEC operation I mentionned an "Engine Master" switch. On this plane, it is the big gray switch just below the electrical master, in the bottom left corner of the picture. To avoid any misuse, it is the kind of switch that must be pulled to operate.

The final change to the cockpit (except for the single lever, not shown here, but hey, it's only a lever), is the switch to force FADEC B to be active. It is under the red cap, just left of the hand microphone.