Flight instruments provide the pilot with data critical to the safe operation of the aircraft. This data includes altitude, attitude, direction, and speed. THis information is displayed on specific instruments or on a display screen that monitors several menu optional systems and is sub-classed by how they operate. Sub-categories of flight instruments are magnetic, with the magnetic compass; pitot-static, which includes the airspeed indicator, altimeter, and vertical speed indicator. The final sub-category is gyroscopic and may or may not be installed on VFR gyroplanes. Gyroscopic instruments are attitude indicator, heading indicator, and turn coordinator.
Check to see if any of these items are included in your kit. If so, you are probably set but stay with me a moment. If not then it is time to pull out the shopping list again.
Some of the instruments listed are must haves and others can be installed on the builder's preference. The gyroscopic instruments are not necessary for VFR flight but are good to have, if you also have the panel space and budget for them.
There are displays available that put all this information on one easy to read display and can really save you time, money weight and panel space. Dynon Avionics produces a very reasonably priced EFIS available for the home built aircraft industry. Check it out at www.dynonavionics.com. This hot little package can display all your flight data, a custom checklist, and with upgrade provides engine and GPS data. The only reason there is not one of these instruments in our gyroplane is that it was released for sale one year after we had our panel already together. There are some other manufacturers catching on to this technology so do some shopping and when you look at the cost of an attitude indicator and the cost of this EFIS I am sure you will appreciate what I am telling you.
One thing to keep in mind, if you will be using a transponder and have decided on an encoding altimeter be sure you actually order one with encoding capability.
If you become concerned about panel space and layout you have a few options to help you through this - before you purchase some expensive equipment and find it will not fit. See the Panel Decisions page. Get that shopping list together and meet me there.