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Mon, Dec 03, 2007

Circuit Breakers Passe? Vertical Power Offers Solid-State Control System

Vertical Power, developer of innovative solid-state switching systems for experimental aircraft covered by ANN last Summer, has launched their VP-100.

The VP-100 uses microprocessors and solid-state switches to provide advanced electrical system features, circuit protection, simplified aircraft wiring, and the ability to eliminate dozens of modules, breakers and switches typically found in today’s aircraft. The VP-100 is the newest addition to Vertical Power’s family of solid-state switching systems for experimental and light sport aircraft.

“In the last five years or so there has been a very significant shift in general aviation aircraft from mechanical systems to all-electronic systems. Trim, flaps, EFIS, ignitions, and engine monitoring functions have all gone electronic, yet the electrical system in your aircraft is the same as it was 50 years ago,” said Marc Ausman, President of Vertical Power and an RV-7 builder/pilot.

“The VP-100 is designed to bring solid-state switching to a broad range of experimental aircraft. If you’re building an all-electric aircraft then the VP-100 is a great way to simplify the electrical wiring.”

Aircraft wiring is simplified using the VP-100. The builder simply runs wires from the VP-100 to each electrical device such as a radio, transponder, landing light, flap motor, or battery contactor. Switches, circuit breakers, diodes, mechanical relays, complex bus architectures, and various modules are mostly eliminated. The VP-100 is designed to be very fault tolerant and allows the builder to incorporate numerous backups if desired to eliminate any single-point failures.

“I recently retrofitted my wife’s RV-4 with the VP-100 and an EFIS and graphical engine monitor. I replaced the vacuum system with a backup alternator and installed electric trim. The VP-100 made re-wiring the aircraft much simpler than the original wiring,” said Tom Velvick, RV builder and pilot. “The VP-100 fit right into the limited panel space in the aircraft.”

Each of the eight switches on the VP-100 can be configured using the setup menus to turn on or off any of the electrical devices on the aircraft, and multiple devices can be grouped on a single switch. This allows the system to be configured for the wide range of designs found among experimental aircraft and allows future changes to be made very easily.

In addition to full electrical device control, a few of the features include:

  • a wireless key fob that can turn on and off electrical devices, including the cabin lights and can perform a check of the exterior lights,
  • visual alerts when a circuit fault occurs, including protection for short circuits, over-current, over-voltage, and under-voltage conditions,
  • runaway trim protection,
  • alerts when a landing light burns out.

Vertical Power is now shipping the VP-100. The VP-100 retails for $3,495.

FMI: www.VerticalPower.com

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