Customizing the MGL Discovery Lite

Now that my airplane is flying well and I have some extra time on my hands, I thought it would be good to customize the MGL screens. The original screens didn’t provide the information I was seeking.

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What as missing for me was a flow of the critical data needed for safe flight and the ‘nice to have data’. My plane was not going to be used for aerobatics so I didn’t need a G-meter, I did not have an AoA. Being a turbo, the MAP was more important than the RPMs, etc.

So I downloaded the software (after painfully having to buy a PC…I love my Mac), and installed it. You can find the software here: Simulator

Next was learning to use the simulator. It took some time and it would be difficult to write a how-to, so if you are interested in learning please send me a message and I will work with you on training you how to use the simulator.

The next step was to create a list of needs:

  • EGT and CHT temps by cylinder
  • Amps and Volts in the same area
  • x-wind speed
  • Maint and Tach timers
  • Screens for flying in the pattern vs. long cross country screens

The results took several flights to find out what I liked and didn’t like.

Screen #1 – My main page when staying in the pattern

I modified the existing screen and replaced the top and bottom data panes (engine / fuel) with more information

  • Timers are all aligned at the top next to the Volts and Amps. The Com was separated from the Transponder because during flight I often found myself clicking the wrong one. I added a dedicated ‘alarm acknowledge’ button between them.
  • The engine pane was modified to add range, endurance and fuel flow in gph. The EGT and CHT had individual temps added and the tach/rpm were redesigned. I eliminated the graphical GPH for a small numerical to save a lot of space.
  • The flight panel was mostly untouched, except I removed the G-meter and added x-wind and adjusted the coloring a bit of the ground.

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Additionally, I created a new function, weight & balance for my plane. When you push the W/B button, this new screen pops up. The fuel is read from the actual tank and the remaining 4 buttons bring up a key pad to enter W&B parameters.

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Screen #2 – Used for local flying to a close by airport.

Apply the new top and bottom panes and extend the size of the map. Added airspace draws around all B, C and D airspace

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Screen #3 – Cross country trips

This screen is similar to #2, but with the addition of flight planning information.

  • WP – Waypoint identifier name
  • HDG – Heading to WP
  • Dist – Nm to WP
  • ETE – Estimated time to WP
  • ETA – Estimated time of arrival to WP

I also added wind data, TAS and GS along with a quick hit GOTO GPS/Waypoint button

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Screen #4 – When on a long flight at altitude with A/P enabled

This screen provides key engine information, airspeed and altitude along with autopilot box for AP control. The rest is a decluttered GPS screen6

Screen #5 – Meh…something I was playing with but just don’t like. Maybe a future enhancement or possible delete. It was too cluttered when flying. I do like the custom HSI unit I designed, but the middle is just too busy.

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Screen #6 – My startup screen and primary flight screen when flying cross country

Since I fly with an Ipad mini that contains my ADS-B in data and where I do all my flight planning, I rarely use the moving map on my EFIS. This layout maximizes my syn vision while still providing great data about my cross-country trip.

Additionally, I added a countdown time to use for inflight refueling (from aux to primary tank) and my cool down post landing.

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All of my screens are available for sharing. Just go here my screens to download them:

I hope you enjoy the screens! Here’s a pic of screen 6 in action!

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