If you are into cool, whether atmospheric or “toys”, there is no better place to hang out than the Innovation Showcase. While most of the displays aren’t fully ready for “prime time,” there is huge potential and some folks are there with established products looking to transfer into new realms. The first booth I visited demonstrated some of these 3D part capability which is already being used to make metal oil coolers for certified aircraft. The Blackfly V3 has flown and demonstrates a potentially new take on ultralight aircraft.
Developers of the Dark Aero, which has not flown yet, plan to produce kits for the sleek-looking plane and are even taking orders. Feel Flight Grip is developing a tactile grip that extends (dull) pins into the pilot’s fingers to warn of an impending stall and other flight conditions. Epic Eagle is showing a very promising, infinity-focusing heads-up display that is compatible with Garmin, Avidyne, Dynon Skyview, and Advanced Flight Systems.
For the frugal homebuilder, MakerPlane may offer the most intriguing display. An international consortium of code-writers and aviation enthusiasts, the group is working to make advanced avionics much more affordable and flexible with open source EFISs, EMSs, and other accessories. Their engine monitoring system including AHRS, sensors and wiring, and display is available from under $1000. Quite a price break compared to the big-name avionics options.