Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
By Lefty
Does anyone have one of these new (hence rare) devices?
Is the synthetic vision any good?
Does it require a European Vs a American terrain database for the synthetic vision to work?

There is a reasonable difference between the USA and UK price and I’ve been debating whether to buy here, or wait till I visit the States later in the year?
I don't have a Dynon D3 but I do have twin 10inch Dynon Skyviews which have the Synthetic vision feature which can be either switched on or off.
After initial installation of the Skyviews I experimented for a while and attempted to get used to it however I now don't use it at all. My personal opinion is that Synthetic vision is a sales gimmick. Others may think differently of course.
I certainly would not buy any product just because it had the Synthetic vision feature.
By Lefty
Thanks for that info Shoestringflyer.

I agree that SV is a bit of a gimmick. It is on the Cirrus that I sometimes fly, and I agree that it doesn’t add much, if anything to my day to day flying.

My question was more about whether the SV was geography specific, and whether the SV on a US bought device would be useless in Europe?
User avatar
By defcribed
They look really neat. If I could think of a good way to mount it in the TB10 then I'd probably buy one - not for the synthetic vision but to have a proper backup electrical AI.

Just read the manual (it's not long!) and no mention of geographic coverage. Guess you'd have to ask them.
User avatar
By defcribed
Shoestring Flyer wrote:The problem I would have in buying the D3 is that not being connected to the pitot system it only displays GPS ground speed and not IAS.

Assuming it knows its exact location, if it could bring in weather data (a half decent wind vector) then it might be able to make a good approximation of airspeed based on ground speed.

Not good enough for anything performance-related of course but it's always interesting to have data and compare sources. I'd be cross-checking it against the ASI to see how good the weather data was!
flybymike liked this
By Crash one
I thought synthetic vision was based on Google maps with GPS altitude giving a photorealistic image on a screen.
Or am I thinking too far ahead?
User avatar
By PaulSS
@Lefty I think this is going to require an email to Dynon to get the definitive answer. I thought, initially, that it may be possible to upload the local terrain database as per the Skyview but that is definitely not mentioned in the user manual, which only refers to updating the software. Perhaps you need a unit that is set up for Europe, bought in Europe or, hopefully, the D3 has a worldwide terrain database, allowing you to buy it more cheaply from the USA. However, I can find nothing in the manual to suggest either is true and their forum is somewhat lacking on the same information.

I've found Dynon respond very quickly to emails, so hopefully you'd know sooner than reading the guesses from we who don't actually know the answer :oops:
Chiltern Aviator liked this
By Nick Miller
I just stumbled on this thread and saw there wasn't an answer on it.

The D3 comes with a world-wide synthetic vision database. It isn't mentioned in the manual since there is no pilot interaction necessary. :thumleft:
I acquired one recently to replace the D1 that had finally died*. Compared to the D1 I found the attitude indicating capabilities a bit slow to re-erect after a few steep turns. There again, the picture on the box shows a Beech Bonanza, not a Rans....

I've asked around about the resolution of the synthetic vision data. No one seemed to know, but in use I'd say that it's probably something like 1 data point per 500m or 1Km. That's based on flying over coast and local reservoir features.

I'm not sure what the vertical resolution of the terrain actually is. Flying over a relative low lying / flat part of the country I've never seen it show any hill or other vertical feature. It is possible that the vertical shading is in 1000' increments, the pictures in the literature show nice well defined hills, but that may be Monument Valley...

* The battery has finally died and any drop out of the external power (due to worn socket etc. ) causes it to re-boot. Does anyone know where I can get the battery pack rebuilt? Dynon want $300 plus shipping etc to repair the unit, that's assuming they will take it as in theory it's no longer supported.
User avatar
By Iceman
We just upgraded from the D2 (that died) to a D3 for $300. The synthetic vision is good and was tested last weekend in the Scottish Highlands. With its own GPS receiver and a four hour battery life, it's a great unit for getting you on the ground if all aircraft electrics fail.

Iceman 8)
By Nick Miller
@Whiskey Kilo Wanderer though I can't go into details about the implementation, the synthetic vision is based off a data set with points about every 926 meters in both latitude and longitude at the equator. The longitudinal resolution at your location can be approximated by 926 * cos (your latitude). I say approximated since this is a spherical equation where the earth is an ellipsoid.

Out of curiosity, how long did the battery for your D1 last?
Hi Nick,

Thanks for that, it's the first time anyone has come up with a resolution for the terrain database. That sounds about right, flying over Bewl Water today the representation of the reservoir was somewhat 'squared off' in places, but a nominal 1km grid resolution would be about right. You wouldn't happen to know the vertical resolution, just out of interest?

I understand about the spherical trig calcs (WKW - retired hydrographic surveyor / tech and keen supporter of Flat Earth theory as it keeps the maths simple).

I can't find my original receipt for the D1, the best guess is at least 6 years, based on a picture of the instrument panel with it fitted in 2013.

Safe Flying,
By Nick Miller
@Whiskey Kilo Wanderer

The argument for the Flat Earth philosophy as a means of simplifying map projections is quite frankly brilliant. I am going to use that as a conversation starter at the next company get together, and see how long I can keep a straight face.

It is possible that the vertical shading is in 1000' increments, the pictures in the literature show nice well defined hills, but that may be Monument Valley...

I think most of the literature utilizes locations from around the Pacific Northwest of the US for the images. I know the box's image is taken just south of Mt. Hood in Oregon.

As for the vertical shading you have a good eye. Though every foot is it's own unique color, there is a defined color shift every 1000'.