A week of instrument panel brackets and ribs

This week I spent a lot of time working on the bits that keep the instrument panel in place. I started by drilling the cutoff parts of F-745 left and right ribs to the instrument panel. These will be held in place by screws. Once drilled I made 2 reinforcement angles to support each side of the radio stack.

I noticed that the radio stack wasn’t quite sitting right at the bottom of the panel. I think I was a little too cautious with my CAD design. It was only about 1/16” that needed adjusting so I just filed it away with a hand file.

With that all done it was time to get serious about fitting the instrument panel to the rest of the structure. I started by putting lollipop sticks to help centre the panel.

Minos, a local budding RV builder friend popped over and we both set about aligning, fitting and cutting various bits until the panel and the radio stack fitted nicely. It was scary cutting the sub panel but it needed to be done. In the picture below you can see where the back of the transponder and radio come through the new sub panel cut out.

I also fabricated the lower brackets. I wasted a lot of time looking for the aluminium angle for this. In the end I decided to use a cut off from some scrap as I just couldn’t find the angle anywhere.

I need to attach the cut off ribs the sub panel so I fabricated some aluminium angles that should do the trick nicely.

The last job of the week was taking it all apart to debur, scuff, dimple and countersink ready for priming and painting next week.

These bits need to be painted as they must to be riveted together before I can match drill it to the sub panel.

Started the avionics

It’s finally time to start on the avionics.

It doesn’t matter how many times I checked the manual and my CAD drawings I still wasn’t sure it would fit… until today. I held my breathe as I offered up the equipment to the laser cut holes. They fit, yay!

I also cut off the aft sections of the instrument panel support ribs because the screens will interfere with those. I need to move them inwards and use them to support the centre stack as well as the instrument panel itself.

Next I fettled them slightly so they would fit right up against the cages of the centre equipment while clearing the G3X mounting bracket.

There are no instructions for doing all this. Luckily for me plenty of other builders have documented how they’ve done it, so using a culmination of builders logs and online pictures I’m essentially making all this up as I go along.

Building is fun!

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