My instrument panel arrived from Aerosport....yay! I opened the box to find a piece of art. The guys that lay up this carbon fiber are pro's, artists in their own right. Then I hacked out all the panel holes and drilled straight through the perfect lay up. : )
There is still some work involved in installing these panels, less then what you'd get if you were to install the stock panel and the look can't be beat. So after cutting and fitting and tweaking and cutting the mount in the plane, and more tweaking and cutting etc, my hard work resulted in a perfectly fitting instrument panel.....and credit to Aerosport for their well fit design. The most work came from fitting the avionics into the fixed size instrument panels. Here is the test fit of the radio stack. I drew up the panel cut outs and sent them to Aerosport. So my panel inserts arrived pre-cut....very handy!
Once I had a good plan as to how I was going to install the radio stack (more on this later below) I started test fitting the panel with the GTN-650 mount attached. The 650 is longer then the sub panel is deep, meaning I need to cut a giant hole in the sub panel to allow clearance for the mount and the giant wiring harness that will come off the back. So I slid the hole thing into the plane and started measuring and marking off what I needed to cut out. Notice that the radio stack is tilted toward the pilot, this was a bit of a head scratcher at first, but once I started working on it, it all fell into place.
Lots of cutting results in a big hole. I cut out the clearance hole and removed A LOT of the RH rib. I have a temporary angle clecoed in place on the rib in this picture. This will reinforce the rib after having it's lower flange removed.
The giant hole is cut and now another test fit with the support tabs, a doubler, and the angle reinforcement on the rib.
A closer shot of the doubler and tabs. The GTN-650 mount has screw holes in the back that will screw into the support tabs. Also notice the support angles up front that attach to the carbon fiber tilted face.
A view looking the other way.
The clecoes go into the support angles and the mount screws in from the side into the support angles.
I started making the reinforcement angle that will attach to the rib permanently. The one shown above was just a test fit. Notice the location of the relief hole. This prevented anything from cracking when I bent the angle.
Here the parts are painted and riveted in place. I left the back of the doubler and inside of the support tabs without paint to aid in electrically bonding the mount.
I was happy when everything was done. I think it turned out nice.
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