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Thread: Panel Update

  1. #1
    Orbiting Earth Flight Levels Smithy's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    Panel Update

    As we get to know our Mouse the plans evolve as to what we are going to tidy up while she's in bits for the inspection. The glare shield will get a new cover to replace the ghastly black felt like material thats on there. Thats simple.
    However the dash is a bit of a mish mash. I wish i could post a pic with this post.
    The pilots side is the original metal. I assume this was originally powder coated. My plan is to pull this out and get it re powder coated, then re labeled. is this the best way to go??? The pax side is a piece of melamine (the plastic stuff they use in Kitchens as a laminate) thats been fitted in. Should I fabricate a piece of aluminum, get it powder coated or can i buy an after market panel thats better?
    My aeroplane is a 1967 A23-24.
    Cheers
    Mark Smith
    VH-DYA

  2. #2
    If you have the original panel with AN instruments and/or dated/worn/inadequite lighting consider a fresh panel and lighting. There's the post lights, lit instruments, Fiberlites, NuLights, etc.

    If you have a Super than you have (or had originally) a floating panel for the left. You can have a fresh, new floating panel cut (waterjet or laser) for $250-$500, this is the way to go. Mine was factory original and was just painted - still had the grease pencil with the serial number and a '66 date on the back.

    Lay it out right and you can get it up it to 8 instrument holes instead of the six - assuming you retire the AN gyro instruments (DG and AI) for modern 3 1/2" ones - or leave it six by two but be able to add some 2 1/2 holes for misc bits (like engine monitor).

    You should strip off everything to the metal - you'll be surprised. What I thought was a fabic or composite treatment (there was texture showing) turned out to be about 10 layers of contact paper and paint.

    On the right side you can make things look pretty nice with a simple overlay - aluminum or plastic. When adding the IFR GPS and CDI/OBS my avionics shop used a textured plastic panel used for instrument panels, looks and feels real nice and less expensive than the aluminum (and doesnt' need painting). See my panel pics under N7930L in the member photos.

    Note that the dismounting and remounting of the instruments or avionics (other than non microwave racked items) is not an owner task, you'll need A&P signoff. As long as you stay non-structural the work should be logbook only, no 337. Also if you break the connection of the static lines at any point your IFR static check is invalid and has to be repeated. This would be a good time to add an alt static with one of Mike's kits if you don't have one. I've got the parts, but we managed to swap the floating panel without breaking the static lines, so I'll put in the alt static when it's time for the 2 year check next winter.

    I don't know of any source for ready made panels for our birds. But any avionics shop will have either in-house ability or a preferred outside contact for doing the jet cutting of custom panels.

    Obviously all materials need to meet Part 23 burn requirements - this is where the avoinics shop can help as they'll have stock or source for compliant materials for the non-metal parts.

  3. #3
    I've just received a new instrument panel I had made by Penn Avionics in PA. It is a floating panel for an A23-24, and was laid out with the 6 flight instruments plus two 2-1/4" openings. Since they already have the CAD file, with the overall dimensions and mounting hole locations, you could use that, and save the design costs. If you want additional information, check with Peter Fiorot (fiorot@pennavionics.com)

  4. #4

    panel update

    Do you have a picture posted with your new panel? I'm curious to see the layout with the 2 1/4 holes put in. Might inspire me to play around with mine.

    See a fixup of a simple super III panel in mine under member photos Musketeer N7990L its the budget way to go, could be better, but I'm happy.

    One thing I changed on mine was to lose the post lights and install Nu-Lite sandwich lights. I figure that there is no excuse for poor panel lighting. I got blown out of the sky at night in my C-152 with its bad lighting and it was all I could do to see the gauges to keep upright, convinced me to put in good panel lighting.
    I chewed through my restraints for this?

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