Panel & Cockpit Planning

Panel & Cockpit Planning

20 October 2016 — I’m essentially reverting back to the very first week of this project and slowly cutting all the pieces for a front seat, instrument panel & avionics bay mockup, or simulator, of my Long-EZ (See my Initial Project Planning page for an idea).  This will allow to test locations of instruments on the panel, for both actual spacing & location preference, and also will allow me to work through the manuals with the instruments powered up in front of me so I can input all the settings in the actual cockpit environment.  Serendipitously, I now have both an Infinity stick and a spare throttle quadrant to use in “the Sim.”

Since I have most of the pieces cut already, the main parts that were missing were the armrests.  Since I reconfigured my outside shed, I know have access to my router table and it still has the round-over bit that I used on the real armrests… and still set at the exact same position!  So I cut these pieces, rounded them over along the top edge pieces and then notched the right side armrest for the control stick.  This will be a project for when it gets super cold this winter, or snowed in, etc.

Fuselage SIM mockup armrests

10 March 2017 — So my latest mini project was to assemble a bunch of pieces of wood that I cut late last summer to create a cockpit mockup & simulator to allow me test the ergonomics, placement, switchology and operation of my avionics and instruments. This harks back to my original fuselage mock-up to check for how the plane would feel in its stock dimensions (remember, I widened the cockpit 1.4″).  Now, this version will enable me to mount all my current avionics, plan for new ones, and give me a really close estimate on final wiring requirements for all my panel components.  This latter reason is why I made this cockpit simulator to allow for the installation of the Triparagon.

When the Triparagon is installed I’ll wire up the panel and fire up the components not only to do a good ops check on them, but also to configure them in the panel.  Also, this cockpit mockup will also allow me to finalize any wiring required on the Triparagon.

You may note looking at the pics above that the wood looks a little ratty and non-uniform, and you’d be right!  So far, this entire mockup has been made of completely scrap wood.

Below you can see the right side armrest.  Since I won’t be mounting my second Infinity control stick into the actual airplane, it will get mounted here (although I probably won’t wire it up) into the right side armrest.

On the left side I’ll use the cockpit mockup to figure out exactly where the throttle will get mounted, and how everything else will be configured on the armrest.  You may note the different gray colors of the two armrests, which is me using these as paint color swatches to help me decide the color (or colors!) of my interior cockpit paint.

I’m accomplishing this cockpit simulator mockup construction in 6 phases, and right now I just finished Phase IV.  Phase V will be cutting and installing the avionics in the instrument panel, and Phase VI will be configuring the two separate armrests with the control stick and throttle.

As you can see, once I get this guy up and running, I’ll be able to test out different component and switch locations no matter what’s going on with the actual cockpit.  In addition, this mockup will really come in handy while I’m sanding away on my Long-EZ in prepping it for paint, all the while ensuring that my eletro-whizzies remain dust free!

[Note: I didn’t end up really using this a lot since when it came time to make a panel mock-up, I opted to do it in a simpler “panel-only” version somewhat like Marco had done for his panel upgrade.  It was much easier to get in and around the panel components for wiring, etc.  Not to say that this mockup above didn’t provide some really good data.]



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Project Update

Hey Guys,

Well, the weather is slowly warming up (above freezing anyway)… and here soon I should be back in the shop to work out the finer details of making everything fit inside the cockpit, and then get onto much bigger build tasks.  I still see a very real light at the end of the tunnel for all my in-cockpit install shenanigans, and expect to be done with those in about a 2-week total time span once I get started on them again. 

I’m still working on the electrical system taskers and chipping away at them all while making decent progress.  

The past few days –after finishing the major engine build & bringing it home– I have been finally able to do some research with engine in hand to discover the more esoteric (read: “oft forgotten”) bits ‘n pieces that may not be obvious requirements when simply planning/purchasing major components for the engine build. One example of many are the nuts and bolt required to mount the starter… which are not included with the starter, nor the engine.  So, with the weather still cold (dipping into the 30’s at night), I carved out 2-3 days to figure out what engine stuff is required, which version to buy, and where to purchase it from.

Still, seriously … having finished the vast majority of the Electrical System; Instrument panel design, install & wiring; and now the Engine, I can say with very high confidence that the big build stuff is coming up  SOON (including the wheel pants…) AFTER the weather warms up a bit.



  1. Chapter 14 – Lower extrusions installed Leave a reply
  2. Chapter 14/23 – Baffling Extrusions Leave a reply
  3. Chapter 14 – Lower engine extrusions Leave a reply
  4. Chapter 14/22/23 – Engine mount prep Leave a reply
  5. Chapter 23 – Engine Preservation Leave a reply
  6. Chapter 3/22/23 – Work bench finished Leave a reply
  7. Chapter 22/23 – Engine Parts? Check! Leave a reply
  8. Chapter 22/23 – Engine Inspection Leave a reply
  9. Chapter 22/23 – Electrical Workbench Leave a reply