Chapter 13/22 – Instrument Panel Cut

As in, the REAL 6061 aluminum instrument panel!

I spent quite a bit of time in Fusion 360 CAD today.  I got a bit of a late start, and it was quite the dark rainy day.  So I had a cup of coffee (or two) and knocked out the CAD updates for the both the instrument panel and the a new, shorter nose hatch hinge.

I then plasma cut the instrument panel out of a sheet of 0.090″ thick 6061 aluminum, as I documented in this video:


Here’s how it looked after I cleaned it up a bit.  It definitely wasn’t the best plasma cutting session I’ve had, but there were no major tragedies or damage, so this dog will hunt!

I then test-fit the freshly cut panel in the cockpit, over the stock composite panel (which will serve as a backing/reinforcement panel structure).  Not surprisingly, as one would hope, it fits the best by far of all the panel variants.

I also plasma cut a new nose hatch door hinge.  The size fit is good, but I’m still off on general configuration, as I have been on all these hinges.  There is clearly a configuration trick that I am missing, so I’m going to have to do some remedial research and possibly call around for some help from folks who have done this.

Again, the primary issue is getting the hinges configured so that when the hatch door is open, the door front lip IS NOT resting on the top forward surface of the nose.

And although it’s hard to tell, I also trimmed the length of the tool box locking latch lever to allow it to clear the (now) secured battery strap.

Here we have both the new (shorter) nose hatch hinge in the open position and the tool box –with its now shorter trimmed latch handle– also open, the latter now being able to be manipulated with the battery strap & buckle secured in place.

Tomorrow I plan on continuing to press forward with the nose build, and also most likely finish up some on the canopy interior as well.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.