Chapter 23/24 – Throttle Quadrant & Armrest

Today I started out by removing the peel ply from the cured throttle quadrant mounting hardpoint layups and then cleaned it all up.  I then drilled the holes into each of the 4 hard points, removed the protective plastic wrap I had stuffed into each one to keep the nasty stuff out, and then cleaned up each hole to allow me to test mount the throttle quadrant.

I have to say it all looks good and I’m very pleased with the position of the throttle quadrant.

Today was more of an R&D day than it was a build day, as there was a lot of configuration stuff to figure out for not only the immediate throttle quadrant area, but the entire left armrest console. For example, when I placed the left armrest vertical wall in place, I immediately noticed that it “fanned” out in a way towards the aft end since the armrest wall was basically parallel with the centerline of the airplane.  This makes the side wall look as if it’s fanning out too, because in reality, well, it is since the fuselage gets wider at the pilot seat bulkhead.  This is probably even more pronounced on my plane since I have a more football shaped fuselage than do most Long-EZs.

I also needed to see how the seating space was affected in the pilot’s seat by this “fanned” out left armrest sidewall.  Interestingly enough, I had plenty of room either way as I wasn’t really pressed against either one.  I sat in the pilot’s seat a good 45 minutes simply taking notes and getting a good feel for how the ergonomics of possible configurations would work.  I will add though that the past few days, being able to actually sit in the cockpit and process ideas based on real dimensional data, have been invaluable.

Before I could decide to kick the aft end of the left armrest vertical wall outboard or not, I needed to know if the aft end would still allow me to mount the fire extinguisher in it since I really don’t see anywhere else to mount it . . . and keep it accessible in case of emergency [Side note: I’ve seen so many canard aircraft with fire extinguishers that are truly only accessible on the ground… not good in my book!]

So I drug out the fire extinguisher and low and behold, if I kicked the aft end of the left armrest wall outboard about a 0.25″ (e.g. narrowing) it will still allow me to slide the fire extinguisher in there . . . with a caveat: I’ll have to glass the aft end of the left armrest vertical upright with the inside glass laying up glass-to-glass with the glass on the exterior of the armrest console.  No big deal of course, just a bit more work.

With data in hand, I decided to go with the narrower, albeit straight, armrest configuration. So I was about ready to glass the top and side of the left armrest together and then the ancillary stuff, but honestly the armrest was the easier layup so I went ahead and knocked out the more difficult ones first: the glass sleeve (tube) that the fire extinguisher will get mounted into (on the left, pic below) since I won’t be using the included metal bracket; and the cup holder that I plan on installing just forward of the throttle quadrant.

Interestingly, I needed the ID of the cupholder to be 2.9″ and the only thing I could find that could be used as a mold (without making one from foam) was a small household fire extinguisher that I pulled out of my other house when I sold it (shown on right, pic below).

A point of note on these: due to the fact that I have a TON of leftover UNI from previous layups, I used it for the majority of glass in these 2 layups.

Tomorrow I plan to glass the left armrest top to the left armrest sidewall as the first thing on the build agenda.  Then while that is curing, I’ll pull the peel ply and clean & shape these 2 layups I did tonight.  I also plan on continuing in my quest to finish the left pilot armrest console so that I can press forward with the few GIB area and nose area items, including finalizing the install of the heat & air system.  This of course will be facilitated by my being able to install the 3 heat/air control cables into the left armrest.


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