Even more lower shelf, plus some more planning

Well, this is actually two nights’ worth of work – I neglected to bang anything out here for yesterday. The main thrust has been continuing to work on that lower shelf. Yesterday I fitted the hinge half to the shelf, laid out the rivet locations, and drilled them together. Tonight I got the shelf dimpled and the hinge countersunk, and riveted the two together. I also removed a few hinge eyelets in the middle of both halves – since space outboard of the hinge will be limited, there’ll be no way to ever pull a single-piece pin out to either side, and thus no way of ever removing this shelf for service once it’s riveted in. I don’t want that, so instead I cut the hinge pin into two halves, which can be removed by pulling either one from the center of the hinge assembly.

The shelf with the finished hinge setup can be seen here:

Note that the far side of the shelf isn’t final-cut yet; I’m going to mark that once I have the whole thing fit into place in the aircraft, and trim to that line, rather than measuring. This should get me a better fit, at the cost of a couple more fitting iterations.

The bigger news, though, is that today the UPS man brought me a sizable package from SteinAir, which contained the bulk of my avionics. Or maybe all of them, depending on how you define the term. I wasted no time in opening boxes and starting to use the actual avionics boxes to verify some of my layouts:

This turned out to be a good thing; it seems my previous upper avionics shelf plan has some issues. The biggest thing I didn’t account for is that I can’t use the entire front-to-back width of the shelf. There are two reasons for this: the first is that there’s about 1 1.5” overlap between the shelf and the forward upper brace, and I can’t put any attach nutplates there. There are also the items I was planning on putting inside the baggage bulkhead; the most notable things here will be the voltage regulators, which are just under 2” tall.

I have a few new ideas about how to resolve this, but I think before I can really commit to any of them, I’m going to need the final missing component up here, which is the CPI2 electronic ignition controller. I shot an email to Ross at SDS this week to get that conversation started, but before I can finalize that order, I need to get back with Jim Ball at Titan for some details on my engine. And I also want to go ahead and get my finish kit ordered. And probably the prop pretty soon too; I haven’t checked recently, but I think Whirl Wind generally runs about a three-month lead time.

Still got plenty to do even without the layout finished. The first minor wiring project will be the switch console, and I think I may go ahead and see about getting the panel cut. Having all the bits in place there will give me a better idea of any potential space constraints between the in-panel stuff and the things on the shelf.

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