Day 13 - panels and doors.      Hours today: 9      Hours so far: 107

All day spent on two things which will be very visible on the finished plane - the instrument panel and the door and window lexan.

Click on the pictures to enlarge.

The instrument panel - first fitting. It'll come out now, ready for painting and fitting with instruments! It sits slightly back on the fuselage frame, so needs some trimming.

The back of the panel. Note the two aluminium brackets holding it in place are labelled 'left' and 'right'. I started by trimming the panel so that it fitted. Then I offered up the brackets and drilled the holes in the top - this picture shows that a little bit of tweaking is still needed.

A close up of the cut out required - mine was by trial and error, and thankfully they will not be too obvious on the finished thing! This took all morning - time for lunch.

Lexan for the doors. I'd pre-cut to a rough shape already, now was the time to follow the manual carefully. Lie the lexan on the door frame, trace the outline, then add on some on the edges for overhangs. I used my nice new shears, followed by sandpaper - not too bad, but more finishing will be required. Here, the lexan is taped into place to check the fit.

And now the window lexan is in place - I took off some of the protective film, which I should have done earlier - it makes things a lot easier to line up! Then mark out where the rivets will go, centrepunch (having checked on a scrap bit that it won't shatter!) and drill. Clecos hold it in place as you go - but start from the middle and work out. The lexan is reassuringly tough and drills easily. (Sorry about the poor quality picture - it was dark when I finished!)

Over a hundred hours already. There still seems a long way to go. And I'll be fitting lexan for another 10 or 15 hours yet! Next page