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  #1  
Old 04-12-2022, 08:00 AM
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claycookiemonster claycookiemonster is offline
 
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Location: Midway, UT
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Default Raising the bottom of the Instrument Panel?

One of the many wonderful things about the newer glass instruments is how SO MUCH information can be compressed into a smaller space than the old "Six-pack" days of round dials. Click image for larger version

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My tentative panel will leave room along the bottom of the panel unused, so I'm interested in cutting the panel along the bottom to allow for a longer stick and more leg room.
I'm concerned that cutting off that rounded corner at the bottom will reduce the integrity of the panel. Am I over thinking that? I know I could always rivet some angle along the newer edge down there.
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  #2  
Old 04-12-2022, 08:27 AM
Freemasm Freemasm is offline
 
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Are you talking the formed "leg" across the bottom of the panel. Then no; that supplies the stiffness to that part of the panel. You would have to reform the panel with such, rivet on a stiffener, etc.

My opinion is your proposed change isn't worth it/leave it alone. (Currently unplanned) switches, breakers, ELT annunciator, whatever will eat up said panel real estate. Let an 8 driver weigh-in if your suspected problems are such or have alternative solutions. In the end, it's your build.
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  #3  
Old 04-12-2022, 08:40 AM
Desert Rat Desert Rat is offline
 
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I don’t have any experience with the 8, but if it’s similar to the 7 I don’t see why you couldn’t get that stiffness back by riveting a nice angle along the bottom.

Alternately, I know Walt has said that vans will cut you a taller panel on the cheap if you need it to cram in all the goodies. Might be worth it to give them a call and see how easy it might be to go the other way and get them to just make you a shorter one.
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  #4  
Old 04-12-2022, 08:54 AM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
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Regardless of whether o9r not you can cut it shorter (I know of some cases where folks cut only the CENTER shorter - sort of a notch in the bottom - I think. You’re going to find that your avionics are not going to mount as close to each other as you think they are. You’ll need supporting structure between things in order to make the panel work. If you’re cutting that much of the panel away to provide square openings for the boxes and faceplates, you’ll need stiffeners of aluminum to restore the structure and to give you rails on which to mount some things.

Just speaking from experience - its easy to cram more stuff in than will fit!

Paul
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  #5  
Old 04-12-2022, 09:13 AM
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fl-mike fl-mike is offline
 
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To Paul's point, you have no allowance for the radio rack support angles or similar. You will have to shift the G3X right if you want the stack there.

As for shortening the panel, should be okay if you reform the flange or replace it with a stiffener.
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  #6  
Old 04-12-2022, 09:30 AM
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Duhg Duhg is offline
 
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Going through this right now also. My radio stack was planned to be at the same location to the left overlap seam, but the trays mount to angle stock that are riveted to the backside of the panel. I've had a difficult time finding pictures showing how people mount these trays.
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  #7  
Old 04-12-2022, 09:35 AM
moespeeds moespeeds is offline
 
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If you can make that work, go for it. I'm 6'3" and the real value in raising that bottom up is it will allow more stick height, and I'm not reaching down between my legs to fly the plane.

When I redo my panel, I plan on trying to gain an inch there if I can.
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  #8  
Old 04-12-2022, 09:57 AM
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AAflyer AAflyer is offline
 
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Default Panel mod

I cut off the bottom of my panel...I'm 6'4 and needed the knee-room.
I have more pics of progressive build and rear, if you want.

https://vansairforce.net/community/a...1&d=1649779274
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  #9  
Old 04-12-2022, 01:00 PM
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EXTAAFLY EXTAAFLY is offline
 
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This is a one piece panel created out of 090. It was then attached to the perimeter of the original panel attach points. There is a 1/2” angle riveted across the panel just above the arch and ties all in to the original structure. Probably overkill. But it can be done. The “stack” G5 and switch’s are all recessed and nearly flush with the panel.

YMMV and probably will.
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  #10  
Old 04-12-2022, 01:08 PM
sjhurlbut sjhurlbut is offline
 
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I trimmed my panel a bit (arched the bottom actually) to allow a longer stick but you'll find you're still restricted by the bulkhead behind the panel. It doesn't give you as much clearance as you think. Do not trim the bulkhead behind the panel.



Quote:
Originally Posted by claycookiemonster View Post
One of the many wonderful things about the newer glass instruments is how SO MUCH information can be compressed into a smaller space than the old "Six-pack" days of round dials. Attachment 24517
My tentative panel will leave room along the bottom of the panel unused, so I'm interested in cutting the panel along the bottom to allow for a longer stick and more leg room.
I'm concerned that cutting off that rounded corner at the bottom will reduce the integrity of the panel. Am I over thinking that? I know I could always rivet some angle along the newer edge down there.
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