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  #1  
Old 03-27-2021, 11:44 AM
Chris Scott Chris Scott is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: Bowling Green Ky
Posts: 22
Default Slider behind panel access ...

Having spent many "memorable" hours wedged into an airplane with my head on the rudder pedals, the idea of topside access is very appealing. I have heard mention of a fix for this in sliders by using large inspection plates in the glare shield.

This sounds easy, but what about access to open these up? Does the front part of the canopy need to be removed? How hard is that?

Looking at RV-6 ...
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  #2  
Old 03-27-2021, 01:27 PM
terrye terrye is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Posts: 929
Default Slider behind panel access ...

I think you are referring to removable panels just aft of the firewall but forward of the windshield. After many builders "rolled their own" Vans finally came out with a kit that includes the cutout template, doubler, panel and hardware. One each side of the centerline.

I haven't heard of any access panels just above the instrument panel and on the cabin side of the windshield.

OTOH, if you leave some service loops and disconnect plugs you can probably remove the entire panel. Failing that, if you're going with glass panels, the PFD and MFD are easily removable giving reasonable access through the panel.
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  #3  
Old 03-27-2021, 01:42 PM
Chris Scott Chris Scott is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: Bowling Green Ky
Posts: 22
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Uh, so, with inspection panels forward of the windshield, what kind of access to instruments and avionics do you have?
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  #4  
Old 03-27-2021, 02:19 PM
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uk_figs uk_figs is offline
 
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Location: Tulsa, OK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
Uh, so, with inspection panels forward of the windshield, what kind of access to instruments and avionics do you have?
A lot better than without them, I do not know about the -6 but on the -7 there is an interim bulkhead structure that gets in the way of everything. I have friends I fly with who rolled their own when they built and access for upgrades/mods is way better. I put in a sectioned panel that I thought would be removable but it ended up not working very well.

After doing a couple of panel mods in recent years for ADSB etc. and being upside down in the wheel well with my bifocals taped to my head upside down to see the wiring and trying to add zip ties with one hand I am about to order the panel kit from Vans and install them before I do my next upgrade.
I will say that as noted above if the panel has that latest glass (G3X etc.) there is a big access hole when the display is removed, my D100/D120 have mounting boxes that restricts access.
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  #5  
Old 03-27-2021, 02:32 PM
Ralph Inkster Ralph Inkster is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 1,248
Default forward access panels

Not much. You would get access to the back of long radio trays as an example. Easier access to brakes, easier access for one man riveting of the front cowl panel and maybe some remote electrical components if mounted up there.

Most easy access behind instruments & switches is done for most by removable EFIS screens or other removable instrumentation.

Some fabricate instrument panels with removable sections (left, right, center) to facilitate easier maintenance or panel upgrades.
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  #6  
Old 03-27-2021, 02:32 PM
Kyle Boatright Kyle Boatright is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
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Check with the mother ship. I seem to remember that they came out with a "kit" to accomplish what you're trying to do.
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  #7  
Old 03-27-2021, 03:27 PM
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gyoung gyoung is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Spring, TX
Posts: 271
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The panels are easily installed on a completed airplane only requiring cutting the holes from outside. Nothing to remove first. If you use a cutting wheel or grinder be prepared to control the debris or for cleanup. I did it on my -6. It will give you good access to the aft side of the firewall and anything between that and the bulkhead about 12" aft. What's there depends on how things were installed. I needed to remove the manifold I had bolted to the firewall (because it would never need to come off) and move a penetration. Just those were worth the effort vs panel diving. The kit is dirt cheap. It doesn't specify the -6 but it works fine. You just don't have pre-punched rivets to locate it for you.
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  #8  
Old 03-28-2021, 08:42 AM
Chris Scott Chris Scott is offline
 
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Location: Bowling Green Ky
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It's sounding more like a tip-up may be in my future...
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  #9  
Old 03-28-2021, 10:02 AM
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mfleming mfleming is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Joseph, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
It's sounding more like a tip-up may be in my future...
If you want a slider, build a slider.

Avionics access with a slider is all about planning. In my case there are only two boxes between the sub panel and firewall. The GEA 24 and the IBBBS. Both of those are mounted on hinged trays for access. The LRUs between the IP and sub panel are accessed by removing the EFIS screens.

As far as the access plate kits that VANs sells, they may be helpful or they may not. I experimented with where the openings would be and what would be visible and more importantly reachable. For me, they wouldn't have helped and the possibility of water incursion put the last nail in the coffin.
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RV-7 Slider #74572
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Ailerons and flaps completed 3/2017.
Wings completed 12/2017
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  #10  
Old 03-28-2021, 11:01 AM
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DanBaier DanBaier is offline
 
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Location: Rochester NY
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Quote:
Some fabricate instrument panels with removable sections (left, right, center) to facilitate easier maintenance or panel upgrades.
+1 - definitely the way to go
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