Home > VansAirForceForums

-Advertise in here!
- Today's Posts | Insert Pics

Keep VAF Going
Donate methods

Point your
camera app here
to donate fast.

Old 01-08-2021, 11:30 AM
Jslow2 Jslow2 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Cement City
Posts: 58
Default Panel changes

So while waiting on tools, workshop setup etc. I've been screwing around in Solidworks. Is the panel a structural component? can you change the shape of it? This is what I've been thinking of.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	panel.jpg
Views:	128
Size:	80.0 KB
ID:	6731  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2021, 02:51 PM
terrye terrye is offline
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Posts: 932
Default Panel Changes

No, the panel is not "structural" in that the airplane flight loads are not carried through/by it. I categorize aircraft structure as "primary" and "secondary", and I would say the panel is a secondary structure. It carries the weight of the avionics attached to it.

So as far as the changes you illustrate in your Solidworks model, I would say it would be OK. However, you appear to have the support ribs from the firewall for the slider canopy, and these are structural. So be careful where you put your avionics in the panel so you don't have to compromise (ie. cut and then have to reinforce) the ribs.

Also, the panel is not very wide, and angling the avionics toward the pilot may not be necessary. It's easy in Solidworks to forget the actual size of things. I plotted mine out on an E size drawing full size and then got a blueprint shop to plot it full size. In my case, I fastened it to the actual panel in the fuselage and tried out the ergonomics from the pilot seat. If you're not that far along, you can still do a quick physical mockup to check the switch throws, radio buttons etc.
Terry Edwards
RV-9A (Fuselage)
2020/2021 VAF Contribution Sent
Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2021, 11:18 AM
Frank Smidler Frank Smidler is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Stoughton, WI
Posts: 483
Default No need to angle items in center of panel

The center of the panel is less than 12" offset from the center of the pilot seat and does not pose a view limitation for the pilot. My avionics stack center is offset from the center of the panel 4" to the right and has posed no problem viewing or reaching the far side controls on a panel mounted 296 in 11 years of flying. I plan to install a GPS 175 at the top of the stack in place of the 296 and it easily meets Garmin angle of view. IMHO you are adding a lot of unnecessary work trying to angle the radio stack. I suggest you sit in an RV to get a feel for reach and view before committing.
Frank Smidler
N96FS, RV-6
Flying 1/11/09
1085 hr
2WI6 Stoughton, WI
Formally of Lafayette, IN
Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2021, 08:28 PM
Jslow2 Jslow2 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Cement City
Posts: 58

Thanks for the input, it is hard to judge size looking at a computer screen.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2021, 01:29 PM
n82rb's Avatar
n82rb n82rb is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: fort myers fl
Posts: 1,017

the question of the panel being structural can only be answered by vans. I do know that the RV-4 panel is considered structural because it contributes to the stiffness of the longerons and the forward boot cowl.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2021, 02:17 PM
wirejock's Avatar
wirejock wirejock is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Estes Park, CO
Posts: 4,379
Default Panel

I asked Vans. On my 7, they said it was structural. I kept it stock.
That said, there's a lot of folks with multi part panels so might want to ask about your specific solution.
Larry Larson
Estes Park, CO
wirejock at yahoo dot com
Donated 01/01/2021, plus a little extra.
RV-7A #73391, N511RV reserved (2,000+ hours)
Empennage, wings, fuse, finishing kit, now FWF
I cannot be, nor will I be, held responsible if you try to do the same things I do and it does not work and/or causes you loss, injury, or even death in the process.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:16 AM.

The VAFForums come to you courtesy Delta Romeo, LLC. By viewing and participating in them you agree to build your plane using standardized methods and practices and to fly it safely and in accordance with the laws governing the country you are located in.