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Instrument Panel Fabrication

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Well-Known Member
Aug 17, 2006
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Piqua, Ohio
Thought I would share the latest on my project, manufacturing the rear instrument panel.

Used 0.090” 2024-T3 for the raw material. Measured several certified aircraft installations and found this to be what they were using. Height is per the plans (7” from top of longeron tube) as is the bottom bend. The lower panel is the same material bent up and bolted to the top panel. If I ever want to add or modify, just have to make up a different bottom mini-panel.

Bent the angles up first on the local sheet metal shop’s brake with a foot for a generous radius. Then cut the top curve. Generated the actual curve on some curve fitting software here at work and plotted it out. Cut out the piece of paper and scribed it on the panel, then band sawed it, filed it, sanded it.

Next laid it out the holes with the instruments at hand. Wanted everything in the panel, radio, transponder, etc. Starting from the top set of holes working down and reading left to right, I am installing:

Smoke On lamp, Vertical Compass, Altimeter, Turn & Bank, Oil Temp/Pressure, Transponder, Voltage Warning Lamp, Clock, Radio, G-Meter, Airspeed, VSI, MP/Fuel Flow, Fuel Computer, Engine Analyzer, RPM, ELT switches, Hobbs, Alternator Breaker, Boost Pump Breaker, Trim System Breaker, Turn & Bank Breaker, Trim (elevator) Indicator, Master Switch, Alternator Switch, Boost Pump Switch, Avionics Switch, Smoke Arm Switch, Fuel Level Indicator (main tank), Mags/Start Switch, Power Receptacle (cigarette lighter type).

Used a boring head. Total time from sheet metal to panels probably about 25 hours.



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