10 hours

Today was a long day at the hangar! Probably one of the longest I’ve put in for some time. It’s nice to have a long weekend, and we got today off as well! Bonus! Well, it would be a bonus if I got paid for it.

I continued on with the integration of the console into the plane. This is quite a challenge, but it seems to be working out pretty well. The main tasks for today included getting all the centre covers finished up and fitted with the console, and also to make some headway with the fuel pump stuff. While the console was in the plane, I figured I’d need to have the front face of the console completely removable so I can bury the wire harness inside there and also remove it if necessary when the plane is completed. I also need to be able to service the fuel filter at each annual, so it’s necessary to be able to access that.

Here’s a cover for the front of the console. I made it out of 0.63″ because I was thinking this would be an ideal place for either a fire extinuisher, or an oxygen bottle. Tucked away neatly out of the way.

Once that was all done, I moved on to the front floor centre cover. This thing is flimsy! I had a lot of fun faffing about with this thing! It’s impossible to hold too! I bent all the louvres in it. I saw this method on the web somewhere. Might have been Dan Checkoway’s site. It worked OK, apart from where the louvres were close together in the centre. I had to get a bit more creative for that.

Next, I made the baffle plate. This thing helped to steady things up a bit. Here it is rivetted in.

Because we have the airflow performance fuel pump, the cover needed to be trimmed a bit as it was rather long. I also have moved the whole pump assembly forward to help with the installation of the Andair fuel valve. Here it is trimmed to length and test fitted in the plane. All the guts of the instrument panel are still hanging out, thanks to not getting anywhere fast with the panel labeling.

Last week, I received our fuel flow sensor from Blue Mountain. I figure that while I’m working in this area that now would be a good time to find somewhere for it. Great. This thing is going to be fun. I know where I wanted it, in a similar place to where Aart & Co. have theirs on PH-VII. Now therein lies an issue. I don’t have enough cover to stretch to where they have theirs, so I decided to squeeze it in between all the spaghetti pipework, and make even more spaghetti! It actually fits quite nicely, but it was a royal pain in the arse to get the pipework done!

The next issue was room for fittings coming out of the fuel selector. I have just over 4.5 inches inside the console where this thing sits, which might just be enough! I went ahead and put 90 degree fittings in the selector. I decided it might be easier to install the pipework if it does a loop around the fuel selector to get into the spar root area on it’s way to the wings. The fuel is gonna wonder where the heck it’s going with all these changes of direction! The width across the fittings after installation was just over 4.5 inches. Hmm. It’s gonna be tight. It’s so tight that I may have to sand a bit of a void in there to make it fit easier. It does fit, and doesn’t bulge the side, but I’d prefer a clearance rather than an interference! Here you can see just how tight it is. The fuel selector is kinda flopped down a bit in this pic. When it’s secured, it’ll be up a bit and level.

This is what the whole sha-bang looks like, as it will be in the plane. You can see, I also did some filling on the console today. Have I been busy or what?!

Now I’d gone this far, I wanted to see how the fuel selector would work out with the lever mechanism. Out the box it came, and into the console! Ultimately, the top surface of the console will be a piece of sheet aluminium, so this is just a test fit. Looks great eh? Apart from the fact that it’s grossly out of focus! It’s also not straight, but like I said, this is a test fit!

The underside… You can see I have a universal joint to help with alignment. The console top actually has a slight incline to it of four degrees to horizontal.

I think I might go to banjo fittings for the fuel selector here, as I’m not happy with how tight this all is.

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