Chapter 24: Armrests, Seats, and Fairings

Step 2 - Front Armrests

To establish the exact shape of my fuselage sides (or any oddball areas for that matter), I placed small sheets of plywood or balsa wood against the interior and taped in little pieces of cardboard against the curvy sections.  I then transferred the “pattern” onto the foam.  Once you’ve cut out the tops of the armrests, you can easily fit-check it to the other side of the fuselage.  The second set of armrests always goes much quicker than the first!


Here’s what the armrests look like during fit-checks and prior to glassing.  I use composite clecos (drywall screws) to hold the foam pieces together before gluing.  I set up a jig to help hold the top and side pieces to a 90-degree angle while the glue cured.


Here's a picture of the port armrest in place.  (In the first picture, I hadn't yet cut out the hole for the map pocket.)  I don't buy the argument that they're structural to the fuselage, so I made my armrests to be removable.  They are held in place with 4 countersunk screws and Tinnerman washers.  Two are in the hand support near the seatback, one in the triangle brace for the CS108 mounting block, and one in the metal bracket on instrument panel just above the floor.  Note that I added that hand support at the ream of the armrest near the seatback.  When people go to extricate themselves from the plane, I find that they place their hands near the back of the armrests and place alot of weight on them.  From the creaking and the groaning, I knew I would have to add something structural to take the loads.  So I installed the hand support, which was built similar to the mounting blocks.   Once I had located the screw holes, I cut some circles from phenolic sheet and epoxied them into the console in place of the foam.  I drilled them and countersunk them to accept the attachment screws.


Step 4 - Rear Armrests

I made the rear armrests as one unit.  I didn't make a small section forward of the C118 bearing block and a separate section aft.  The smaller section's purpose is to provide bracing for the C118 bearing blocks.  But since I braced them with triangular birch pieces, I can get away with leaving the armrests as single units.  I will be mounting the rear armrests with nutplates and brackets like I did with the front armrests.


Step ???


I'm not sure where this step goes.  (It's been a long time since I actually looked at the plans...)  These are the covers for the speaker-sized holes in the center section spar.  I felt like it took forever to get these covers in place.  The problem I had is due to what we're told to do in Chapter 14 Center Section Spar.  We close out those holes by going glass to glass and leaving a small flange.  I wish I would have made the flange wider.  Mine was not wide enough and would not accept a nut plate.  So I grafted 4 tabs onto the flanges to hold the nutplates for holding the covers in place.  The close-up pictures show only two tabs, but there are 4 -- one on each side of the holes.


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