CHAPTER 67 – Cockpit Details

Throughout the process, I did some finishing work on the cockpit interior.  I elected to attach the bulkhead covers with screws so that I could run wiring through.  First, the covers were drilled and clecoed to #40 and then enlarged to #30 when I was sure of the fit.  Next, nutplates were installed and the covers countersunk for #8 screws and finally screwed into place. Then I positioned the armrests.  They were drilled and clecoed and countersunk for AN426 3-3.5 rivets before being primed and riveted.

Next, I wanted to fit the forward turtledeck skin.  Since the rollover bar interfered, I removed it.  It was such a tight fit, I had to resort to using a ratchet tiedown to compress it enough to slide off the attachments.  Then I was able to fit the skin and back-drill it up to the baggage compartment bulkhead.  I left it undrilled forward of that point until the canopy is in place.  I then roughly marked and cut out the canopy opening and replaced the rollover bar to await final fitting with the canopy.

The last interior thing I did was to get some ¾” foam with adhesive backing on one side and cut it to fit on the forward floorboards.  It acts as both a cushion for the floor skin and to help soundproof the cockpit.  It will eventually be covered with carpet and some of the adhesive backing will be removed to prevent the carpet from sliding around.  For the rest of the cockpit, I intend to go with a paint finish instead of upholstery.  I will put carpet on the baggage compartment floor but I don’t see any point in putting it under the seat cushions, nor do I intend to paint over the primer except in the more visible places.  It won’t look quite as ‘finished’ but I can already tell from lots of hangar flying that it is plenty comfortable just as it is and I could stand to save a little weight.