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O/H Panel structure/ opinions
I designed and "attached" my overhead panel support with the initial idea that the individual systems panels would never be available, and therefore calculated my initial structure weight with this in mind.
Eventually, all overhead systems panels became available and I was forced to perform some enhancements and modifications to the support structure in order to handle the extra overhead weight. I estimate each panel weighs approximatley 4 to 6 lbs...and there are 9 panels total giving me an estimated weight of 54 to 60 lbs.
In the pictures you can see that I have fastened the O/H panel frame with 1" #6 screws with 5 attachemts into the 1/2 inch plywood edge. A number of other #6 screws are installed along the internal attachment points for a total of 38 screws in total. I also added supports that extend down from the wooden structure and allow the ribs between the system panel attachments to have an extra bit of support in the middle.
After all this was done, I found that, with all panels installed, there was still a bit of 'bounce' to the overhead. I decided to either support the structure from the ceiling, but then decided to fabricate the center window post and use this as an additional support for both lateral and horizontal movement, supporting this post from the already installed forward simulator frame.
The top brace is screwed to the forward portion of the overhead support.
Does this seem to be enough support for the weight of my panels? I tried to calculate the pull out strength of these 1 inch screws, and I understand that they do not have the same performance as if they were screwed to the face of the plywood as opposed to the face...but I figure they should be good for at least 60 to 70 lbs each??...especially if I dab a little glue on them.
I also had to extend the center window support "in" towards the glareshield by about 3 inches...this is not 146 specific, but it was the only way I could solve some technical support issues...(the gaping square in the middle is where my magnetic compass will go, so eventually you will not see this in the finished product).
Finally...for those of you who quesiton ...my simulator does not look like an aircraft from the outside...but will from the inside...that was my desire all along as my intent is to build a fully functional simulator (less motion.
Also note that the center window support is not resting on the glareshield...it floats about 1/4 inch above it, and I have installed a 'skirt' to tidy the appearance up a bit.
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