Cessna 02 Cockpit — Getting The Eye In & The Hand Practised

Mulling over problems is a continual part of any process that must lead to a final conclusion.

Mulling over problems is what I do!

And so I mulled things...

I eventually figured that the width of the panel was of no concern here because it had to fit a 41-inch wide space no matter what and had been cut to exactly that width. Therefore, if that dimension was now fixed, then the problem that I could perceive, but not quite resolve, would be one of height and shape and both could be easily amended by the addition of further wood to the bottom and trimming at the top.

Having at least established one dimension of final proportion meant that I could soldier on and fix things later.

A large sheet of black hardboard was retrieved from a local skip and put to use creating the shock panel.

I don't mind using hardboard at all. It is very easily worked though it is quite flimsy stuff. Nevertheless, I'd rather experiment with such a cheap, disposable and readily available material than go straight to expensive sheet aluminium and screw things up. 

I toyed around with the black panel for some time. Creating dummy instruments out of whatever I could find. The orange 'bezels' are coffee can lids and the dummy 'instruments' circular black plastic items that I find on the warehouse floor at work. 

By offering them up I decided eventually, that although the 02 panel was always black, I did not want that colour.  And so, the shock panel was sprayed with a light grey-blue (from LIDL) that coincidently, is very close to the colour of the 02 fuselage.

Once I'd established a reasonably accurate grid for the instruments, their positions were drawn with a 'sharpie' pen set in a compass. (It's quite difficult to lay out so many holes with a compass — the smallest of errors tend to accumulate...) Black drywall screws marked the positions of the bolt holes. 

The semi-circular cut-outs for the yoke shafts were established and cut once I knew that my Cessna yokes were in transit. Their final positions were finalised by reference to the model makers plan, to photographs, by hard-nosed calculation and a tad of dead-reckoning ~ 

Given the 41 inch width available to me, and the width of genuine Cessna yokes at 11 inches, then ~

1. Each would have to be centred 9.5 inches from the cabin walls which would give occupants of the cabin four inches of elbow room there. 

2. Both would be then be set at a comfortable 22 inches apart.  This would give each of the occupants 5-1/2 inches of elbow clearance from each other.

Of course, these clearances are maximums and would require dead straight arms! 

The 02 cabin seems pretty cramped. I reckon that it's akin to the classic Mini Cooper.

What I now had to do was establish beyond doubt, the exact dimensions of the 02 cabin and its instrument panel. I knew that my panel was almost and about right, but not quite...

It was time for some serious, time consuming, study! 


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