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  1. 47U

    Igor_U,  Yes, Aspen flush mount.  The Aspen cutout dimensions are in their install manual, available online.  I ended up recutting the panel shown in the thread picture.  The Aspen component that would go in the bottom hole (of an Aspen upper/lower two-hole surface mount)  is much smaller diameter than a standard 3 1/8" instrument so there's no yoke tube interference, but I found the Aspen flush mount bracket was too close to the yoke phenolic ball mount and I didn't like it.  (I cut out a template from card stock.)  It wasn't touching, but I couldn't pass a credit card between the Aspen mount rail and the ball assembly.  So I moved the Aspen up in the panel about 1/4", recut the panel, and now it's fine.   Beware that powder coating might decrease the cutout dimensions slightly and cause an interference fit.  I had a buddy do the CAD changes and should have increased the dimensions a thousandth or two.  Same for the round instruments... laser cutting is very precise.  Everything fit pretty tight after powder coating whereas it was perfect before.  I probably should have masked off the holes to keep them clean metal.   


    1. Show previous comments  4 more
    2. Igor_U



      I really appreciate your help. I opened .dxf file at work using CATIA V5 and transfer it to .CATDrawing V5 native file. As you said, it is what the PDF was created from, just no dimensions.

      I have a question, though. Was this design done in mm? I’ve opened it on my machine that is set to inches and dimensions are just over 440 for a 17.35” panel so it must be. Definitely it’s scaled 25.4X. 

      No mater, I’ll use your PDF file and dimensions of the upper contour.

      I have already created a 3d model of my panel but I know I didn’t have the right contour so your PDF will help.


      BTW, I work in as Design Engineer in Aerospace, currently contract for Gulfstream but was years in Seattle for Boeing and small design firm that subcontracted us to Boeing, Bombardier, Lockheed etc…

      My plane is home at KPAE (where widebody Boeings are made) so really work will be done when I get a job back home and have more time for that.


      My plan is to go with 8-hole but modified for 2 G5s. Those need 7.2” tall cutout so it’s somewhat more than Aspen but there should be enough room.

      Instead of full size 9th hole, I’d like to have 2.25” hole for new clock; 8-day clock in yoke can be covered by iPad and such.

      Originally, I wanted to buy panels from LASAR but now I think I might go custom and start with 8-hole as baseline. I might still go with LASAR, at the end.


      My concern was excessive trimming of substructure as you described and read years ago from Johnathan Paul in his internet post.

      Also, with 2 G5s I can get rid of the DG and ILS/VOR1 and I still keep the AI at top right location where ILS would be. Or move it to the right panel if I decide to move my Primary engine monitor closer, to pilot’s panel.

      I still have PC system with autopilot and retractable step so removing vacuum pump is out of question.


      I would be curious to see your finished panel. I don’t remember seeing it on MS but I’ve seen many. Do you have it in your profile?

      You said you had to trim a substructure on Right hand side of this panel. Do you think your instrument holes (Vor1/2) are too close to the RHS edge?

      I see that LASAR 8-hole panel is more spaced out – perhaps to much for my idea of having a 2.25” hole for clock.


      I just saw your instrument holes are quite spaced out vertically. Like 3.75” (center to center) according to your dimensions.

      That might be a reason of the clash on top and need to trim. Some panels I’ve seen were much less, like 3.35 or 3.5” max. I know for Garmin G5, 3.6” is magic number if one wants to install those troughs the holes and not flush as I’d like to do.


      Anyway, this will help me create a 3D model (and drawing) that I can maybe forward to few shops and see what they say regarding the cost of cutting it.

      I would be interested in laser (or any other) engraving of the labels as well. I’m not sure I’d like a stick on labels if I do all this work.


      How did you solve this issue? Are you happy with panel and results?


      Many thanks



    3. 47U



      Design done in mm?  Hmmm.  I didn't think so, but we did this a couple years ago so I'm not sure.  I think your 8-hole plan will work out fine, even with room for the clock.  Like you said, dimensions off the .pdf will keep you on track.  I moved my clock up above the radio stack where the old ARC autopilot control head used to be.  Or, that's the plan, as soon as I cut out the panel and mount some nut plates.

      The only substructure issue (in my opinion) is the radio stack rail.. Yes, I probably should have tried to squeeze everything left a little more.  But, looking at the pics, there's not much left to move left too.  None of the rest of the sub-panel is airframe-structural, they're only to mount the instrument panel isolators.  And, I could have moved the top row down some and save a 1/4" of trimming the subpanel.  No, my panel isn't on my profile... I haven't finished my Aspen install (after two years, I know) as I got sidetracked with family issues, work issues, other airframe issues, you name it.  I'm trying to work up the nerve to call TGH and ask them how long the backlog is for avionics installations.  As soon as I finish the annual.  I've been telling my IA "two or three weeks from now" for about a year.  I did get my medical back... some progress.  I'll have to go rent something for a flight review.  Ugh.

      I had been surfing for some professional looking labels but hadn't settled on anything yet.  It'll be the plain old label maker for now.  See pics... this is about where I am right now.  I'm almost done relocating comm antennas so I can put the Aspen RSM and GPS antenna where the comm antennas used to be.  We'll get there...





    4. Igor_U



      As for labeling, years ago, after I refinished old plastic overlay I used Dray Transfer Panel labels like these:



      It turned out quite well but I had to clear coat the panel overlays to protect from rubbing. You can see the picture here.




  2. 47U

    Bottle Jack for tire changes?

    As previous posters suggested, I had good luck with a small automotive scissor jack (similar to the pic I found on the internet) although it looks like they're using some kind of hydraulic scissor jack. The screw type worked good for me. As in the pic, I do not have inner gear doors. They might cause a problem if you have them. I also rotated my calipers which are now in the way, but if you're pulling the wheel off the caliper has to come off anyway. I like this method because you're not unloading the shock disks which keeps everything lower to the ground and more stable.
  3. Did Phil Corman (The Mooney Flyer) own this airplane back in the late 2000s? He might be able to shed some light on its history.
  4. When my C was new to me, I learned that if I pulled down on the unlock handle without pushing the thumb catch, that about an 1/8" of slop was enough to set off the gear warning. I got in the habit of making sure I seated the handle all the way up in the block when lowering the gear. Still, the horn blaring when I retarded the throttle turning base didn't impress my wife on her first ride in the Mooney.
  5. 47U

    Good or bad wheel?

    I replaced mine during annual a few years ago, but I had some pretty rough areas on the tire bead, also. But for that fact, I might have been inclined to let it slide. I was drafting up the talking points for the sob story I was going to give my IA. Lucky for me, Dan (LASAR) checked the factory inventory. They hadn't yet restarted the line at that time so had a couple nose wheels on the shelf at the old price. Dan saved me about .3 AMU.
  6. 47U

    Airplane Jacking Procedures

    Yves, You're making me really nervous talking about jacking up one wing far enough to get a tire off the ground. The jack adapters do not attach solidly to the jack and the chances for upset are too great a risk. There's a picture somewhere of a Mooney with the jacks sticking up through the wings. If your brake calipers have not been rotated (per the LASAR STC) then there's plenty of room to jack the gear at the axle on the outboard side. I use a car scissors jack, about $20 at Harbor Freight. Using the scissors jack, the gear leg is raised up only an inch or so to get the tire off the ground and the aircraft is much more stable. In my opinion... Tom
  7. I'm in. Email sent to Paul. He said he'd support the control head in an instrument hole... there's no room in my stack.
  8. 47U

    A few annual questions

    If you're already replacing o-rings in the pump, you might consider doing the actuator at the same time (along with the hoses, as Cliffy mentions). You'll only have to bleed the flap system one time for many years to come. Looking at your actuator picture, has the stub spar beef up plate (SB20-217) been done? Mine was cracked, but the crack wasn't visible until I pumped the flaps all the way down and put some pressure on the stub spar. Getting to know your airplane as you are is to be commended. Nice work!
  9. 47U

    San Carlos or Palo Alto?

    For VFR ops, I chose PAO. There's a little more room under the Class B (4000msl vs 1500) and the ever-present marine layer squeezes you between the Class B when above it and terra firma when below it. Though, probably better weather now that fall is here. The marine layer will bunch up against the hills on the east side of the bay, but generally leaves room for a VFR descent into PAO once clear of the cloud deck. Sometimes, NORCAL will clear you into the Class B, sometimes not. And, they might dump you off to tower with very little time to make a radio call before busting the PAO Class D so watch for that. I've never been yelled at, but have listened to PAO tower deliver wrath on others. There's the Moffett Class D on the south side to watch for. Winds are generally blowing, but down the runway so runway length is not really a problem. I've never landed to the south at PAO, ever.
  10. 47U

    Gear Rigging

    Rather than struggle with a 3/8" to 1/2" adapter, I scrounged up a scrap length of 1/2" OD square tube, which conveniently has a 3/8" ID. Cut off 1/2" or so length and dress up the edges with a file. It slides right over the 3/8" drive of the torque wrench and fits nicely inside the 1/2" square hole in the gear tool. Red paint is optional. It really does help with stability of the torque wrench.
  11. 47U

    "Hey, What's This Knob Do?"

    Had a knucklehead crew chief fire off a starter cartridge while trying to motor an engine. We were sitting tanker alert so there was no covering up the cloud of black/grey smoke billowing from underneath the engine. Idiot. He couldn't get hydro pressure to build up which sometimes happened when the KC-135 sat for too long between horns. I told him to remove it, plus tech data clearly states to remove the starter cartidge if you're going to motor the engine. We fired him off the pad and had a replacement sent up. You got zero mistakes on the SAC alert pad.
  12. 47U

    Gear up

    On my C, the gear warning switch is adjusted such that the light can go red if you pull down hard on the handle after the gear is locked down. Pulling down won't unlock the gear without pushing the button, but it has trained me to pull down on the handle after seating in the lock to make sure it's all the way in, then push it back up again to turn the lights from red to green. I discovered this when the horn started blaring when I retarted the throttle abeam the numbers on downwind in the pattern. I had all of 25 hours in the airplane and 20 of that was cross country. My wife, on her first ride in the Mooney, was unimpressed that I had let the warning horm start blaring at all. While solo, I did some further exploration of exactly what it takes to result in a locked gear. I found that I could get the handle into the lock, but below the pin. The handle looked like it was seated, but the red light indicated it was not. This condition is probably the origination of the thumbnail test.
  13. Be it air, O2, or N2 no matter. Anyone who would attempt to run 2,000-plus psi through the hoses on that cold war relic may likely earn a Darwin Award... and deservedly so. Ya'll be safe out there.
  14. I've talked to Dan about some of these very issues. I modified the LASAR 9-hole to accept an Aspen. 1. The snubber caps are an anti-sag device. Put them on the bottom row. I put the cap end against the ship-side. 2. I added a hole on the bottom left corner. See picture where I picked up the lower left mount hole. 3. Some trimming of the old sub-panel is required. Less with the 8-hole, more with the 9-hole. Good luck!