Cockpit Doors


We finally discovered some acceptable Satin Clear. 2-part with a diamond hard finish, this stuff is as hard to get as it is toxic and hazardous.  Just doing the inside of the doors and the instrument panel hood was an exercise.  Super stuff, but super stinky!


I made an absolutely beautiful color interior color by mixing a semi-metallic Tamiya Gun Metal with black, and used it on the Instrument panel hood.  Then I tried out the Hirobo rivets.  Perfect spacing, and maybe of some utility, but I do not think I will do the exterior with them....  We shall see.  After the clear hardened, it is a thing of beauty!


I used the same color on the inner door panels, with the same clear coat.  The satin sheen is perfect for interiors!


The Interior door Handle came from SSM Helitechnik, and was just a rough brass casting.  A few minutes on a buffing wheel turned these into little gems.  I also made some plywood backers for the Vario hinges, so the screws would have something besides one layer of carbon to bite into.  The doors are filled with epoxy, so they will have stout anchorages for the screws.


After getting the doors perfectly in place (actually, a bit high and canted forward to anticipate a little drop from the hinge pin loading), I tape the dog-snot out of them so they cannot budge, and drill the pilot holes for the hinges.  I have never found a better self-tapping screw for this sort of work than the ones that came in the old T-REX 450 package.  The screw kit gives you a couple dozen of these for $10 bucks... well worth it!!


Attaching the N52 grade neodymium magnets takes non-magnetic clips!  These puppies can pull the nails right out of the frame of your house if you wave them around (not really, but they are amazingly strong, even when separated by multiple layers of carbon and fiberglass).  A little Aeropoxy and 24 hours makes sure they will stay put.


Below, you can see the door, hinged from the inside.  The tiny protruding tips of the screws in the door are covered with Starwood Rivet material to turn them into rivets, the ones into the fuselage are sheared off with a dremel, then sanded and painted to match the interior.


On the exterior, I start filling and sanding gaps.  We want a consistent gap, about the thickness of a credit card around the entire periphery of the door.  


Home Page    |    Builds    |    Gallery    |    Fleet    |    Videos    |    Old Site    |    Links    |    About Us    |    Contact Us

Professional Photography by Les Bidrawn    |    © 2010