Instruments and Switches

Posted on Updated on

With the fuselage nearly completed I started working on the gauges and electrical system. Using some 1/4″ plywood I started laying out the dash.


Once everything was in place the dash was cut out. Three corner blocks were made and bolted to the dash board using threaded inserts. Wax paper separated the blocks from the board to ensure only the blocks get glued.


After a little bit of sanding to get the dash sitting at the correct angle the blocks were glued to the fuselage.

Empty dash

Since the dash is not glued in place I can easily removed it and  replace it should I ever decide to modify the layout. Mounting the components was much easier with it removed so the three bolts were removed.

The toggle switches were not long enough to fit through the 1/4″ plywood so I used the router on the back side to remove some material in that area.

Cutout for switches

All of the switches were mounted.

Switch connectors
Toggle switch covers

The two red ones will control the redundant magnetos. This allows me to turn each off, one at a time, to ensure each ignition system is working before flight. To stop the engine both switches will must be flipped at the same time. The blue ones will control items like the radio, auxiliary power etc.

The next component to install is the engine information system (EIS).

Engine information system

This monitors engine temperature, fuel level and various other important things. If it detects a problem it will alert the pilot by activating the warning light.

Warning light

Next I installed some USB charge ports and a cigarette lighter port. This should be sufficient to power any accessories.

Power for accessories

The keyed switch needs a small block glued to the back of the dash to keep the switch body from rotating.

Block to help support ignition switch

This switch controls the master power and engine starter.

Keyed ignition switch

Last are the two most important gauges. The air speed indicator. The airplane needs about 28MPH just to fly and is designed for a top speed of 90MPH. Flying too slow or fast could be fatal.

Falcon air speed indicator

The altimeter simply tells us how high, above sea level, we are. Airspace restrictions can vary by altitude plus there might be mountains or towers requiring an altitude change.

UMA non-sensitive altimeter

The dash was bolted to the fuselage to check the fit. Hooking up wires and tubes will be rasy with the cockpit opened.

Back side of dash

It looks good with the cockpit closed.

Dash with canopy closed

I will also have a compass but it’s currently on a UPS truck somewhere. When it arrives I plan to mount it on top of the canopy deck in the center.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s