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RE: REFLECTOR: Aluminum Instrument Panel

> From: owner-reflector@awpi.com [mailto:owner-reflector@awpi.com]On
> Behalf Of Eung Tai Kim
> Subject: REFLECTOR: Aluminum Instrument Panel
> The manual says that replacement of the factory panel with an aluminum
> panel is not a good idea.
> Is there any special reason that an aluminum panel is not recommended?
> All the certified airplane uses alumimum panel and the aluminum panel is
> easy for the ground.

After finishing my fiberglass panel, I would never even consider trying to
build an aluminum one for this plane. The fiberglass is much easier to work
with, you don't have to worry about nicks and scratches, and  it's simple to
repair any screwups. (Drill a hole in the wrong place? Fill it with
microglass and try again. Want an instrument a half inch farther over? Cut
out the extra space, taper the old edge, and fill the gap with some bid.)

With an aluminum panel, if you make a mistake, you pretty much have to throw
it away and start over (been there, done that). A glass panel is also easy
to modify should you decide to upgrade avionics, engine monitor, or whatever
in the future.

Fiberglass is not, however, an easy thing to build a production line around.
The production aircraft panels are done on computer controlled stamping
machines; doubt that many of us have one of those in the shop.

If you're building one, use fiberglass; several hundred, use a factory.

 - Chuck