Seat Pans, Cotter Pins, and Wiring

After some research on the Zenith forums I discovered that the recommended solution for the ill-fitting seat pans is to remove the flanges and trim the side until they fit, and then add l-angles in place of the flanges to put the support back in at the sides. So that’s what I did.

This picture makes the seat width look way worse that it actually is, that’s because you can’t see the taper of the fuselage inside that spreads out.

Seat pan overhang

After removing all the flanges on the pilot side I actually got a pretty close fit to the holes that were already drilled.

Seat trimmed to fit

As you can see I also drilled the holes from the baggage area into the seat base.

Oddly, the passenger side only needed the rear flange removed for it to fit so I ended up with both seat pans in place.

Both seats fit now

Next I made up the l-angles that were needed, first by attaching them to the seat pan and then re-installing the seat into the fuselage and back drilling through the side holes that I made long ago.

Pilot seat pan l-angles

One benefit of this fix is that the rivets for the rear flange were going to be very difficult, if impossible, to pull because the gear mount is in the way. But with the l-angles I can pull the rivets from inside the fuselage with no difficulty at all.

Seat pan l angle in fuselage

So seats are sorted. Nice.

I’m pretty close to bringing the panel back to the plane and Allen suggested I get all the cotter pins in the castle nuts where the pedals are as the panel might be in the way. So I added pins to three or four nuts.

Cotter pins

Then I joined the wires from the flaperon motor and trim motor to the wires in the control grip. To test, I added a 9V batter to the circuit and much to my joy I was able to move the motors using the grip switch, and they even went in the right direction.

Quite a satisfying weekend.

Allen is back in the Valley but normal work will resume at the beginning of November as I’m off home to visit the family for a week and a half. But when I come back I think we’ll hit the flaperons (wrap and final install), and get the panel installed and fully hooked up. I’ll probably order the battery when I get back – I’m eager to see the panel light up for the first time and make those blinking lights.