Menu Sign In Contact FAQ
Welcome to our forums

Laser Cut Metal Panel to Replace Cessna OEM Panel

the sub-panels and right panel are classed as primary structure, so replacing these needs approved data and a Major Alteration.

Is it not possible to carry out work on primary structure IAW AC43-13-2B?

That’s what people seem to do in the US; they don’t use a DER, generally, on unpressurised aircraft. That generic repair manual covers all sorts of “primary” structural parts.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

AC43-13-2B is FAA approved data, as applicable. For major alterations the Form 337 (which isn’t submitted for FAA minor alterations) needs to reference the specific page and paragraph number containing data that supports the modification.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 03 Dec 16:19

As far as [re]designing panels, a look at might give some ideas.

EPKP - Kraków, Poland

This question is along the lines of ‘how long is a piece of string?’. If you are not moving or adding any instruments, 80 hours seems high. As soon as you start moving and adding new avionics, lighting, custom silk-screening, then you are probably going to be test fitting and fettling various bits which is very time consuming.

I used to work in a high end CNC shop (with all the kit you can imagine!). If you are experienced and know the various dimensions, the actual making of the panel should be very quick, e.g. maybe any hour to process the drawings (if you have something to work from) or a few hours if starting from scratch. Setting up and cutting the panel would be less than an hour. We did anodising in house, but would send out for paint. I anticipate that we would have been able to produce a painted panel without silk screening at a manufacturer’s cost of $500 to $1000. When I look this company it seems that they are charging $1500 usd for a pair of upper panels for a Cessna 172 which seems in line with the above. This pricing would drop significantly for multiples (e.g. cutting a second panel only takes another 10 to 20 minutes!).

It is a bit of a hassle if you don’t have anything to work from and are making a one-off. I would be tempted to at least order a blank from a company that has fit quite a few panels for the model of aircraft in question. Then at least you have the correct shape and perhaps even mounting holes. If you are not moving any instruments, probably best to have them cut the holes as well. If you are making big changes, then you are going to have to rely on the preferences of the person who is actually going to do the work…

Sans aircraft at the moment :-(, United Kingdom

WilliamF wrote:

80hours of shop time
seems reasonable.

I looked up the work report for the new panel for my Cessna. It was 85 hours of work on the plane (ripping out old instruments, relocating the remaining ones, fabrication of new panel, install double G5, GTN650 and some smaller items). Not included in this figure is the avionics work done outside the plane (wiring on the test bench) and documentation/certification.


Ballpark cost on those panels, would be $895/ Each Pilot/Copilot and $1250 your cost on the lower complete panel.

Seems fair enough. EA Panels can send you a the test panels in Plexiglass or as a CAD file so you can CNC them locally. Lovely TB20 on Planecheck there this morning with new metal panels……

Buying, Selling, Flying
EIBR, Ireland

I’ve be interested in seeing the TB20 panels. Where is the ad?

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

This one here: G-GVFR

Irish flag on the tail a nice value-added feature

Buying, Selling, Flying
EIBR, Ireland

OK; yes, they got rid of the plastic trims. It looks better but would have been better in black, IMHO.

The massive Ipad holder on the LH yoke probably covers up some stuff, especially the AI behind the yoke.

The TB panels are not hard to re-do. They are flat. Well, the RHS one has some folds in it for better LH visibility of some instruments; they didn’t do that here because they removed them. Access is good, because the panels hinge and the hinge pins will come out. This TB also has the two access panel under the window; without those it is very hard work.

Someone paid many thousands for that job and is trying to recoup it in the price.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

It looks better but would have been better in black, IMHO.

Why so? I thought because all the panels you see in the newer aircraft seem to be grey then that was the go to colour. I might look at replacing the existing black in ours with black again and keeping the existing subpanels with new screws and cleaning them up. Maybe 2k usd is enough to be spending on sheet metal.

Buying, Selling, Flying
EIBR, Ireland
Sign in to add your message

Back to Top