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Thread: Materials for cockpit mockup

  1. #1
    Mike Switzer's Avatar
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    Materials for cockpit mockup

    I want to build a cheap mockup of my cockpit to check out seating angle, instrument location, control location, etc.

    Just wondering what you guys are using to build a mockup. I plan on building the finished plane with steel tube, I was going to build the mockup with cheap wood but the only straight wood I can find in sizes similar to what the tube will be are trim grade wood, and that costs almost as much as 4130. Most of what I am seeing that is cheap in the sizes I would use are filler & spacer stock which is so warped it is only suitable to start a fire with. I thought about using 3/8" plywood but it has gotten pretty pricey & none of it is straight either.

  2. #2
    steveinindy's Avatar
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    Cardboard with a minimal PVC pipe and wood frame worked just fine for the mockup of my LSA cockpit.
    Unfortunately in science what you believe is irrelevant.

    "I'm an old-fashioned Southern Gentleman. Which means I can be a cast-iron son-of-a-***** when I want to be."- Robert A. Heinlein.



  3. #3
    Mike Switzer's Avatar
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    Was that strong enough to actually sit in? I'm not exactly small. I want to make sure the seating position is comfortable for longer periods, as I have some lower back issues, I figured I would sit in it out in the shop while I watch the ball game.

  4. #4
    Auburntsts's Avatar
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    How about particleboard or MDF? Around $20 for particleboard and $30-$35 for MDF (4X8 sheets), but at least it will be straight and not warped.
    Todd Stovall
    Aka tsts4 on POA & Matronics, and Auburntsts on VAF, RV Airspace, AOPA, & Purple Pilots
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  5. #5
    Mike Switzer's Avatar
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    That is a thought. I might take a trip to the lumberyard later today. Too hot to be working outside, might as well be working on the plane design in the air conditioned shop.

  6. #6
    Mike Switzer's Avatar
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    Oh, crap - I just realized my circular saw is up in the attic where I was working on putting down a floor. It is already close to 100 up there.

    My good sawhorses are up there also...

  7. #7
    Mike Switzer's Avatar
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    Another thing I was thinking about was cutting a mockup out of foam insulation & gluing it together, not sure how well the seat back would hold up though.

    It would be a lot easier to cut out.

  8. #8

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    If you have a table or radial arm saw, you can rip cheap 2x4s into almost any size you want. I make almost all my own moldings that way, far cheaper than buying trim wood and I get the sizes I want, not just what the lumberyard sells.

  9. #9
    Auburntsts's Avatar
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    Mike,
    Since you want to sit in your mockup, unless you are going build around something load bearing (like a chair), I'd stick to wood. YMMV....
    Todd Stovall
    Aka tsts4 on POA & Matronics, and Auburntsts on VAF, RV Airspace, AOPA, & Purple Pilots
    PP ASEL
    Building an RV-10 N728TT
    My builder's log (which is woefully out of date): www.mykitlog.com/auburntsts
    WAR DAMN EAGLE!

  10. #10
    Mike Switzer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auburntsts View Post
    Mike,
    Since you want to sit in your mockup, unless you are going build around something load bearing (like a chair), I'd stick to wood. YMMV....
    I'm gonna look & see what my options & price are - I did find some 2" foam out in the barn that was left over from putting in the heated floor, I could use that as fill to keep the seat from caving in. (as long as it is sitting on the concrete floor)

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