Santini Air Project (Instruments/Cockpit Assy)

Here I will go through the steps to get the instruments and cockpit installed into the fuselage. Just like my Tow Defender the main flight power pack will go under the cockpit floor.
 
 

 
Here you can see the cockpit floor does not fit like it should. The bottom of the instruments panel
is hitting the mounting lip of the front fuselage section. This will have to be cut and fit in place.
 
Here you can see where some cutting will take place in order for the instruments to drop down into place.
 
 Back at it again...
I have now cut slots in the instrument panel sides to allow it to fit the way I assume it supposed to. Now I can see how low the cockpit floor
really sits. This presents a huge problem because the motor batteries are suppose to be mounted there. I need them as far forward as I can get
them in order for this thing to balance out correctly. See next photo. So I think I am going to raise the floor up so that it is on top of the lip of
the front fuselage section. This will put it at a non scale position, but I really see no other choice if I want to hide the motor batteries from view.
Hopefully I can find some shorter pilots to fit the space I will have left for them.
 
Here I have eight A123 main motor batteries, and a 2S lipo for the flight controls. I think I will end up making a custom battery
mounting system to put a 2S1P 2300mA A123 flight pack up in the nose of this thing. I will do that by putting them inside the
instrument panel. This along with the leds and other stuff will help to balance out just slightly nose heavy (I hope). 
 
Here you can see how much I cut off to raise the floor up.
 
Looks like mounting the flight pack batteries in the center of the instrument panel will work out good.
I am thinking I will try making a battery holder out of fiberglass, and then glue it in place with some sort
of means to install and remove the batteries as needed.
 
Here I am gluing in the mounts for the front of the instrument panel. Because I plan to have the flight
battery inside this instrument panel I want it secured in multiple places up front, and in back. 
 
 Next I needed to make the cockpit floor removable so I can get the flight battery in and out. I decided this would be an okay way to do this as
I should not have to remove this battery for many years. So I added plywood to the bottom of the instrument panel to screw into. The third photo
shows the floor mounted to the instruments panel, and also an idea how the flight battery will sit inside the panel.

Here I had to secure a small plywood bulkhead. This will fasten to the wood glued to the front of the fuselage.

 
 
 Now the instrument panel and cockpit floor are installed. Then the main instrument panel is attached from the top.
You can now see the seat mounts which are used to hide the main motor batteries. Not quite to scale, but sometimes
that's how is goes. You can also see the complete instrument cluster lit up with LED back lighting. I may need to do something
different than this first attempt as I am not happy with the look. I'll see what it looks like once installed. If I don't like it I think I can
make a new setup while everything is still installed, or at least I hope.
 
Lastly, you can see how the cockpit floor was cut open to allow the main motor batteries
to sit where I need them for balance. Not ideal, but is'e what needed. You can also see a test
fit of some seats. Looks like I will be making some custom seats for this heli. 
 
 
 
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Wow, allot has changed on this page after deciding to redo the main battery pack. All the work above
has mostly been scrapped out and I started over. Keep reading and see all the fun I had, ha-ha!!
 
The main flight battery is mounted inside the instrument panel. First you can see the battery itself.
I am using A123 2300mA in a 2S setup as this works well when I use one of my diode regulator boards.
 
Here is an endstop for the battery pack.
 
Bottom view af flight battery pack. I glued the pack in place because I could not come up
with a better way to mount it. I hope this doesn't bite me too hard down the road.
 
Here's an end view. These wires will all go under the floor and never be seen.
 
And here I am pointing to to the screw up I made and just figured out. I glued the battery in place
and covered up the front two mounting holes for the cockpit floor. Sometimes you just can't win.
I will have to make up some new mounts a little past the battery I guess, bummer I say...
 
Now for the new cockpit floor and rear wall to hide the mechanics for the front view.
 
Here I am making a front plate to hide the components underneath. The original cockpit had this also,
but it was too small and did not meet up with the fuselage like mine does. 
 
 
I think this is a much better looking finish to the cockpit floor now. 
 
Here you can see how I had to notch out for the instrument panel in order to make it fit correctly.
Without the notch it sat at an angle with a gap at one end. Not cool at all. Now it sits flush. 
 
 
 
 
Next I started on the rear wall to hide the mechanics from the front view. Not exactly how
the full size helis are done, but the only real way to make the cockpit look finished and scale. 
 
Here you can see how the mechanics protrude into the cockpit area and how un-scale like they look.
Guess that how it goes with the smaller scale builds like this. Just have to make the best of it. 
 
I plan to box around the mechanics in hopes of making the cockpit look more realistic. 
 
Here's the completed rear wall with mechanics box. 
 
 
  Here it is installed in the fuselage. I don't think it looks too bad. Many people will not know the difference either.
 
This is one of two upper attachment points for the rear wall.