5- Pedestal

Translation by Christian Girardet


Aluminum frame

The pedestal is commonly referred to as “the pylone” on French airplanes.

 

As for the overhead, the pedestal construction starts with the aluminum frame supporting the VU panels. This will require two 2.5 meter long aluminum “T” shape profiles, the “T” dimensions being 20 mm x 20 mm.

 

The front pedestal comprises 3 frames to allow for opening the side sections (MCDUs, VHF, audio selector…) without having to remove the very heavy throttles section. The construction starts with the side sections. Put all the panels on the floor in their actual position on the pedestal. Do not leave any space between them. Measure the length of the whole ensemble and add the 1.5 mm for the necessary margins. The result should be 505mm + six margins at 1.5mm i.e. 514mm. To this number add the thickness of the aluminum profiles (3mm total) and the end result should amount to 517mm. The “debit du bois” file provided in the download section shows the pedestal sides at 518 mm. At first glance this seems not large enough for a 517mm frame. Actually the aluminum frame is set at an angle and will not require all that space. For each of the side sections precisely cut two aluminum profile length at 517mm and another two at 154mm. These aluminum profiles will have cutouts made based on the type of V.U. panels used. On the following picture, the end result with an OpenCockpit MCDU, two CockpitSonic radio panels and two homemade panels:

 

 

 

These cutouts are much easier to do before assembling the aluminum frame. The parts will hold together with epoxy glue. The end result is very strong.

 

Follow the same process for the F/O side. That side should be identical provided the F/O’s MCDU is also functional.

 

The middle frame width is set by the largest of the panels used. In my case it was the CockpitSonic ECAM panel with its 222 mm width. The length of the throttles support panel (6 mm Plexi) can be modified so that the whole center section ends up at the same length that the side rows (i.e. 517 mm). The panels dimensions provided in the Chapter 2 (Panels) will have to be adjusted based on the source of your panels.

 

Picture of the front frames after panels dry fit:

 

 Rear frame :

 

 

 

The Pedestal panels V.U. drawings are provided with those of the overhead

 

The small engine start-up V.U. panel will experience strong and repetitive upward pulls because of the large start switches with a locking-in position. To account for this and to make things easier, it was not made as an independent V.U. panel; its printed front face has been simply glued onto the throttle panel with a small gap to simulate real world separation between both panels.

 

The wood sides of the pedestal are built under the aluminum frame, not around. The aluminum frame will be actually placed on top of the wood pedestal, in contrast to what we did with the overhead. This allows us to keep the pedestal width dimension accurate while using the large OpenCockpit and CockpitSonic panels. The 3 frames are not screwed together but held with adhesive caulking. This holds everything together while preventing light leaks…

 

 

The wood sides of the pedestal are built under the aluminum frame, not around. The aluminum frame will be actually placed on top of the wood pedestal, in contrast to what we did with the overhead. This allows us to keep the pedestal width dimension accurate while using the large OpenCockpit and CockpitSonic panels. The 3 frames are not screwed together but held with adhesive caulking. This holds everything together while preventing light leaks…

 

 

The trim around the pedestal is made of 9 mm thick and 80 mm wide particle board. It is glued to the top of the pedestal sides with wood glue. The paint is dark marine blue. The top of the trim should end up 30 mm above the top of the pedestal wood “box” and approximately 10 mm above the aluminum frames.

 

 

the two parts of the Pedestal
the two parts of the Pedestal

 

With the pedestal completed most of the woodwork is now done.

 

Total hours spent on the woodwork: 300 hours over 3 months and a total cost of 300 euros for wood/hardware/paint/carpet supplies.

 

At one point we will have to tackle the construction of the throttles, but first let’s look at the FCU and EFIS.

 

 


Cockpit progress at this stage :

  The trim would be even better if painted even darker. Some “marble” effect similar to that on the side stick blocks could be achieved by pressing down a piece of Skaï fabric on the paint about half way through the drying time.
The trim would be even better if painted even darker. Some “marble” effect similar to that on the side stick blocks could be achieved by pressing down a piece of Skaï fabric on the paint about half way through the drying time.