Time: 6 Hours
Another mod that is helpful down the road for inspections and maintenance is an access panel in the rear baggage shelf. This shelf is removable by unscrewing the perimeter 16 screws but that takes time and you have to remove the entire piece to get at the substructure. So I decided to take the advice and replicate my buddy Glen’s access door. This door will allow a very quick access to the stuff underneath by a hinged panel. To start I laid out what I thought would be a sufficient size opening and looked ahead at any possible complications. The opening would give ample room to work while clearing any of the other structure around the baggage area. Once I was fairly happy with the idea I marked the opening with a sharpie and made the cut.
These openings seem to take for ever as I have to slowly remove material up to the sharpie line with my various files. I then flipped it over to figure out the substructure. I will have a hinge at the aft end and 3 CamLoc’s at the forward end. I will also add 3/4″ light angle around the perimeter to add rigidity and support.
The last thing I wanted to do today was make another rear baggage mod in the forward floor. I have planned on having and ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance) and a required transponder installed which both have independent antannaes. I plan on using a small shark fin like antennae for both down the center line of the bottom fuselage. The transponders antennae must be spaced away from other antennas to prevent interference so I will put that one aft and the ADS forward. Glen had his installed similarly and found that the ADS would land under the rear forward baggage area by the bulkhead. In reality the antennaes won’t be in the center line of the fuselage rather off either left or right based on structure that lies right in the center. So my proposed spot for the ADS fun would be to the right of center line and in between the baggage floor ribs. The baggage floor is permanently installed in this area so having access to this area would be restricted. So I decided to make a small access door just large enough to get at the two nuts the attach the antenna and the BNC cable. I laid out the door on the baggage floor using dimensions from Glen’s. I then used some .040 sheet to make it one piece perimeter.
I then cut the opening in the baggage floor with my Dremel tool and cleaned up the edges. Using the plate I just made I match drilled all the holes in the baggage floor. Using the new opening I traced and cut it on new .025 sheet. A small piece of hinge was aligned and cut to fit. All of the holes got cleaned and deburred followed by either dimpling or countersinking (where the hinge lies). I drilled the door for a flush mount CamLoc and then put all the pieces together.