Another thing on instrument panels.  Give some thought to the layout.  I've seen many panels in home built airplanes that have no rhyme or reason and look like they were just thrown together with "here's what I got, throw it against the panel and see what sticks".  Except for the newer glass panels you won't find two experimentals with the same layout.

Before you start, determine what you want on the panel and then try to lay it out with flying in mind.  Don't start by mounting the first item and then see where the rest will fit.  Have the total panel finalized before you cut the first hole. If you notice on my panel  the flight instruments are laid out in the basic six pack that we've been flying behind for most of our flight time. My preference is to fly with right hand on the stick and left hand on the throttle when the airplane has a stick instead of a yoke. Notice all my switches and knobs are on the left side so I never have to take my hand off the stick to operate including the fuel selector valves on front side of the forward spar.  Can you reach everything with your shoulder belts tight?  Anything "secondary" is all on the right side, information gauges, transponder, cabin heat, etc., that can wait until I have time to switch hands.  Make your panel as "certified" as possible to eliminate confusion or mistakes.  Lay things out the way YOU want them.  Most dual control stick aircraft have a center mounted throttle.  That's not the way I wanted to fly it so I set mine up the way I wanted to fly it with throttle on the left sidewall.  700+ hours and I wouldn't change a thing.

Larry Flesner

Southern Illinois

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