The old belly panel was functional, but I didn’t want to reuse it. It was worn out and dented and since I’m replacing just about every other external part on my airplane I may as well do this too.
I measured the hole locations on the original panel and used that info to design a new panel in Solidworks. This wasn’t a simple as it may seem. The hole locations were not symmetrical, not to mention all the holes were worn out and elongated so their precise locations were anything but that. Additionally, the panel itself is a trapezoid shape so using a corner as a datum for taking measurements of hole locations was not an option.
This is what I had to work with.
This is what I came up with in Solidworks.
Would you believe this? IT FIT! First try and it fit. I couldn’t believe it. All the holes matched the existing holes in the fuselage. Unbelievable!
UPDATE – July 1, 2017