instruments landing_gear elevator rudder fuselage wing canopy



The most fun of the entire build process was the design of the instrument panel. I wanted to stay as close to the original design as possible. Naturally I had to compromise. The panel is close to the original, bur more instruments had to be handled to monitor the rotax engine functions. The use of the original gun site platform cutout took away to much of the available panel area.





The Instrument sections will cover the following items.

  • Design the panel layout and cutout the panel as required.(Three panels before I was done.)
  • Install the UMA instruments along with radio, xmitter, Falcon DG and HSI.
  • Install instrument lighting.
  • Design the circuit breaker panel, with switch appropriate to engine start up and run.
  • Wire panel so that it could easily be repaired or changed.



Design the panel layout and cutout the panel as required.(Three panels before I was done.)

As you might expect, the panel design is an on ongoing practice. The space available is about 22 inches wide by 12 inches hi. The bottom par is about 22 inches wide by 8 inches high. Because the fuselage has a support bar that runs through the middle of the panel you loose about 22 inches by 2 inches of space. Circuit breakers cannot fit in the panel and thus are in an independent panel on the lower left side od the cockpit. In the original spit this is where you would find some of the breakers. In this sub panel I incorporated the master, mags, fuel, gear and instrumentation switches. The main panel has eight lighted switches. In a future panel I'll incorporate some of these switches into a main instrument switch.

  • Panel one was in two sections both laminated in oak. Looked beautiful, but not military. And need more space. Panel thickness is limited to .062. Otherwise the UMA instrument lighting is not thick enough to fit into wider material. So 90 degree support bars are needed as stiffeners.
  • Panel two was changed from the .092 to .062.
  • The two part panel was made with one piece.
  • Panel three had more gages added, I used electric gages rather than vacuum. The added vacuum pump and attachments was added weight and required more static and pressure lines.
  • Added hr meter and mag compass.


airspeed vertical speed fuel pressure oil pressure fuel flow

Install the UMA instruments along with radio, xmitter, Falcon DG and HSI.

Pre wire installation is necessary to develop a wire harness. The panel space behind the instrument panel is limited to 12 inches. So even with inspection holes in the forward panel of 4 inches, three holes the instruments cannot be easily worked on. I in fact am able to remove the front canopy assembly to get to the instruments.

  • The DG, HSI and T&B are all electric, they were vacuum. Some hole modification was required.
  • The UMA gages are all easy to install, except for the altimeter, the adjustment knob is not removable. It easily changed up with clearance in the panel hole.
  • You should plan on wiring all the instrument light is parallel, wiring from one gage to the next etc. If you run all wires to a common point you will have about thirty wires
suction amp volt tac  



Install instrument dimmer circuit board.

The dimmer circuit uses a LM317 variable power supply. It has three circuits.

  1. Dimmer for the ring lights.
  2. Dimmer for the switch lights.
  3. A dimmer for the radio and transponder.

    The reason for the difference in the item three is that these devices have the instruments tied to ground. All other switches switch voltage and ground because of the internal light incorporated. In the future I would use other switches. But with panel designed it made no sense to re due all switches. This will be a later



Design the circuit breaker panel, with switch's appropriate to engine start up and run.

The space for circuit breakers and the master switches is limited. So I was forced to design a separate box that is mounted in the lower left bottom side of the cockpit area. The original spit had switches and breaker all over the cockpit area. With this change switches and breakers are in a position to easily be used. See picture at left for details.

Return to Top see spitfire fly by Home  


e-mail to Ziggy

Last update



Phone 607-797-5654

Cell 1-607-760-3069

All rights reserved by Ziggy 2000-2017 Q & A's or problems with this web site should be directed to the webmaster.

This site is hosted by