DZUS Fasteners
December 6, 2011 at 23:22
FLAPS 2 APPROACH in B737 Flight Simulator, Center Pedestal, DZUS, DZUS Fasteners, Flight Simulator, Genuine Aircraft Parts, Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) / Genuine 737 Parts

When I became interested in constructing a simulator, I heard knowledgeable people stating DZUS this or that - I had no idea what these individuals were referring to, let along how to pronounce the word.

LEFT:  A selection of OEM B737 DZUS fasteners beside a DZUS rail.

Dzus (pronounced Zooss) is a proprietary name for a type of quarter-turn fastener often used to secure skin panels on aircraft.

It was invented and patented by a native Ukrainian William Dzus (Volodymyr Dzhus) in the early 1930s. Quarter-turn fasteners are used to secure panels in equipment, airplanes, motorcycles, and racing cars that must be removed often and/or quickly.  These fasteners are notable in that they are of an "over-centred" design, requiring positive sustained torque to unfasten. Thus, any minor disturbance to the fastener will correct itself rather than proceed to further loosening as it would in threaded fasteners.

Real DZUS Fasteners

Finding individual real DZUS fasteners can be difficult as they are mostly attached to avionics panels, and the vendor wants to keep them with the panel.  If you search long enough, eventually you will find an aviation scrap yard that has them available as separate units.  I recently saw several selling on e-bay quite cheaply.  I have a small collection of grey, black and bare metal coloured fasteners in varying condtion, obtained from a scrapped Boeing B737 (I bought them in a 30 piece lot).  The fasteners are needed to lock down any avionics panels (real or FS) to the DZUS rails of the OEM center pedestal.   

Reproduction DZUS Fasteners

If you’re using a OEM centre pedestal with a DZUS rail, then FS avionics such as those produced by CP Flight or SISMO will not be able to secure to the rail easily.  You will need to enlarge the circular hole along the edge of the module to allow the real DZUS fasteners to fit easily and correctly.  Be very careful that you don’t damage the edge of the module when you enlarge the circular hole.  I used a titanium drill bit and carefully secured the FS module in a vice on a workshop bench (wrapped carefully to avoid the vice jaws damaging the module)

If you have replicated the center pedestal from MDF or wood and want to use something more realistic than “boring” screws to attach your modules, you can purchase after market 'look alike’ DZUS screws.  Basically these are wood screws with DZUS style heads on them.  Good quality aluminium DZUS screws can be purchased from GLB Flight Products.  I’ve used these on my earlier generic flight deck and they work very well and look just like the real ones…

Acronyms

OEM - Original Equipment Manufacturer (real aircraft part)

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