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Mission Statement 

The purpose of FLAPS-2-APPROACH is two-fold:  To document the construction of a Boeing 737 flight simulator, and to act as a platform to share aviation-related articles pertaining to the Boeing 737; thereby, providing a source of inspiration and reference to like-minded individuals.

I am not a professional journalist.  Writing for a cross section of readers from differing cultures and languages with varying degrees of technical ability, can at times be challenging. I hope there are not too many spelling and grammatical mistakes.

 

Note:   I have NO affiliation with ANY manufacturer or reseller.  All reviews and content are 'frank and fearless' - I tell it as I see it.  Do not complain if you do not like what you read.

I use the words 'modules & panels' and 'CDU & FMC' interchangeably.  The definition of the acronym 'OEM' is Original Equipment Manufacturer (aka real aicraft part).

 

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Journal Archive (Newest First)
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Sunday
Mar032013

B737 Blanking Plates - Cover That Unsightly Gap

No matter what style of simulator you are using or have constructed, you will most likely have a center pedestal installed.  The pedestal will be either a two-bay or three-bay type and be a genuine aviation part incorporating DZUS fastener rails, or a reproduction unit manufactured from wood, metal or plastic.

LEFT:  An assortment of Boeing blanking plates complete with DZUS fasteners recently removed from a scrapped B737 - the dirt and dust is still on them!  Note three differing sizes - 1/2", 2" and 4".  (click image for larger view)

The two-bay pedestals, once allotted the standard Boeing avionics suite, usually have no  space remaining for additional avionics; however, the three-bay pedestals have substantially more 'real estate' and often gaps are remaining that are not filled with avionics.  Most enthusiasts either leave this space open which looks very unsightly, or manufacture their own plate to cover the gap.

OEM Blanking Plates

Why not use the real part….  

Boeing produces several blanking plates in varying sizes to be used to cover any 'gaps' not used in the center pedestal, forward and aft overhead panel, or Main Instrument Panel (MIP).  These plates are machine-grade light weight steel (or aluminum), are painted Boeing grey, and incorporate the required number of DZUS fasteners for attachment to DZUS rails.  The plates come in a variety of sizes with 1 inch, 2 inch, and 4 inch being the norm.

These plates are inexpensive and usually retail between $5.00 - $20.00 USD, and not only fulfill the task of covering an unsightly gap, but are easy to install, come precut, are painted the right colour, and usually have DZUS fasteners attached to them. 

If not using real DZUS rails and your pedestal in made from wood or plastic, then it’s relatively easy to remove the fasteners and replace them with reproduction screw-type DZUS available from GLB Products.

Most aircraft wrecking yards carry these plates, as airlines regularly purchase them.  Failing this E-Bay often has blanking plates for sale. 

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