Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts usually attach to the infrastructure of the flight deck by the use of DZUS fasteners. The easy to use fasteners allow quick and easy removal of panels and modules. But what about the gauges that are used in the Main Instrument Panel (MIP); for example, the yaw dampener, brake pressure and AFDS module.
LEFT: Take your pick – brackets for different sized modules and gauges. The brackets when tightened provide a snug and secure fit for any OEM gauge or module.
These items do not use DZUS fasteners for attachment to the MIP; rather they are inserted into the MIP from the front and secured from behind by a specially designed bracket. The different sized brackets are made from lightweight aluminum and are designed to fit particular gauges and modules. Each bracket incorporates, depending on the style, a number of screws. These screws are used to loosen or tighten the bracket.
The gauge is inserted into the MIP from the front. The bracket is then placed over the gauge from behind the MIP and tightened by one or more of the resident screws. The screws cause the bracket to clamp tightly to the shaft of the gauge and ‘sandwich’ the MIP between the flanges of the gauge and the edge of the bracket. Once fitted, the Canon plug is then re-attached to the gauge.
Of interest is that some brackets have been designed to fit the differing thicknesses between MIPs. By turning the bracket end on end the appropriate thickness of the MIP is selected.
As mentioned above, the brackets are designed to fit specifically sized and shaped gauges and modules; therefore, it is important to purchase the bracket that fits the gauge you are using. There are several different sized brackets on the market that are used in the Boeing 737 classics and NG airframes. The 'NG' for the most part incorporates identically sized gauges as the classics, so a bracket is not necessarily NG specific.
One of the benefits in using the OEM brackets is that they are designed for the purpose, are very easy to install, and facilitate the quick removal of a gauge or module should it be necessary.
In the next post we look more at flight training and discuss corsswind landings.