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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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Sunday
Jan312016

Replacement Curtains - B737 OEM Throttle Dust Curtains

Interesting items can arrive in the post.  Earlier today I opened a small parcel to find a collection of grey coloured pieces of material.  To anyone else they would appear exactly as they do – pieces of material stamped with numbers.

LEFT:  OEM dust covers for the Boeing throttle.

The throttle quadrant I use is original equipment manufacture (OEM) and once plied the skies above Europe.  As such it is a used item with the usual wear and tear you expect from a well-used aircraft part. 

One item that continually caught my attention was the dust curtains or skirts that sit behind the two thrust levers.  In my throttle, the curtains had been abused at some point and were torn and the edges looked rather ragged in appearance.  Although a replacement curtain could have been made by using vinyl or another similar material it would not be the same. 

The numbered pieces of material now have a home – they are OEM dust curtains that will replace the damaged curtains on the throttle.

Installing the Dust Curtains

The B737 throttle quadrant has three dust curtains.  Two on the outer side of the thrust levers and one double-sided curtain that resides between the thrust levers.  Each curtain comprises three parts sandwiched together and held by three screws. 

The parts are:

(i)     The thin aluminium arc which is the outer face plate;
(ii)    The actual curtain; and,
(iii)   The plastic arc retainer. 

The plastic arc retainer is curve-shaped and sits flush against the bare metal of the quadrant.  The dust curtain then lies above the retainer and beneath the outer face plate.

LEFT:  Dust curtains have been removed and the plastic retainer and aluminium arc can be seen along with one of the three attachment screws (click to enlarge).

Replacing the curtains is straightforward. Remove the three screws that hold the metal arc in place to the throttle, then gentle pry loose the aluminium strip beneath which are the dust curtain and plastic arc retainer.  It’s wise to ensure that you place the parts anatomically on the workbench as each of the items must be reassembled the same way it was removed.

One aspect of Boeing philosophy which makes building a flight simulator much easier is their reuse of parts from earlier airframes.  Boeing do not always redesign a part from scratch, but add to or change existing parts.  This philosophy can save the company millions of dollars.

For those who study this type of thing, you will know that dust curtains can come in differing colour shades.  In general, the older classic style throttle used a paler grey/cream coloured skirt whilst the Next Generation airframes use a standard light grey colour.  But, I would not get too concerned if the colour does not exactly match.

Why are the Dust Curtains Important

The main purpose of the dust curtainsis to minimise the chance of foreign bodies falling into the throttle mechanism.  Think pens, rubbers, straws, paper clips and coke can pull tabs (or anything else pilots play with in the flight deck).  The dust curtains are made from a fire retardant material (not asbestos) which minimises the chance of any fire/sparks from licking up the sides of the thrust levers in the unlikely event that a fire devlops inside the throttle quadrant.

For those keen to find replacement OEM dust curtains the stock numbers are: 69-33918-8 REF, 69-33918-9 REF-F and 69-33918-10 REF-F.

Glossary

Anatomically – Meaning items removed are placed on a table in the same position as they were when they were in place.
Curtain Arc – the semi circular arc that the dust curtains are attached to.
OEM – Original Equipment Manufacture (aka real aircraft part).
Plastic Arc Retainer – A piece of heavy duty plastic shaped as a curve (arc).

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Reader Comments (2)

Great article as usual. I could use some of those curtains for my 737-300 TQ. Curious where you bought yours from. When I Google the part numbers all I get are your web pages! :) Thanks Willow

February 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKeith

Hello Keith

Well at least the metadata is doing all the right things :)

The replacement curtains came from another throttle unit that had been scraped. Often the throttles are removed from an aircraft, crushed and the recycled. If you are fortunate you maybe able to salvage a few usable parts.

The part numbers probably are only beneficial if you are e-mailing a scrap dealer asking for parts. Most dealers have a computer database that they can interrogate by part number to find available items.

Cheers, WilloW

February 5, 2016 | Registered CommenterFLAPS 2 APPROACH
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