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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.

 

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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)

Entries in DZUS Fasteners (2)

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" 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. 

Tuesday
Dec062011

DZUS Fasteners

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)