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Pilot Headrest/Helmet box

Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:43 pm
by PoconoJohn
Is the pilot headrest board (typically with a door to the helmet box) attached behind the cross strut? That's how it looks on the plans, but I've seen photos where the builder apparently mounted it on top of the pilot backrest (in front of the cross strut). While I'm here, I can't find dimensions for the helmet box; anything I should consider when building one? Thanks!

Re: Pilot Headrest/Helmet box

Posted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:58 am
by Earl Brown
Hi John

I mounted the headrest on top of the backrest because I thought it would be more comfortable having the two pieces match up.
The door in my headrest is about 10" wide by 6-3/4" high, but I didn't put an actual box behind the headrest, have a shelf there.
You may want to get your harness set up and installed first. Then you will know the space you have for the box.

Re: Pilot Headrest/Helmet box

Posted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:48 pm
by taildrags
Corky constructed almost the entire pilot's seat back as a hinged panel, including the seatback padding. It's latched at the top with a hardware store quarter-turn keyed latch and hinged at the bottom so it swings forward. I attached a seatback map pouch to the inside of the seatback (AutoZone accessory), with a velcro closure, where I keep the airplane's operating limitations, W&B, a spare small bottle of drinking water, and a spare flying helmet with goggles. This hinged seatback serves a secondary purpose- during preflight, I open it up and can sweep a flashlight back through the entire aft fuselage to inspect the elevator walking beam, rudder and tailwheel control cables, as well as my ELT and radio antenna, which are mounted on an aluminum ground plane behind the seat. I can also verify that there are no nesting rodents or anything else back in the tailcone.

The one reservation I have about this arrangement is that I suspect that the pilot's seatback also functions as a structural stiffening diaphragm. However, the hinged part of the bulkhead is only part of it, so some of the torsional stiffening from the plywood has been retained. I have not done any structural analysis to confirm that though.

Oscar Zuniga
Medford, OR
Air Camper NX41CC, A75 power

Re: Pilot Headrest/Helmet box

Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2020 7:38 pm
by PoconoJohn
Thank you Earl and Oscar.