My Wooden Airplane
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9/25/2014 - 10/5/2014

Seat Belts

I was originally thinking about going with a set of custom Hooker seat belts and harnesses, but they are kind of expensive (about $250 per seat). One of my flying buddies has Crow harnesses in his RV-7A, which felt really neat. In order to release the belts, you just turn the release knob in either direction. And it turns out they are only about $180 per seat.

The attachment points on the fuselage sides are called out in the plans. One is right behind the rear window, and the other is just below the door. Blocks were installed at these locations when the fuselage was built in order to create "hard points" to mount the seat belts to. However, nothing was mentioned in the plans about an interior shoulder harness mounting point, so I extended the dorsal "spine" forward by a few inches and sandwiched that between some plywood in order to create another "hard point".

For the interior lap belt attachment point, the plans call for a bracket to be mounted on bulkhead #3, just above the floor. Unfortunately, I've got a 2-inch hole there to allow for the rudder cables to pass through. So, I mounted my bracket to the floor. (There's a block underneath the floor in order to support the bracket.) Also, the bolt that holds the belts to the bracket would have interfered with the rudder cables, so I added some pulleys to keep them down and out of the way.

Originally, I wasn't going to install the "5th point" between the legs, but without it, whenever I cinched up the shoulder harnesses, the lap belt got pulled up as well, so I didn't really have a choice. Also, I couldn't cut a slot in the seats, or they would start to fray and come apart, so I just wrapped it around the front of the seat.

Unfortunately, the belts were thicker than I had anticipated, and wouldn't fit between the seats and the center console. The solution? I moved the seats outboard by about 1/4 inch. Hey, now that means I can make a wider drink holder!

Total Time: 27.0 hrs.