February 24, 2016

Time to figure out the seat belts.  Again, nothing in the plans.  I bought a set of belts and harnesses from Wag Aero/Aero Fabricators before going ahead with the design work.  

I needed to come up with secure attachments for the belts and for the shoulder harnesses.  The harnesses will be easy.  I will use the tabs I bought from Javron and weld to the overhead tubes after I get the fuselage in a rotisserie later.   I decided to add a tube just behind the door opening for one end of side seat belt tab; the other end will be welded to the existing tube below the door sheet metal.  The center of the tab will have a nut plate to attach the belt.  This will give me a good angle for the belt across the pilot’s lap.

Next, the tube for the support was tack welded in place.

For the middle support, I decided to add a cross tube with tabs welded around the tube.  I first fish mouthed the cross tube than made a pattern for tabs.  I cut tabs from .090 4130 and fit them on the cross tube.  A short tube was needed also between the two cross tubes.  First, the pattern on the cross tube.

Next, I cut and prepped the tabs from the 4130.

I decided to weld the tabs to the cross tube before tack welding the cross tube in place.  This caused some warping to the cross tube that I had to heat and straighten before I could tack weld the cross tube in place.  I next welded the cross tube and the short connector tube in place.  Final welding will take place later when I can get the fuselage on its back.

The side mount was next.  I drilled the side fitting for a nut plate for the seat belt attachment. 

 I used heat to form the steel around the two tubes to hold the tab in place.  The plate needs to be welded inside the tubes so the bolt will not come in contact with the fabric.

Time to test fit the seat belts …………

Everything worked great.  I put the front seat back in to test the fit with the seat all the way forward.  The seat belts are too short! Now what … .  I called Aero Fabricators the next day and explained that the belts measured about 2” shorter than their published length.  I didn’t take into  consideration how the mounting tabs fit on the belt material.  They told me to send them back with measurements for the length I needed and they would re-make the lap belts.  Great service and no charge to me except shipping.  Great customer service.  Next step is the back seat and rear seat belts.  

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© Marty Feehan 2015