Saturday, May 3, 2008

Interior Upgrade Part 1

I was giving a student, who happenned to be a plastic surgeon, his seaplane instruction when it happened. He commented that the interior of my plane had been measured and found lacking. He was refering to the plastic that all Cessna 150s of my vintage (1967) are blessed with. This plastic was probably fine in the late 60s. When you have the Beatles to listen to live and the war in Vietnam to think about, worrying about the new plastic in a Cessna 150 is probably low on the list. Anyway, back then the plastic was new, pliable, unstained, uncracked, and the screw holes that secure it were not a wallowed out. Well there is only so much that we can practically do about the fact that it is plastic. So we can update it. There are several companies that sell replacement plastic for these vintage planes. Vantage Plane Plastics and Texas Aero Plastics come to mind. and Unfortunately neither company sells ALL the parts that I needed. The prices seem high to me, but then again, since they go into an airplane.... I ended up replacing my door panels, the rear area side panels, and the panel that covers the rear fuselage. This really helped the look of the plane. Installing the door panels was easy, just pull out the little pins that hold it on, drill a new hole in the plastic and reattach the panel. The rear panel was very easy as well, simply drill new hole where the old one were and screw it in. The side panels are more of a pain, since there are more screw holes and they are blocked by the panel when you try to install it, so finding the place in the panel to drill is more of an art than a science. It is an art that I have yet to master. When I was done, the rest of the interior looked like it needed a lift, but that will have to wait for more time and money.