Prior to us getting our hands on the machine, the horizon and DG set left of the pilot's yoke. Mr. Ford decided he wanted the new King HSI and the horizon to set directly above the yoke like most modern aircraft. The only problem with this panel set up is you loose two instrument holes to the right of the yoke. But then again, we gain room on the left side of the yoke. I guess it all goes back to some famous guy stating you can't create space or time. I agree, we can't create time but Avionics West has been known to defy the laws and create space.
The custom panels are one of the last items to be produced during the installation project. Reason is, this gives the aircraft owner time to decide if they would like to change the layout. Once the panels are cut, it's too late for major changes. Sure, we can drill another hole here and there for switches but that's about it. A lot of decision making went into the panel layout. Even though we emailed the layout to the customer several times, he flew up again, just to make sure we were laying out the panel just as he desired. Often an instrument can not be placed in the panel where the customer wants due to the fact there isn't enough support in that panel area or the instrument is too long and will hit something.
The installers are now doing an exact fitting to this aircraft. No two aircraft are the same, thus each panel is made for that peculiar aircraft. We often find two inches or more difference in instrument panels even in aircraft of the same make and model. The customer has selected the color and texture he wants on the panel. Within the next couple of days the panels will be off to the powder coating shop. Be sure to note we are also installing custom lower switch panels. The looks and value of this aircraft will be greatly enhanced when the project is completed.