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Thread: Hell hole door ?

  1. #1

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    Default Hell hole door ?

    Soon (I hope) I will be done with my tail cone upgrades -- and will be ready to prime the tail cone uo to the back of the baggage area-

    I was noticing that this plane has some welded on tabs with blind nuts--- there are two on the side about 10 inches apart on the pilots side. They are about half way between the baggage area and the tail wheel.
    Would these have been for an ELT plate or a rotating beacon plate ? Maybe no way to know now----
    but that reminded me----

    Is it a common addition /mod to install some kind of provision to have a screw-down sheet aluminum cover
    on the bottom of the fuse. say just forward of the jack screw just to get better and easier access to the jack
    screw and the tailwheel bracket bolts and whatever else might be in that space ? Im guessing that the back of the upholstery in the baggage area probably unzips and you COULD go in through there...….
    But the planes Ive seen like that before -- you have to go to the circus and hire a midget to crawl in there----
    and I would think that access would force you to install stuff (elt) close to that opening due to that.

    Wondering why not make some provisions to add some thin sheet metal on the bottom to make a nice
    termination for the fabric with blind nuts and a cover plate. ???? I would guess NOT a 337 ? - but on
    the other hand-- it would be technically "in the wind stream"..... (Ill have plenty of 337's by the time im done anyway I suspect)

    Just wondering if this is a popular mod ? Love to be able to get both arms up in there at annual.....

    Tim

  2. #2
    Wag-builder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hell hole door ?

    I know your plane is a conversion, but what year is it? That should be the location of the access panel on the bottom of the fuselage. There should also be three screws along the rear of that opening, because the panel has a tab on the front and right side the "clips" on and the screws retain it. I am not sure which drawing it is on right now, but it is on the drawings.

    Steve

  3. #3
    swhitaker12's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hell hole door ?

    The two rivnuts you referenced are for securing the tail access panel (hell hole). Came from the factory like that and I believe are for #8 or #10 machine screws. The forward part of the panel slips over the horizontal tubing (and formed sheet metal), and the copilot side of the panel has a rolled piece of aluminum that fits snuggly against the longeron. Brian from Steve’s Aircraft made one from scratch and detailed it in “Andy’s Pacer Restoration” thread. Here’s some pictures for reference. Note that in the last picture, one of the rivnut tabs is missing.

    Sam




  4. #4

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    Default Re: Hell hole door ?

    Mine has a 53 mfg date. Yes- I think it look just like your pics---- but I have a mountain of sheet metal
    in a big pile--- so I will look for that door !!!!!

    That great to know Piper thought of us there


    someone has tacked in some piper channel to try to stiffen up the lip from flexing. it seems like REALLY thin stuff....
    Maybe I will order some thin cro-mo and make a fresh one that's not so limber...
    hellhole.jpg (left is towards tail)
    Last edited by violinmaker; 05-06-2020 at 10:12 PM. Reason: pic

  5. #5
    Glen Geller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hell hole door ?

    I have always disliked the way that belly panel mounts and wondered if it could be improved.
    If you are building a conversion, are you allowed to make minor changes, such as installing internal hinges at the forward part of the panel, and installing dzus or camlock fasteners at the corners, which would make using that hatch twice a year less of a pain?
    If the hinges had removable pins (retained by cotters or spring clips) you could remove it completely when needed.

    GG
    Glen Geller
    1955 PA22-150 "One For Papa!"

  6. #6
    CTJER's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hell hole door ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen Geller View Post
    I have always disliked the way that belly panel mounts and wondered if it could be improved.
    If you are building a conversion, are you allowed to make minor changes, such as installing internal hinges at the forward part of the panel, and installing dzus or camlock fasteners at the corners, which would make using that hatch twice a year less of a pain?
    If the hinges had removable pins (retained by cotters or spring clips) you could remove it completely when needed.

    GG
    Can such a door be used on a Colt?
    Jerry

  7. #7
    smcnutt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hell hole door ?

    Here's what ours looks like. Maybe not the cleanest example but it works.

    20190818_120312(1).jpg20190818_120256.jpg

    Personally, I like the idea that others have done where they make the whole tail open from the hell-hole back with a sheet metal cover. Sure would make access simple.
    Last edited by smcnutt; 05-07-2020 at 02:33 PM.

  8. #8
    CamTom12's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hell hole door ?

    Quote Originally Posted by smcnutt View Post
    Here's what ours looks like. Maybe not the cleanest example but it works.

    20190818_120312(1).jpg20190818_120256.jpg

    Personally, I like the idea that others have done where they make the whole tail open from the hell-hole back with a sheet metal cover. Sure would make access simple.
    Mine is open all the way to the tail. Soooooooo nice!

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Hell hole door ?

    SWH:
    Found my door-- looks just like yours-- except it has several stiffening angled across the inside.
    ! It was on top of the pile-- I just didn't know what I was looking at until I saw your pic !

    Thanks ! Tim

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