Designing a Lift & Latch Mechanism

Fabricating the Turtledeck 2 of 3The plans do not show how to lower and lock the turtledeck down or how to lift it and keep it  up.  As an Interior Designer (my regular occupation) I have designed a lot of specialty store fixtures, concierge desks, etc., so I decided to use a lift mechanism typically used to raise and lower custom tables made by Suspa in Grand Rapids. It is a manually operated self contained (non-electric) single acting cylinder system and hydraulic pump.  I located the pump under the sheet metal deck of the turtledeck compartment with a detachable crank handle facing out on the pilot side.  You crank it clockwise to raise the turtledeck or counterclockwise to lower it and it will stay put wherever you stop cranking.  I bought a complete second system just in case it ever failed but to my surprize it has been remarkably dependable after being raised and lowered hundreds of times during several hot and cold seasons.

Another concern was keeping the turtledeck locked down for flight. You obviously don’t want something 8 feet long flopping around back there.  An architectural panel latch available from Southco was used to latch and lock the front and rear ends of the turtledeck. This mechanism uses two detachable hex wrench operated  thru-bolts that when rotated hook to brackets and pull and lock down both ends of the deck.

At this point in time I had my first visit from my EAA Tech Advisor, Bud Potts who offered a lot of technical know how and made many other visits throughout the building process.  All aircraft builders should take advantage of this useful EAA resource.

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