Installing an aerial camera into a Piper Navajo aircraft
The challenge was to install the camera in a location that would give the best viewing capability while keeping the structural and systems modification to the aircraft to a minimum. Ches, Inc., provided the structural modification package. The goal was to pick a location that would allow a 17 x 18 rectangular skin cutout with sufficient room for reinforcements of the fuselage with an external doubler.
After our engineers picked a location under the right wing, we provided instructions, drawings for manufactured parts, and drawings for modification of the aircraft. We also completed a stress/structural analysis for the modification.
Location, Location, Location
Choosing a location on the right side under the wing solved the puzzle. The systems rerouting involved a few ducts. The floor was cut and a box was built to close the under-floor structure. Proper load paths were maintained. Finally a cover was designed to close the cutout when the camera is not in use to protect it from any debris.
Worth a Thousand Words
The result is a collection of fantastic aerial photographs from the camera (and another satisfied customer).