Matt Throckmorton's ("DocThrock") Team Rocket F1 EVO Kit Plane Construction PagesTeam Rocket F1 Interior Page Last Modified: 10/14/2012
On This Page: Interior Cabin Views
My F1 EVO Rocket spent 4 weeks down at Bowman Field in Louisville and the new custom interior was finished up October 2012. Larry Bell, of LB Custom Interiors came to John Casper's old Cardinal Wings hangar and did the work in the corner of the hangar. Thanks to John, Greg, Todd and Jeff for letting me sublet a corner in their hangar down there. Great guys and a really nice big old FBO hangar.
Larry Bell has previously done aircraft work, but is mostly known for hot rod interiors. He does uncompromising impecable work from wall to wall. The hand crafted seats and side panels are a combination of a gunmetal grey leather and fabric (Dodge truck 2012), and the carpet is a slightly lighter grey cut pile used by Mercedes Benz. The removeable side panels are all custom fabricated with locator tabs and pins using Sintra backing board. Sintra is a thin, light closed cell PVC which has excellent flame resistance (as do all the materials). Some parts were hand crafted by Larry out of fiberglass.. specifically the heal bucket trims, the stick boot trim rings and the rear stick box. The seats were custom assembled from high quality foam and hand shaped, then sewn at Larry's shop in Louisville. He does it all, by himself. You will not find higher quality work anywhere. Larry is dedicated, passionate and enthusiastic about his work. And it shows.
The greys of the interior leather and fabric match almost perfectly. The smooth leather catches light differently than the texture of the fabric, causing the color to look quite different in most images.
Larry made a map pocket above the rear rudder pedals. These panels come off with 2 screws. The throttle quadrant cover is contoured to allow the rudder cable to come out to the pedal at an angle. That panel also allows the battery cover on the floor (covered with carpet) to be removed without taking off the side cover.
The arm rest top snaps off and the side cover below it comes out with 5 screws. The rear seat back is the baggage compartment door. It comes out with two piano hinge pins. The seat bottom is velcroed to the floor. Those are my original 5 point shoulder harnesses which were left in the mud for two weeks following my accident. They look pretty ratty (as does most of the paint inside the cabin) in comparison to the fabulous new upholstery.
The box ("consol") around the rear stick and the trim ring were hand crafted by Larry Bell. Larry first hand crafted a plug out of wood, foam and metal tape, then layed up fiberglass mat to creat the box. It is held down by three screws. The boot unzips from around the stick. The entire piece is leather covered. The upper side panel, covered in leather and fabric is actually velcroed to the sidewall. The fabric under the light gray seat back brace is actually glues directly to the structure. The attention to detail is phenominal, the aligmenment of the fabric texture is impecable, as are the rolled and tucked edges.
I'm gonnal have to support those intercom jack wires and hide them a little better.. although in real life they almost doen't show. The picture below shows a nice shot of the fuse block door, which is velcroed in place. Note the flare in the door so you can get a finger under it and pop it free. The door and the panel are made of Sintra PVC panelling. Very light and rigid. Also note how careful Larry is to hide all gaps and make all pieces sit flush.
The stick cover in the front is a flat .020 aluminum sheet. Larry padded it and covered it with leather. He repositioned the seat heater switch. Note the notch in the seat for the crotch belt. Also note the carpet is finished around the edges and goes up to the firewall and the lower longeron on the sides. The floor has also been insulated for heat and sound at the floor of the cabin. There is an Odyssey battery under the floor on either side of the stick. The panels are covered with insulating foam and carpet. The panels are held in by one screw each and access to the batteries can be accomplished without removing the side wall panels.
Larry Bell had some great ideas about fit and finish. The heal buckets have hand fabricated trim rings to hold down the carpet. These pieces need to be primed and painted. The entire interior needs repainted to match the leather, so the trim peices will be painted later.
Another view of the rear seat area. Note the fit and finish. The lines and gaps are all very straight and uniform. I don't think you could find better work in a multi million dollar biz jet.
There is a map pocket above the rear rudder pedals on both sides. Not the cut out in the side panel for the arc of the rudder pedal. Larry says the cut out accommodates his size 12.5 shoes. In that recess area, he decided we should use carpet, not leather., to accommodate the scuffing.
Below are pictures of what the interior looked like without the upholstery.