Installation of Retractable Steps

By Bill Schertz

Steps from From Lyle Hendricks - Hendricks Mfg. Inc.

I just finished the installation of Lyle’s retractable steps. I thought I would share a couple of pictures of the installation.

Following Bob Anderson’s suggestion, I spaced them off of the front bulkhead with a ½" spacer, to get them to clear the fillet at the junction of the bulkhead and the fuselage side.

Lacking any instructions to the contrary, here is what I did.

  1. First, the Fuselage is tapering at the point where it intersects the bulkhead, so I used the skin of the fuselage as the outer surface.
  2. I positioned the steps into place with the spacer, and drew around the step on the fuselage skin to mark the cut-out.
  3. I then removed the inner skin of the fuselage, and removed the core. I mixed up some FLOX and put a thick layer on the bottom surface of the step to bond it to the skin and fill the gap, then bolted it into place and let the resin cure.
  4. I then cut out around the step, smoothed up the hole, and back filled the edges of the hole with micro. Doing it this way made the outer skin still line up with the fuselage even though the skin remnant on the step is angled.

The only other thing I did was make an adjustable stop that lets me tweak the retracted surface into exact alignment with the outer skin. It is just a AN-3 bolt in a nutplate as shown in the photo.

Inside view of step installed

Outside view with step retracted.

Adjustable stop to place outer surface flush with skin.

Extended view.