logo for kit-plane-advice.com
leftimage for kit-plane-advice.com

Flightcom 403S Intercom

Advice for installation of a Flightcom 403S intercom system into a Vans RV-8.  Builders of other kitplanes will also find this useful.

Flightcom 403S Intercom

Mechanical Installation

Front cockpit jackI decided to install the headphone jacks on the forward ends of the F-860A-L and F-860C-L armrests.  Besides being a convenient place to plug-in for flying, it made the wiring easy.  I was able to run the wires aft just below the F-860-L armrests though the holes in the bulkheads.  If I could have found rubber grommets to fit the holes, I would have used them.  Instead, I used a small piece of angle aluminum and an adel clamp to keep the wires from chafing.  This also allowed me to pull the wires tight to keep them looking good.  I was able to use the screw for the angle aluminum as a ground for the plugs.

Rear cockpit jack

I am used to having the push to talk on the throttle, see Throttle Quadrant.  In the rear seat I put the push to talk on the stick.


Intercom wiringI did as much wiring as I could on the bench.  I measured and cut all the wires to length, marking them as I went, then soldered the d-sub connector for the back of the main unit (see Helpful Hints for Soldering Terminals).  I then pulled the wires through the left gear box, under the throttle quadrant, and under the F-860-L armrests. 

Soldering the jacks wasn’t a lot of fun.  I was either sitting in the bottom of the plane, or leaning over the side working upside down.  Neither was very comfortable.


I messed up while running the wires to the rear cockpit, but didn’t notice until I took the above picture.  I had planned on using the top hole for the wires, and the larger, lower hole that I had drilled for the rear cockpit throttle linkage.  Well, when I ran the wires, I used the larger, lower hole.  Surprise!  The throttle linkage no longer fits.

Rewiring of intercom through correct hole in F-805.So I had to rewire the intercom.  Luckily, the only wires there were the ones for the intercom and the rear stick push-to-talk.  I marked the wires and unsoldered them from the terminals.  Then I re-routed then through the correct hole.  An afternoon spent bent over the rail, and I had the wires soldered back the way they were supposed to go.

As you can see in the picture, I still need to repaint where I originally had the grounding screw.

The big lesson learned is to make sure you stick to the plan, and if there is a spot where there could be confusion, like which hole to use, write yourself a note.

Use a battery or a good power supply to test things out.  Don’t use a trickle charger, you might ruin your electronics.

MP3 Jack

MP3 JackWith the newer intercoms, this is very simple.  I installed a stereo jack from Radio shack in the F-860B-R mid arm rest.  This way, I can plug my iPod or any other music source in, and either the front or rear cockpit can access it.

Wiring was straightforward.  Two wires went to the Flightcom, and one to ground.

Underside of MP3 jackThe Flightcom has a built in multiplexor that automatically cuts out the MP3 player when the aircraft radio makes any noise.

I haven’t built the holder for the iPod yet.  Check back here for an update once I do.

Return from Intercom to Electrical Systems

Return from Intercom to Kit Plane Advice Home

Kit Plane Advice Privacy Policy
© Copyright Kit-Plane-Advice.com.  All rights reserved.