Fuselage 32 – Control System

Today was a relatively slow day. First I needed to interrupt my session for both a Lowes run, and a run out to my paint booth. Additionally, I was significantly slowed down by the weather, as its rainy with high humidity and my priming and painting was going slower than I’d like. I tried to get some other tasks done in the mean time, but it still killed my pace.

The first thing I did when I got to the hangar was check the elevator travel. I used my digital level and set the elevators to neutral. I then zeroed the level while resting on the elevator. I then put the elevator through its full travel to see if any adjustment would be required for the elevator stops. Yes, adjustment will be required to both the fore and aft stops. Luckily nothing is over, so I only need to file away some of the stops. I will return to this project in the near future and be sure to document it thoroughly.

Next, it was time to turn my attention to the control system. First up is the part for connecting the two control sticks to the elevator and aileron push rods. This needed to be final drilled in several locations. Quick work.

Next, the two bronze bushings had to be sanded down, and shaped to match the taper of the part.

Here you can see that there are two tapers to deal with. The part tapers forward to aft.  

It also tapers top to bottom. The method I used was simple. I clearly marked the top of the bushing and then slowly shaped and shorted the part as appropriate using the scotchbrite wheel. I took my time going back and forth to check on progress. When it got really close, I would mark the high and low points with the pen for minor adjustments. The result is spot on perfect. The reason you want to do this, is to prevent bending of the bushing under the tension of the bolt. This will prevent binding of the controls.

Here are photos of the bushing for the rear pilot’s stick.   

I did some additional work to the controls. I mounted the rear stick. This requires two measurements. One on the bottom portion of the stick, and one on the stick itself. Van’s tells you to drill them together, but I used a drill press and did them separately. First I did the bottom portion careful to keep 1/2″ and a perpendicular drill. Then I marked the stick itself with a line and made sure the line was centered in the bottom portion. I then taped the two together and drilled on side. Placing a bolt in that side, I match drilled the other side. The result is perfect. Perhaps a little more time that the Van’s method, but I don’t like match drilling circular items with the drill press, particularly when its difficult to see measurements and hold the parts together. This method prevented any error. Unfortunately, it looks like I didn’t take any pictures.

Some of the control columns are bright orange, and other parts are going to be smoke grey. The interior of my plane will have three primary colors. A very dark grey as the primary, and a lighter grey for certain accent parts like the control stick. Very small parts will be done in bright orange. The control rods, which will only barely & rarely be visible are orange. Orange is a good accent color, but if you overdo it, or haphazardly do it, the result will be tacky. Hopefully I get it right.



Session time: 6.0 hours 

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