Chapter 16       Controls


This is the section where you get to become "METAL MAN".

I hadn't much experience with the black art of making metal do what you want up to now. Never even had a shop class. The Plans don't go into much detail here as to the method of making this stuff. I've decided to make as much of the metal parts as I can for the fun of it, and also to save some money. This entails... you guessed it... more tools. Yeah! These will include a Chop saw, Grinders, a metal brake (for bending), and the crowning jewel, a welder.

I figure I can save at least $600 on parts and have fun doing it.

I've been using the famous Bosch D-Ring sabre saw for the metal cutting operatons, and the Roto-Zip with a cutoff blade for the more robust cuts. Pretty cumbersome, but I just couldn't see spending the $300-$400 for a decent bandsaw .(Later note: Found the $200 one for $25 at a garage sale!!!)

I got JD Newman's Blue aileron bearings, (2 for the wing roots and 2 for the firewall), rather than use the plans method. At $50 a crack, they aren't cheap, but they really work well .... and look cool.

I Finally got the TIG welder and went through 3 bottles of gas teaching myself how to use it. Made the control arms you can see below. I'm holding off on assembly of everything intil I get to the finishing stage of the wings and get the Main Spar mounted. I've got BIG parts all over the shop now and am waiting until the last minute to put it all together because the bigger things get, the more cumbersome they are to maneuver.

Above is a shot of some of the control rods the Plans  have you make. There is one sentence in the Plans that bears repeating. "LABEL the PARTS to AVOID CONFUSION".  To the right the aileron belcrank/bearing assemblies. I actually had fun making these.

The extra washers you see here are just spacers to keep the threads fresh on the bolt. I figure I'll be installing these things 30-40 times over the next few years.

Here are some shots of the finished Control assembly. The only minor sticking point was the universal joint ended up in the middle of the seatback hole because earlier, I moved it back 1.5". No big deal.

I made all of the controls with my TIG welder. Very fun and educational. Not the prettiest welds, for sure. But flight-worthy just the same

12/23/07: Below, you can see how I installed the roll servo for the autopilot I plan on installing. It's the Gold Standard Servo from Trio. From everything I've heard and gleaned from the internet, it's got the best fit for my mission statement. I figured I should get all of the mounting issues out of the way while the plane was pretty much still torn apart. Most people install the servo in the engine compartment, buy chose inboard due to the harsh environment back there. ( Thought this out myself, but as usual, someone did it before me. This time it was Ken Laundrie.) I was a bit concerned about the vertical load the servo would put on the torque tube, so I put and additional FMN10 bearing in to take the load. I used G10 material as the mounting material and mounted it to 2 floxed AL angles to keep it easy to remove the entire assembly if necessary. 

To make the bellcranks, I took some steel tubing which had the same I.D as the O.D. of the torque tube, cut it in 1/2, and welded a 2" peice of steel on similar in shape to on of the legs on the Plans Pitch-trim bellcrank. I then attach it to the torque tube with a couple of hose clamps.

Below, you can see the bracket I made (left) and the place I chose to mount it (right). This place still gives me 6" of room behind the IP for avionics. Some have the servo mounted on the bottom of the canard, but I felt installing the canard is already a cumbersome task. I like to keep it as simple as I can. The servo is first installed onto the bracket, and the bracket is then installed onto F28. (My F28 is much more stable than the Plans version, as I have the Forward Hinged Canopy.)

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