Aileron bellcrank rigging

As alluded to last night, my first goal tonight was to fix the far-too-tight aileron bellcranks so they’d pivot freely. This turned out to be fairly simple; I got an appropriate-size metal rod, taped on a piece of emery cloth, chucked the whole thing in the drill press, and used that to clean up the inside of each bellcrank. I did this with each one until the bushing slid easily in and out without any binding. Then I regreased and reinstalled the bushing, and put the bellcrank back on the spar. Now the bellcranks move nice and smoothly.

With that done, I moved on to rigging the system and sizing the short pushrods. The procedure is to fix the aileron in the neutral (in-trail) position, then use a provided jig to set the bellcrank in its neutral position. The purpose of the bellcrank jig is to ensure that, when everything is rigged, it’s not possible to over-center the bellcrank, which could possibly result in the controls locking up, a situation I would prefer to avoid. Anyway, with the aileron and bellcrank fixed in neutral positions, the pushrod can then be adjusted until it fits nicely in place.

Here’s the left pushrod adjusted and sitting in place. Notice the cleco clamp I used to help hold the bellcrank jig in place while I dealt with the pushrod:

IMG 5656

Same assembly, different angle:

IMG 5657

Same assembly, but with the long pushrod also installed:

IMG 5660

With both long pushrods rigged, they stick out quite a bit from the wing roots. Not too surpassing, I suppose, since they do have to reach the center of the fuselage. But as much as they stick out, I doubt I’ll leave them this way. Seems like a good way for them to get damaged when someone runs into them:

IMG 5661

And that’s it for tonight. Maybe one of these days I’ll actually get those flaps riveted and hung…actually, at this point, I’m pretty much out of wing stuff to do besides the flaps. I guess if I can’t get Josie to help rivet the next couple of days, I’ll start messing with the firewall.

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