Well, today was mostly a lazy goof-off day, so not a ton of progress. I got the final pushrod done – just had to prime the inside of the thing, get the rod ends inserted and riveted, and that was that. That let me move on to the next big thing – the control column.
The basic deal with the control setup is this: we start with the control column, a large tubular thing that hangs from two rod-end bearings, fore and aft. Roll inputs will cause this entire assembly to swing left/right, sort of like a pendulum, from those bearings, and attach brackets at the bottom of the column will move the aileron pushrods. Meanwhile, the control sticks mount on pivot points at the forward and aft end of the column, which allow for pitch input. These inputs move the three longitudinal pushrods I just got done prepping.
The first operation here is to work on those pivot points between the column and the sticks. The sticks pivot on bronze bushings, which will be trapped between the column parts when torqued down. Since there’s some variance in the control column weldment, these bushings first need to be worked to establish a nice snug fit in the column. This is made especially fun because the two “ears” on the column, between which the bushing sits, are not parallel, which means I’ll have to not only trim them to length, but also put a matching angle on each end of the bushing. If I just made the ends square, then torquing the pivot bolt would tend to bend the bushing a bit, thus binding the controls.
So anyway, I didn’t do any of that today. I did get the various pivot holes final-drilled on the column, and then did some finish work on the bushings and their matching channels in the sticks to get a nice smooth fit. Out of the box, both bushings fit pretty tight and didn’t easily move. A little bit of work with some emery cloth on the channels, plus a little polish on the bushings, took care of that.
It’ll be another day that I get going on the ends of these bushings. Maybe tomorrow.
Oh, and no photos, today, oh well.