Monday, May 27, 2019

Rudder Pedals - a new approach

Ok, I think this subject warrants its own post.  I've never really liked the way Van's does their rudder pedals.  They get the job done and they are relatively inexpensive to install.  Thats all good news and part of the reason the RV series is so popular...they work well and they are not super expensive..or they don't have to be anyway.  But...I don't like the fact that the brake master cylinders are on the front side of the pedals, and I don't really like the looks of the plastic brake lines.

It turns out I'm not the only one who feels that way.  Paul from ControlApproach created a beautiful set of pedals for the RV-10 but they are above my budget range for this airplane.  However, he also created a retrofit kit that utilizes the Van's rudder pedal bars!  This is still pretty expensive but I pulled the trigger anyway and boy am I happy with that decision.  The pedals are a work of art and very high quality.  Take a look at the pictures and I think you will agree.

First I decided I didn't want the rudder cables running outside of the tunnel.  This little bar will attach to the rudder bars as you will see in the following pictures, and the rudder cables will attach to it...inside the tunnel.  This is not part of the kit that Paul provides but I think he is working on something similar.
I started with some 1/8" stainless steel bar stock and had a local welding shop tig weld a piece of 1" diameter round stock to the end.  I did have to cut/grind out a nice contour for the round stock to fit into.

Here is the idea.  the cable attach bar will be bolted to the rudder bar and oriented so that it is in the same location as the tab on the rudder pedal bars.

After drilling a hole in the round stock portion I lined it up on the rudder bars so I could drill a similar hole for the AN3 bolt that will hold this together. The bolt goes all the way through the bar.
To prevent the tube from collapsing and causing elongation of the hole due to bolt wiggle I fabricated a bushing that has a #12 hole drilled in it.  The AN3 bolt will pass through this bushing and give some internal support to the entire assembly.  What you see in this picture is the "tool" I created to slide the bushing down inside the rudder bar arms.  Its simply a piece of piano hinge wire that I used a 6-32 die to put some threads on and screw into the 6-32 hole I drilled into the side of the bushing.  This allowed me to slide the busing down to the hole and move it back and forth as needed to align it properly.

This is just a picture of me tapping the 6-32 hole in the side of the bushing.
Here you can see the bushing inside the rudder bar.  I slightly offset it so you could see it.

Hard to see but in this picture you see me sliding the bushing inside the rudder bars.

This is a picture of a few of the parts of the Control Approach retrofit kit.  Look at the quality of these parts!

In this picture you can see the welded tab that is a little offset and does not allow the clamping blocks to sit properly.  I ended up milling down the left side and adding a washer to the right side to get it to fit properly.

Assembled and aft side picture.  Note that I used some washers as spacers.  Thats not going to stay that way. 

Fwd side picture.
Back side view but the pedal on the right is still using the washers as shims and is not yet in the correct position.

And here they are sitting in position.

Slightly angled view.  Notice that the rudder cable attach bars are actually inside the tunnel now.  If you look closely you will see that I riveted a filler piece in where the rudder cables normally enter the tunnel on the pilot side.  The copilot side has a large opening that I cut so that I will have easy access to the fuel pumps.

A close up view of the pedals after I had removed the temporary washer setup.  This is what its supposed to look like with the curved arm on the left pedal mounted behind the bar.  I did have to do a little machining and shimming to get the clamping block on this pedal to fit properly.  The welded tab on my rudder bars was not centered.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Section 35 and 36 complete

I am done with section 35 (Access Covers and floor Panels) and section 36 (brake lines).  I started section 37 which is the fuel system but quickly ran into a lack of parts.  Since I plan on using electronic fuel injection I need to have a return line.  A return line means more and non standard fuel supply lines and the fittings I purchased a few months ago are not enough.  So, I have an order in to Summit Racing as well as Aircraft Spruce for several more parts.

Its getting toward that part of the build where you don't just follow the instructions quite as much.  I have a back-order with Van's that is supposed to ship at the end of this month.  That order includes a few parts I need to finish up section 34 as well as start on the firewall (finishing kit).  In the mean time there are a number of things to do including section 38 (rudder pedals and brake system), section 39 (control systems) and section 40 (flaps).  I suspect those three sections will keep me busy for the better part of a month or two.  Once those are done its time to start buttoning the fuselage up but as I said the plans get pretty vague at this point and I have lots of modifications planned so it's going to take longer than I would want.  :-)

Here are a couple of pics of the progress this past week.

Here you can see the fuel supply line going from the fuel valve down to the fuel pumps and then forward to the firewall.

Brake lines installed and torqued.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Section 34 and 35 almost done

Not many pictures so far but with the tail completely attached it was time to finish the baggage area.  That included the floors, the baggage aft panels (top and bottom) as well as the side panel covers.  I didn't complete the top aft tail cone cover because I will likely make a modification to it when I do the seat belts.  I also plan on installing an access door in the bottom panel that will allow me to access the battery and the ELT without needing to remove a bunch of screws.  That will probably happen much later and probably even after first flight.

I've almost complete the baggage area access door as well.  The first attempt at getting it to fit flush didn't go so well so I have ordered a replacement piece from Van's to give it another shot.  I want that door as flush as possible.  I did make a small modification here.  Similar to many other RV-10 builders I wanted the baggage door to be removable so I cut the back side of a few of the middle hinge eyelets to allow me to install two half size pins from the middle. 

I am now working on the last of the aluminum fabrication work (section 35).  There are a number of access panels and cover panels that get installed in this section of the plans.  Once that is done the fabrication of aluminum structure is basically complete.  I still have to rivet the top forward cover on as well as the flanges for the quarter turn cowling fasteners but that is pretty minimal.  I also have a number of modifications to do to the center tunnel cover to accommodate the rudder cable modification I am planning.

As with every year this past few weeks I have been working on the 9.  The Annual inspection was due by the end of April and I needed to make a couple of changes (of course).  I hooked up the O2 sensor but still haven't configured the EFIS to display it.  I tried a few things to try to eliminate the drip of water that comes into the baggage area when I fly through rain.  So far nothing I try has eliminated the issue.  Well anyway this years annual is in the books.  I found out during this annual that my differential pressure rig that I use to do engine compression's was off by 5 pounds!  Now that I know the error I found my compression's all at or above 72/80.  Nice.

This is a picture of the hinge assembly with the center eyelets cut in half.  You can see how the pins will slide in and out to allow me to easily remove the baggage door.

This is an outside view so you can see that this modification will not be visible from the outside.

Speaking of modifications...  Since it was time to rivet in the rear seat pans I needed to install the standoffs that will hold the FlyLED lighting control board.  This is a central location between the wing lights and the tail strobe so I figured it would be a good location.  This area is covered by the flap actuator covers and will not be accessible unless I remove that cover.