6.4.5 Control Stick Assembly

Installing the side sticks turned out to be fairly easy, once I figured out where to place them. They are dependent on a number of other construction details:

   ➤ Instrument panel must be located and temporarily Clecoed into place.

   ➤ Instrument panel must be located as far aft as possible and slots must be cut on both sides at the bottom to make room for the control stick assembly to pass through.

   ➤ The Luxury Keel option must be temporarily installed to make sure that it fits the instrument panel location properly. (I had to do a bunch of trimming on the Luxury Keel as well as the main keel to get all of this to fit properly!)

   ➤ Canard must be installed in its final resting place. 

   ➤ Elevators must be installed and attached to the elevator pushrod on the side stick controllers. The length of that rod is whatever it is so the position of the side stick must be correct to make that work.

So, once all of that is done and the sticks are positioned properly, the hard points that eventually hold the assembly to the wall of the fuselage have to be temporarily glued into place. The manual recommends Bondo, but that didn’t work for squat. So, I went back to my trusty old hot glue gun and used that to glue them into place. The alignment has to be perfect; therefore, the controller assembly has to stay attached while the hot glue sets. That’s what you see going on in the photo below. I’m using a couple of wood wedges to position the assembly against the instrument panel and the wall of the fuselage. I’ve also got a bungie cord holding the front end of the assembly tight. That actually worked pretty good.

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Co-pilot side stick controller shown here temporarily mounted in position!

Once the hot glue sets I removed the controllers from the hard points and used real epoxy to permanently set everything into place. The perimeter of the hard points are packed with EZ-Poxy and Micro-balloons to hold the metal into position as well as to create a smooth transition between the hard point and the wall of the fuselage. Two layers of BID is applied over that to really lock it all in place. The peel ply in the photo below hasn’t been removed yet. It’s there to help soak up the excess epoxy and to help create a smoother surface.

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The side stick hardpoints are first epoxied into place then covered with 2 layers of fiberglass to make for a strong attachment point.

And here’s the final product. The hard points are installed and the controllers are attached. My plan worked perfectly once I figured it out! Eventually the bolts get safety wired to keep them from falling out. The hard points obviously have no locking nuts; therefore, the safety wire is required to lock them in place. The factory does supply pre-drilled bolts for the safety wire.

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This photo shows the side stick bolted to the hardpoints.

I’ll come back and revisit this once all of the mechanicals are hooked up.

ui© John Trautschold 2018