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Friday, October 7, 2011

53T Control System

Well with cooler weather and now the VSA Rally behind us I've been trying to get out in the garage at least a little every night to make progress on 53T.  All of the pulleys in the glider have been replaced with new, and last night Leah and I started fabricating new control cables.  In addition, night before last I took the stick out and cleaned it up.  The stick is mounted on a short tube that runs through a couple of hardwood blocks.  At some point in time someone thought it was necessary to lube all the moving parts on this glider, and used some sort of black goo to do so.  I'm sure that it probably helped for a while but over time this lubricant picked up a lot of dust and dirt and just turned into a thick gunk.  The area where the stick passed through the hardwood blocks was no exception and there was a LOT of friction in the left/right motion.  A little time with a towel and some fine sandpaper and everything is moving a little easier.  There is still some friction but it is much better.

Last night we made new cables for the aileron drive in the fuselage. These cables run from the side of the stick around a pulley and then back beside the seat into the fuselage, around another pulley and up to the aileron bellcrank that is mounted on the back of the rear spar.  A turnbuckle is added into each cable assembly at the bellcrank attachment to allow for adjusting tension in the system.  Of course the turnbuckles were loaded with more black goo lubricant as well so we spent some time cleaning them up and sanding off some light surface corrosion.  Then with the turnbuckles in place and the control cables attached to the stick we got a good rough guess of where we needed to place our thimble at the cable/turnbuckle interface.  A little bit of struggling with the nicopress and voila a shiny new cable at just the right length.  The left side went so well that we finished up the right side and now have a closed loop in the fuselage again.  Of course I was out of the proper bolts so had to make a quick order to Aircraft Spruce last night.  Once they arrive We can finish the aileron drive completely.  In the meantime we'll move on to the other cables in the fuselage and then on to the wings.  That will be fun as I plan to rig the glider entirely inside the garage.  It will required some organizing and re-arranging of course but I can't wait to see it.

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