Rear Throttle Linkage

Time: 3 Hours

I put in an after market throttle for the rear seat as well as the main controls from DJM Mnaufacturing. Now I need to connect the rear throttle arm to the forward throttle arm. Since I moved the forward controls aft and inboard of the original plans this connection will be all custom work. I’m planning on using the 5/16″ tube that Vans supplies with the rear throttle kit. I tapped the end for a 1/4″ clevis connection and put it in place with a jam nut.   

   My plan is to use a clevis connection on both ends to allow easy connection and removal. To start the process for the throttle arms I removed boy throttle housing and drilled a 3/16″ hole in each to attach the clevis. I measured up 1-5/8″ from the pivot point on each and 5/16″ from the edge. The throttles are pretty close to level with each other so I’m figuring that the throw will be the same. 

 I attached the forward end of the push tube to the forward throttle. I had to hold it up to the rear throttle area to figure out where the hole I needed to drill for the rod to pass through. After I had the hole drilled I made some measurements on the bend I would need to make in the push rod to accommodate the difference between the two throttle arms. I then took those measurements and bent the tube with my tubing bender. With the bends pretty close I attached the front end to the forward throttle. With the bends in I was able to measure the length of the pushrod at the aft end making sure to leave a little extra just in case.  

   I will get the rear clevis and pin from Aircraft Spruce tomorrow and be able to make the rear final cut on the push rod. I added a Blackhawks banner to the shop that my girl got me for Christmas.  

Rudder Pedal Work

Time: 2 Hours

I primed and painted the rudder cable supports for the rear passenger pedal.  These supports tie the forward writer cables that go from the rudder pedals to the supports and the writer cables that go to the aft end of the fuselage. I also sized and cut the cable attach bars that go from the forward cables to the actual rudder pedal sides.  

   These get cut to length based on where you place the rudder pedals in the four choices you have. In my case I am one notch from the most forward location which meant I would need three holes left in the attach plates.  
 You may notice that on the right side rudderpedal the bolt is going from outboard to inboard. This is not normal to prevent you catching yourself on the edge of the bolt and nut. However I had to do it this way otherwise the bolt and nut would rub on the side panel. I used a shorter bolts through the support bar where the two cables come together as I’m not putting the rear seat rudder pedals in place at this time. If I was this boat would be longer as it would go through a rod end as well.  

 I’m always surprised how much time it takes for small tasks, but trying to work in those tight spaces with small cotter pins is tough. 

Tail Top Skin

Time: 4 Hours

I gathered up all my tools and prepped the tail for riveting. Climbing in and out of the tail wasn’t an easy task and I wanted to minimize that as much as possible. I grabbed several bucking bars, the ones I thought I might use and my hearing protection. I placed a work light down in the tail to help see all the areas. Glenn volunteered to run the gun while I was squeezed into the tail. We worked from the center at the top and riveted the support ribs working outboard on each side. As we did those we worked aft along the seam on both sides.  

   It took around 4 hours as we took a couple of breaks since the bell crank was right in my lower back. I placed a couple of movers blankets to soften it out a bit but it was still uncomfortable! I could have removed the bell crank but all those washers are a real pain in the butt so I opted for discomfort. No drill outs needed and they all looked great!  
   The aft most support I could do from outside as will as the forward most.  
   One reason I hate skipping ahead in the plans is that no matter how hard I try to mark and remember items I always seam to forget them. The aft deck, where the horizontal stab lies is just one case. I put off riveting it to make it easier to shape the up and down stops of the elevators. Fast forward to now and I just finished riveting the top skin on and the deck wasn’t finished! What this caused was for me to get a little creative on how to rivet it on but it got done. After that task was done I was able to place the HS into its final position and bolt it down. This meant climbing back into the tail so that I could torque the bolts.  




 After climbing out I got to climb right back in to put the ELT antanae back in place. Good thing is I’m getting pretty good a sliding in and out of the tail although that’s not a task I wanted to be good at!  Big step finished and it’s starting to resemble an airplane again!  


Right Side Console

Time: 6 Hours

I finished up the right side console that matches the left minus the throttle quadrant hole. This one was a bit easier as I had the knowledge from the left. It turned out just as nice and I’m guessing I will need a little fine tuning as I get all the parts together.  


 After I finished up the fabrication work I primed the top and screwed them together to see how they both looked.  
 I think these will work! Now on to prepping the tail so that we can rivet the top skin on finally. I removed all the shells that I had made along with the ELT and rear stick and set those aside.  

 My buddy Glenn saved his wood inserts from his first aircraft so I’m using his rather that making my own. These plywood pieces rest on the lower longeron’s and gives you a place to lay while climbing in the tail to do the bucking.  


   There won’t be a lot of room in there! 


Left Side Console

Time: 6 Hours

I wanted to start the work on the pilot armrest/consoles that will house the throttle quadrant and switches. This is a modification and not the stock plan. Before I started this I had a few items to finish up. I needed to put the side panel in that covers up the battery area. Before I did that I drilled for a 6 place fuse block that will get mounted to this panel. I decided to use fuses for the seat warmers based on the advise of Vertical Power due to the flucuation power needs. I had to remove the rudder pedals to get it in.  

   I also drilled and screwed down the ELT speaker to the cross member behind the instrument panel.  
 I mounted the second Dynon hub in the right side floor bay.  

   So now on to the throttle quadrant and the attachment peices. The plan is to attach the throttle quadrant to the spar cap that runs along the sides vertically. I needed to cut a couple of peices of 1.5″ angle to make a mounting brackets. I figured out the outside edge distance for the throttle and came up 1/4″ space from the cap to the inside of the angle. I used a 1/4″ drill bit as a spacer so I could match drill the angles to the cap.  
 I then clamped the throttle to the angles. I won’t drill this until I make the top shelf and figure out the exact placement.  

   Glenn was nice enough to let me use his templates for his consoles to make the cuts much easier.  
 I made a angle out of sheet to rivet to the side panel of the instrument panel to attach the side console to.  

 I took me better part of an hour to file down the top for a good fit. Once I was happy I laid out a rivet line for screws to attach it to the side and top and drilled the top. Using the holes I just drilled I match drilled the side angle and top angle supports. I then clecko’ed the top in place and checked the fit.  

   I didn’t trim up the outside edge yet as I will wait for the side skin for this console so that I can make a nice clean corner. To attach the side I need a angle that I will rivet to the top and have nutplates to screw the side to.  
   I countersunk the rivet holes in the angles and dimpled the top skin for flush rivets. I figured out the exact placement of the throttle quadrant and clamped it in place. I marked two holes to line up the holes in the center of the attach angles. I then drilled them with a #30 then a #12 for AN-3 bolts. I removed the angles and drilled and countersunk for nutplates. I riveted nutplates to the forward and side angle for #8 screws. I then laid out the side panel on my sheet and cut it out on the band saw. I cleaned up all the edges so I wouldn’t scratch anything in the cockpit as I knew I would be moving it in and out a lot as I fine tuned the size. I can up with a screw hole lay out and marked them for drilling, starting with a #30 bit so I could match drill the angles.  

   After drilling the holes in the side skin I carefully held it in place along the console and started match drilling and starting from the front and working my way aft. I made a bend to match the top as it gets narrower going aft. I also made a bend at the aft end to match the existing structure. I measured the placement of the friction lock at the bottom of the throttle quadrant and drilled a hole for it.  
   I’m real happy with how the left side turned out! I’m looking forward to filling up the top section with switches and controls.