Control systems mostly done

We completed most of the control system assembly, starting with riveting and adjusting the pushrods:

Elevator pushrods riveted and adjusted for length

Safety wire to secure forward pushrod to control column

then installing the pushrods, control column and sticks:

Control column installed in place

Pushrods attached to elevator idler arm

Attaching sticks and pushrods

Sticks and pushrods installed

Finally, I was seeing some interference between the center pushrod and the tunnel hole, so I (at least temporarily) added some grommet edging to prevent having to touch up the primer there - if that turns out to be beyond the limits of the stick when everything is connected, I can easily remove it.

Center pushrod hitting the tunnel hole edge

Tunnel holes with grommet edging installed

With this, the only steps left from this section are to final-adjust the pushrod lengths (with the elevators actually connected) and torque the remaining bolts. Since I may still make changes to the battery mount (which houses the bellcrank), I'm leaving that for later.

Time lapse: 


Total control system rivets: 37
Total control system time: 15.2h

Flap system done

With the last bit of section 26 out of the way, I completed section 40 by actually installing the flap motor. This required some trimming of the angles so the motor doesn't interfere with them when it moves:

PH flap motor brackets put together temporarily

A test run of the motor showed only minor adjustment needed to the rod end, and it was exciting to see something moving in the plane:


I made the spacers for attaching the motor rod end, and drilled the safety-wire hole at its tip (not strictly necessary since the tip doesn't try to rotate/disengage the bearing like the stock motor does, but it's added safety anyway):

Spacers for attaching motor rod end
Safety wire hole drilled through actuator head

Actuator head with attachment hardware


Finally, I picked the proper spacers from aluminumspacers.com for the motor - I ordered pairs of a few different sizes, but ended up using the 5/16" ID / 1/2" OD / 15/32" long ones:

Spacers for attaching motor

With this, I'm now going to sell the original flap motor (any takers?):

Stock vs PH flap motor

To actually install the flap motor, I also had to secure the TAS cable around it, which I started by running the cable to check its path:

Running TAS antenna cable near flap torque tube

TAS antenna cable running through tunnel around flap motor area

TAS antenna cable reaching antenna, with connectors in position

This was not good enough to understand the cable bends and overall path, so I actually crimped one of the connectors to it:
Stripped RG-400 for QMA connector

Crimped QMA connector

Inner QMA connector conductor, which needs to be soldered

Using that one cable (and the other 3 connectors) to see a realistic cable path, we installed the Clickbond fasteners along the cable's route, and checked that it won't interfere with the pushrod:

Clickbond fasteners installed in place for TAS antenna cables

TAS antenna cable temporarily secured to Clickbond fasteners around tunnel

TAS antenna cable temporarily secured and connected to antenna underneath pushrod

TAS antenna cable connected to antenna underneath pushrod

TAS antenna cable connected to antenna's far-end connector

TAS antenna cable secured to avoid flap crank

We were also wondering if it was ok to mount the control systems and flap motor at this time and still be able to install the antenna later, so we tried a mock install - turns out we can pass the cables out the hole, connect 3 of the 4 to the antenna and still get it back in place, with the last one being the only one that has to be connected through a tiny space around the flap motor and pushrod:

4 TAS antenna cables running through tunnel

Checking if the TAS antenna connectors can be secured from the outside

With this, after completing a large chunk of section 39, I finally installed the flap motor, mostly completing this section:

Flap motor installed in place

I'm leaving the final torquing of those last bolts, the safety wire and running the motor cable for later just in case I need to remove the motor to attach anything else in this busy section of the tunnel.

Time lapse:


Total flap system rivets: 0
Total flap system time: 20.2h