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53. Friction and Disconnection

05/04/2013

On Monday Rick started on the installation of the controls. In essence, there’s a 1in (25mm) diameter tube (called a rock tube) about a foot (300mm) long that runs fore and aft in a couple of bearings just below the bottom of the aircraft. The joystick (or hand control, as it was called) is fixed to the back of it so that it can move in all directions. At the front of the tube is the little lever to which the cables are attached that go out along the wings to control the ailerons. It’s called the ‘warping lever’ because up to that point most aircraft were controlled by warping or twisting the wings, instead of the ailerons at the ends of the wings. The Scout has ailerons, but the name warping lever remains.

The rock tube is in green etch primer and runs in two brass bushes at front and back. The original 1916 control stick is at the bottom of the picture and the black warping lever is at the top, just behind the mounting for the front bearing. The stick fits in aluminium jaws which have to be secured inside the rock tube inside the rear bearing, and the warping lever has to be secured to the rock tube. We used taper pins in both cases.

The rock tube is in green etch primer and runs in two brass bushes at front and back. The original 1916 control stick is at the bottom of the picture and the black warping lever is at the top, just behind the mounting for the front bearing. The stick fits in aluminium jaws which have to be secured inside the rock tube inside the rear bearing, and the warping lever has to be secured to the rock tube. We used taper pins in both cases.

Getting the tube to run freely in the bearings is quite a tricky exercise, and Rick does tricky better than either of us.

On Tuesday Theo had to make a half-day trip to go and fetch more plywood so that he can start on the bits that will attach to the main fuselage frame. Rick and I started making up the piano wire braces for the rear fuselage.

Generally the bracing wires all have strainers (bottlescrews) to alter their length so that you can adjust them to make the fuselage perfectly straight and true. I was slightly puzzled that the parts list showed a good many fewer strainers than there were braces, and rang Jean Munn ate the Shuttleworth Collection to get his advice. He said it wasn’t uncommon in those days, and that if there was a technique of getting them exactly the right length first time, they didn’t know it, when they’d tried it (on the Avro Triplane, for example) they threw away at least five duds for on good one. So we bit the bullet and bought the extra strainers!

By the afternoon, we carefully dismantled much of the rear fuselage in order to make sure that everything was painted inside the joints ready for final assembly on the morrow. We went out for a meal to celebrate progress.

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From → Building, Technical

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