Welding...lots of welding!
This is one of the many rod ends that have to be prepared. Most of them are made from 0.035" wall thickness tubing of various diameters. It is very time consuming making every piece up. I spent 66 hours preparing all of the parts shown in the back ground picture. Constructing the rod shown is fairly fast, maybe an hour from start to finish. Some of the more complex components took a great deal longer.
This image is of the flap torque rod in its installed position. I had to remove it to make room for drilling out the wing mounting blocks but I have finally installed it for the final time now. I have installed the flap and brake on the left side, which is mainly because I like to fly with my right hand and also to make it easier to get in and out of the cockpit. If I change my mind in the future it is a fairly simple exercise to move it into the centre.
Ahh the engine mount! This was the single most time consuming steel part to construct. Just making up the jig took a few hours. I didn't count how much time I spent scratching my head on just how I was going to hold everything together in such a complex 3 dimensional shape. Nothing is at 90 degrees. The plans do not specify the exact length of each piece of tube, just the overall dimensions. This meant that I seriously under estimated the amount of tubing I needed. In the end I worked on the premise that provided I used the correct sized tube, and the overall dimensions were accurate and it looked like the picture then all would be ok. This part on it's own took me 40 hours to make.
This was the first part that I made. I started with the control stick yoke as it was made with square tubing which made it easier to set it up and weld it straight. It made for good practice as the rest of it is pretty well all round tubing.
This is the finished control stick assembly. I ended up turning the main bushes out of nylon rod stock. I am very pleased with myself as there is zero slop, and it's silky smooth and straight. I must admit that I have played with it a bit too much when I should be actually working in the shed on the rest of it!
The finished engine mount on the aircraft. The sheer relief when I bolted it on without any swearing is hard to describe. Especially as I made it before I had the engine, the very first thing that I did was find the rear mount plate on the Aerovee just to make sure that it would fit!