rudder offset

OuterMarker

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I have a very old rudder. The rudder bellcrank has an offset built into it. I suppose this was done so both rudder cables could me the same length. Does anyone have a rudder like this? Or, is this a "one-of" mod done by a previous owner? Newer rudders have zero offset which require rudder cables of different length. Is there an Air Command historian lurking here? How about some "old-timers"?
thanks.....albert
 

fiveboy

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The Air Command historian might be Dennis Fetters as he was the owner originally....though I seem to notice wherever he posts there are minor wars raging LoL.

There are a lot of people here who know about this I am sure.
 

DennisFetters

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The Air Command historian might be Dennis Fetters as he was the owner originally....though I seem to notice wherever he posts there are minor wars raging LoL.

There are a lot of people here who know about this I am sure.

Well lets hope not. I sure don't invite it, but it's happened before when I was helping someone, probably why I don't help so often anymore, ya think?

But let's see if I can help anyway.

Albert, just open your Basic Commander Assembly manual to page 37, and it explains all. Well, I can assume since you are asking, you don't have the manual. First thing you'll need to do is call Air Command and buy the manual, because you can't operate this aircraft, of parts of this aircraft without the manual.

All the rudders I had made while owning the company were built straight, for the convenience of the customer, just in case I ever came out with an engine that turned the other direction. I supplied two different pre-made cables. One with a red end and the other with a green end. Red on right, and then you would twist the cable until your peddles were in the right position, as described in the manual, and the rudder had a 1-1/2" offset from centerline of the keel.

You need a manual.
 

freebird

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I am not with my gyro right now, but my right side cable is shorter than the left (as I sit in the gyro).

I think I noticed the cable being shorter on the left side of a snowbird. Is my cable on backwards?
 

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I am not with my gyro right now, but my right side cable is shorter than the left (as I sit in the gyro).

I think I noticed the cable being shorter on the left side of a snowbird. Is my cable on backwards?

What happens when you get out?! ;-) The Aircraft has only one right side, same as you, in or out of it.

So yes, the left green cable, (or the one on the left if it's uncolored), should be shorter.

But, you said the bell-crank on the rudder had an offset?? So I don't know what that will effect. Sure it's an offset, and not a bend?
 

OuterMarker

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Dennis....I have a manual and also a CLT manual. I also have all the paperwork from day one and paperwork on every item that was or currently is on the gyro. This rudder looks like it has never been tampered with. I also have a set of older cables, one with the green color coded end. I have your letters to the first owner also. Anyway, after removing the rudder from the gyro and inspecting it I can see all holes still line up. the bellcrank is still fixed into the bottom of the rudder. It is just that it has a offset. The bellcrank welded to a shaft and is aluminum. Perhaps at some point this became loose and someone epoxied it back with an offset. I thought this was strange, hence the reason for my inquiry.
 

DennisFetters

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Dennis....I have a manual and also a CLT manual. I also have all the paperwork from day one and paperwork on every item that was or currently is on the gyro. This rudder looks like it has never been tampered with. I also have a set of older cables, one with the green color coded end. I have your letters to the first owner also. Anyway, after removing the rudder from the gyro and inspecting it I can see all holes still line up. the bellcrank is still fixed into the bottom of the rudder. It is just that it has a offset. The bellcrank welded to a shaft and is aluminum. Perhaps at some point this became loose and someone epoxied it back with an offset. I thought this was strange, hence the reason for my inquiry.

Good you have the manuals. I'm a little sensitive about people not using manuals correctly, or sometimes even not at all.

I have no answer as to why your bell crank is offset, it's not one of mine I had built unless someone modified it later. So long as you adjust the tail according to the manual, you should be fine so long as the offset presents no structural defects and motion limitations.
 

OuterMarker

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that is a problem when buying a older used gyro...what was done in the field vs. factory. Dennis...how was the bellcrank fixed into the rudder? I don't know why I didn't notice this earlier. Perhaps the stab was blocking the visual cues. I just assumed everything was correct....a dumb newbie mistake! Always have an experience person in type go with you on a pre-buy.....lesson learned....
 

DennisFetters

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that is a problem when buying a older used gyro...what was done in the field vs. factory. Dennis...how was the bellcrank fixed into the rudder? I don't know why I didn't notice this earlier. Perhaps the stab was blocking the visual cues. I just assumed everything was correct....a dumb newbie mistake! Always have an experience person in type go with you on a pre-buy.....lesson learned....

The bell crank was pre-welded to the tube, and the visible part painted. Then the assembly was placed on a holding fixture and aligned on the mold when the two halves were assembled with bonding agent, then a foaming agent was poured inside. Then after drying, the rudder assembly was placed in a drilling fixture and the mounting holes drilled.

There would be no way for the bell crank to be in the wrong position, it would not have fit into the fixture. I have never seen one come unglued and pivot. I believe you have a rudder made after I sold the company that probably was made in Texas with a new mold they built. I can see where they would think it better to offset the bell crank and supply one size of cable, but I'm not sure on that. Maybe contact Air Command and ask.

Also look at the weld on the bell crank, if it's smooth and one big radius from the tube out to the plate, then it's one I supplied. If it's a sloppy weld that stands up, then it's one I didn't supply.
 

OuterMarker

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I will check the weld tomorrow. All the holes line up and it is solid in the rudder that is why I said it doesn't look like it was tampered with. Thanks for telling me how they were put together. I will contact the original owner and ask the question. Since he is in his 70's, he might not remember. By any chance was there a serial # on the rudder anywhere?
thanks...albert
 

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Dennis am curious to know why red tag would be on the right side? I would've intuitively put the red tagged end on the left side and the green on the right have I missed something. If the instructions had requested I do that I probably still would have queried it if only to know and to confirm.

Sorry to diverge from the thread please excuse.

"All the rudders I had made while owning the company were built straight, for the convenience of the customer, just in case I ever came out with an engine that turned the other direction. I supplied two different pre-made cables. One with a red end and the other with a green end. Red on right, and then you would twist the cable until your peddles were in the right position, as described in the manual, and the rudder had a 1-1/2" offset from centerline of the keel."
 

DennisFetters

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I will check the weld tomorrow. All the holes line up and it is solid in the rudder that is why I said it doesn't look like it was tampered with. Thanks for telling me how they were put together. I will contact the original owner and ask the question. Since he is in his 70's, he might not remember. By any chance was there a serial # on the rudder anywhere?
thanks...albert

No serial numbers.
 

DennisFetters

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Dennis am curious to know why red tag would be on the right side? I would've intuitively put the red tagged end on the left side and the green on the right have I missed something. If the instructions had requested I do that I probably still would have queried it if only to know and to confirm.

Sorry to diverge from the thread please excuse."

You are not the first to ask. The only reason I did it like that was for it to rime, and this way not be confused so easily. "Red on Right". That was it, as lame as it sounds.

Remember, 95% of the people I was selling gyroplanes to had no piloting or aircraft experience whatsoever. They were people off the streets running around with their hair on fire wanting to buy an ultralight "WHATEVER" so that they could fit into the new craze of the day.

That being said, with red running lights being on the left side of an aircraft had no bearing or meaning to the customer of the day.

So what came to mind.....
was to make it rime......
and put the Red on right......
to ward off the fright......
of not turning right.....
becouse that would bite.......

Turned out I was a poet......
and I didn't even know it......
 
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Resasi

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Can't fault the logic, might confuse down the line though but thanks for getting back with that Dennis.
 

DennisFetters

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Can't fault the logic, might confuse down the line though but thanks for getting back with that Dennis.

That's why I'm such a stickler for people using manuals.
 

OuterMarker

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Hi Dennis....just looked at the rudder again. The weld is on the top of the bellcrank. It is smooth and painted black. The bottom of the bellcrank does not have a weld and is not painted. The bellcrank is aluminum and the entire assembly is solid into the rudder.

Is it possible for the bellcrank to have been replaced and welded onto the shaft without damage being done to the rudder? It doesn't seem possible from a heat transfer stand point. This was one thought. The owner was Bob Simen, who is in his late 70's now. I will give him a call and see what he knows about it. Also, I was correct about why I didn't notice it before now. The stab covers the bellcrank and makes it difficult to notice the offset. albert
 

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Hi Dennis....just looked at the rudder again. The weld is on the top of the bellcrank. It is smooth and painted black. The bottom of the bellcrank does not have a weld and is not painted. The bellcrank is aluminum and the entire assembly is solid into the rudder.

Is it possible for the bellcrank to have been replaced and welded onto the shaft without damage being done to the rudder? It doesn't seem possible from a heat transfer stand point. This was one thought. The owner was Bob Simen, who is in his late 70's now. I will give him a call and see what he knows about it. Also, I was correct about why I didn't notice it before now. The stab covers the bellcrank and makes it difficult to notice the offset. albert

It sounds like one that we had welded. It could not have been re-welded while in he rudder.

Another answer is; we had the bell crank assembly made locally in Kansas City, and McCutchen made the rudder assembly for us, and we would supply him with the bell cranks at no charge, since they were to be used in our rudders. After we noticed that we were sending him many more bell cranks than we were receiving back rudders, we questioned McCutchen why this was.

Come to find out, he was selling our rudders to people as replacement parts, or to people that wanted that style of rudder on a different make gyro. The argument was that he built the tooling so he could sell to anyone he wanted unless I paid a bunch of money for sole ownership of the tooling. I thought the money I did pay up front when he built the tooling for me made it mine, but I guess that money didn't count. The 50 or 60 bell cranks that never got paid for seemed to be casualties of war. Afterwords, we sent out 10 bell cranks, and would only send out the next 10 after 10 of our rudders were shipped back. Once McCutchen had no more bell cranks, that seemed to stop the rudder side-business.

It is possible that some of these illegal rudders were made with the offset by special order.

Also, when we sold Air Command, there would have been a bunch of bell cranks included in the parts. I know that the new Air Command built their own rudder mold to avoid paying McCutchens price, and probably used up all the bell cranks we made first, so they may have been installed in the rudders on an offset.

These are all the explanations I can come up with, hope it helps.
 

OuterMarker

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Thanks Dennis...I could buy the answer that this rudder was built as a replacement rudder. As a newbie to gyro flying, I have to question everything I don't understand and hope I can get the correct answer.
 
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