I don't think the pump stick is unsafe, some may have been if they were thin walled aluminum. My new soma has a pump stick, it has alot less moving parts, to wear out and cause play, flying it is just as easy.
I reckon if I recollect correctly (say that three times quickly),
the pump handle was considered part of the problem with the early Air Commands when they were having so many accidents, and people were advised to replace it with the walking beam type now used.
I have a factory Bensen pump handle on mine, and wouldn't trade it for anything. The pitch and roll pivot is on a U-joint with needle bearings, and the is no slop in the system. The stick ratio to head movement is very close to the Brock stick also. The main difference is that the pump handle grip has a more vertical movement in pitch.
When I'm flying my arm rests on my leg, making it very comfortable.
Mike, Do you have any pic`s of that factory joystick with the u-joint.I`ve seen a stock Bensen joystick in the plans but not the one you`re referring to on your machine.I have a u-joint joystick on the Gadget that is Glenn Bundys design but it`s not factory Bensen.
Mike, Thanks for the pic! A detailed drawing of this joystick would be great for the Bensen flyers. The one thing I noticed in your pic was the cluster plates are differant from the standard ones. This means they would have to changed for this joystick.
I got pictures and drawings of that style of pump handle cyclic off a site on the internet. Rick send me a email addy and I will email you entire doc either microsoft word or pdf your choice. It has drawings and pictures for two pump handle cyclics included that one above