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Thread: Super Cyclone

  1. #1

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    Super Cyclone

    I bought this build from a gentleman in Texas and they had already started to build. He had built an RV and had experience with aluminum. I have built all my life and decided this is the only way I will get a new 185, build my own. I have not built any airplanes and no experience with solid rivets. After much researching and contemplation I decided to build a wing first. Cessna wings require a jig to get the twist in the wing correct among other things. We flew to a rebuilder and they let me look at there jig and measure and take pictures. So the first thing I built was the wing jig around the wing the previous owner had been working on. The skeleton was riveted together but the skin were just clecoed on. I worked on the jig for a couple days and put it on hinged casters so it would be easy to move when I was done. I bought a digital level and it is great for plumbing and leveling the jig. Once set I will not move the jig until I am done. I built the jig April 23 and 24 2020. I am only beginning to post this stuff because I have some down time and am going to try to catch up. I definitely did not take pictures of everything but I will post what I have and then try to keep current. Thanks for looking.
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    Last edited by Supercubrancher; 01-06-2022 at 03:22 PM.
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  2. #2

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    Cool project. Was not able to view your attachments.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkm View Post
    Cool project. Was not able to view your attachments.
    Neither can I working on it!

  4. #4
    stewartb's Avatar
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    Envious! I have a really nice 180 and the only thing I’d like to add to it would be an exp registration!
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    Envious! I have a really nice 180 and the only thing I’d like to add to it would be an exp registration!
    I use to look down my nose at experimental... until I started pricing avionics!!!

  6. #6

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    I will catch up some here.
    2-29 1.5 hrs spent the time unpacking crate
    4-30 2 hrs sort more aluminum and start on main spar
    5-1. 2.5 hrs more time fitting drilling and clamping main spar, the spar was pretty tough, have to make a bend in the main spar and had quite a time with clamps and two by fours to get the bend to match the other wing, I think I got pretty close to the other wing that was started. They had bought a wrecked 185 wing and used it for a pattern which is fine because I made my wing match there's. However there build didn't match the plans, and therefore mine doesn't either. I went with there pattern so the wings would match and got to work. Not to many pictures of the main spar and the process I went through but I will post what I have.
    5-2 5 hrs more work on main spar
    5-3 4 hrs clean debur and acid wash parts for main spar and ribs for wing
    5-4 5 hrs prime parts with self etch epoxy primer
    5-6 3.5 hrs start rivet pieces off spar together
    5-7 1.0 hrs more rivets on main spar
    5-10 5 hrs finish main spar and measure ribs and nose ribs to main spar drill and cleco
    5-16 2 hrs still working on matching ribs to sparClick image for larger version. 

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  7. #7

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    Awesome project! Keep posting your progress!

  8. #8

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    6-1 5 hrs
    6-6 3 hrs Spent my time putting the reinforcements on the rear spar and setting in the jig on the ribs and fitting the spar for the airleron. At this point I riveted all the ribs to the spars and completed the skeleton. I didn't realize that I had a small sway the the airleron rear spar, I spaced my ribs the same as the other wing and inadvertently pulled the spar toward the front spar. The kit has a spacer to help with this so I think I will be okay. If not I know which rivets to drill first. I would like to point out that all sheet metal rules were followed, drill, debur, cleco, rivet with proper shop head.

  9. #9

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    This is where things got sketchy. The kit came with aluminum tanks, after talking to several AP the consensus was that at some time they would leak and it would be a good idea to make the tanks easy to get to such as a 172. However I liked the idea of the fully riveted wing, no tank cover. I considered wet wings and even built more ribs. Talked to a guy in Minnesota that does Mooney wet wings and his system. I had already primed all my parts and was afraid the sealant wouldn't stick. Gave up on the wet wing because I figured it would leak, not interested. I talked to Hartwig about there plastic tanks, they got quite expensive in a few years. However, luck was on my side, a set of long range Hartwig fiberglass tanks were advertised on Barnstormers. I bought them, a friend picked them up for me, then I waited several months for him to ship them to me. This put my wing build on hold. I didn't want to get the wing built and the tank not fit. I also decided to go with .050 skins top and bottom of wing bay and set the tanks directly on the hat channels. I couldn't figure out how Cessna got the double skins riveted in the tanks bay for bladders. Now I don't think they riveted the inner skin at all, I think it is spot welded.
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  10. #10
    stewartb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supercubrancher View Post
    I use to look down my nose at experimental... until I started pricing avionics!!!
    Experimentals dominate the high end of the Cub market. Now that the Cyclone kit has some energy behind it I expect them to do the same to the Skywagon market. Hopefully some good mods are developed like we’ve seen happen with Cubs. Enjoy the build. Enjoy the freedom!

  11. #11
    Crash, Jr.'s Avatar
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    It'll be interesting to see if these can really make a push into the Cessna market. I think the ease of building a rag and tube plane versus doing complex sheet metal work would intimidate home builders. On the other hand the RV guys seem to get on just fine doing sheet metal work. It's at least good to see someone making a run at an experimental Skywagon kit.

    Supercubrancher, excellent work on that kit so far. Really interesting to see how quickly you're progressing.

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    While waiting for the fuel tanks to arrive I decided to build flaps. On flap was drilled an clecoed. I sorted all the flap parts out and got to work. The first builder drifted from the plans and built his own leading edge skin for his flap. So I likewise build my own leading edge. He used .020 as did the kit manufacturer. All I had was .025, turns out .005 makes quite a difference in the strength of sheet aluminum, but I got the skin rolled, drilled and clecoed to the spar. The plans for the flap were pretty good and the flap went pretty good. Deburred, acid washed, primed all the pieces and riveted. The other flap only required deburring, cleaning , priming and riveting.
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    Build manual suggests using pull rivets to finish out flap where the skin meets the last rib. Cessna didn’t and neither did I. I am sure I will use some pull rivets, but only where I absolutely can’t get a bucking bar stuck on that solid rivet!
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash, Jr. View Post
    It'll be interesting to see if these can really make a push into the Cessna market. I think the ease of building a rag and tube plane versus doing complex sheet metal work would intimidate home builders. On the other hand the RV guys seem to get on just fine doing sheet metal work. It's at least good to see someone making a run at an experimental Skywagon kit.

    Supercubrancher, excellent work on that kit so far. Really interesting to see how quickly you're progressing.
    Thanks for the encouragement. We have been at this for a couple years, only now decided to start a build thread. Had to build a calving barn in there and have every day business to attend to. Winter is build time. Had a hip replaced 3 weeks ago and have some down time to start a build thread. Have learned soooo much on this forum, best $50 I spent has been on this subscription. Thought I should share, so many others have! Bill Rusk, Stewart only to name two wish Mike was here. The sheet metal is a lot of work but I really like to build and it will be MY 185!
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  14. #14
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    The wing walks on a P38 wing are double skinned with a corrugated panel in between. Lockheed used an electro magnet around the rivet gun and a bucking bar on a cable run through the corrugations. Warbird shop that I use to work on rebuilt Lefty Gardeners "White Lightening" for Red Bull and built this tool to complete the task.
    I wouldn't call a modern quick build RV builder a sheet metal builder. Looks like you are doing a lot more sheet metal work than the average RV builder. Be careful, you might work yourself into another job.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  15. #15
    stewartb's Avatar
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    Is the fuselage in your pics the Cyclone? The windows look like Cessna. In any case having a plane to refer to during construction would be helpful. Are any of the kit’s skins and bulkheads pre-drilled?

  16. #16

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    Steve. Necessity is truly the mother of invention, the electromagnet sounds very ingenious. Love to build going to really love to fly.
    Stuart. The fuselage in the pic is a 180H that I bought to rebuild. AI that is helping me stalled out rebuilding some cubs, therefore I dug into the kit, lots of pics coming when I start on the fuselage. I decided to get the wings DONE before gong after the fuselage. However already planning and contemplating the fuselage. Let me point out that this was a quick build kit and the fuselage came to the first builder drill and clecoed. They installed a lot of rivets, and the fuselage is on the gear. Still plenty of work to be done. Pictures to come.
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    Fuel tanks showed up so progress took off in earnest. Started with nose skins, strapped them up, aligned ribs and drilled and clecoed. Then went to top outer skin, I clamped the skins to the rear spars so gravity would be on my side. I would drill a hole at every rib to spar intersection then mark the sheets vertically to make a line for the ribs to follow, take the skin off and transfer the line to the bottom, lay the stringers in the ribs, put skin back on and drill the intersection of the stringer and rib so all the rivets on the rib line were straight. Then get the rivet fan and start laying out rivets for the ribs and stringers. I had marked the center line of the ribs and would drill the skin, align the rib then drill the rib. Once I figured out a system the skin drilling went quite well.
    The top skin of the fuel tank bay was clecoed on the spars and I used the plywood for a guild and a dremel with a spiral bit to cut the hole for, the fuel cap. Took forever, rough hole, bought a round sander to clean it up, turned out pretty good. Changed things up for the next skin!
    I the midst I built fresh air vents to go in the leading edge and built an airleron. The airleron was pretty straight forward. The tip sweeps up to match the wing twist. It is rather difficult to keep the little corrigations lined up at the tip, but mine turned out pretty good. The other one wasn’t as good. The first builder ignored the manual and the sweep and drilled and clecoed the trailing edge straight. When I raised the tip the holes didn’t line up. No problem found skins from a guy in Idaho , nice guy, great skin. Cessna skins are 3” from corrigation to corrigation. Turns out Cyclone was about 3 1/16, on 5 feet plus that is quite a bit of difference. I haven’t finished that airleron yet, probably splice the tip and keep going. Built brackets to hold the airleron to balance and used a surprising amount of weight to balance the airleron. Progress continues.
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    I tried to align the hat channels in the tank bay with the fiberglass tank. The tanks have ribs for strength glasses into the tanks. I laid anti chafe tape on the channels before I put the tanks in. Measured and took pictures so I could replicate the other wing quicker.
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  18. #18
    stewartb's Avatar
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    Sincere thanks for sharing your project. I really am envious.

  19. #19

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    This is an impressive, ambitious project! I wish you much success and will be following your build.

  20. #20
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    .....Now that the Cyclone kit has some energy behind it....
    I assume you're talking about Bushliner's purchase of the Cyclone kit business.
    I'd be more optimistic about that if they'd actually gotten up to speed on the skywagon rebuilding.
    I haven't heard of them finishing a full rebuild of one yet.
    There is such a thing as too many irons in the fire.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  21. #21
    stewartb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supercubrancher View Post
    I bought this build from a gentleman in Texas and they had already started to build. He had built an RV and had experience with aluminum. I have built all my life and decided this is the only way I will get a new 185, build my own. I have not built any airplanes and no experience with solid rivets. After much researching and contemplation I decided to build a wing first. Cessna wings require a jig to get the twist in the wing correct among other things. We flew to a rebuilder and they let me look at there jig and measure and take pictures. So the first thing I built was the wing jig around the wing the previous owner had been working on. The skeleton was riveted together but the skin were just clecoed on. I worked on the jig for a couple days and put it on hinged casters so it would be easy to move when I was done. I bought a digital level and it is great for plumbing and leveling the jig. Once set I will not move the jig until I am done. I built the jig April 23 and 24 2020. I am only beginning to post this stuff because I have some down time and am going to try to catch up. I definitely did not take pictures of everything but I will post what I have and then try to keep current. Thanks for looking.
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    Interesting that the Cyclone uses riveted leading edges. Cessna bonded them. My wings have flush riveted LEs due to damage history so I’m not opposed. I just find it interesting. Nice shop, by the way!

    Are your wings and flaps one foot longer than Cessna? I see that’s a standard feature in the new kit specs, wings extended at the wing root allowing for a longer flap. That’s a great idea, and the kind of mod development E-AB allows. Are your leading edges cuffed at all, like late model Camberlift wings?
    Last edited by stewartb; 01-08-2022 at 11:10 AM.

  22. #22

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    I honestly don’t remember what the build manual said about the leading edge and rivets. The original owner had already drilled the leading edge on his wings, therefore I followed suit. The cyclone wing is by design a foot longer at the root and a foot longer flap. The wing is stock noncambered wing. The kit came with a leading edge wing cuff and wing tips with the cuff, glassed to match. My cub has a leading edge cuff, I can tell a difference in performance over a stock wing witch I was fortunate enough to fly this summer. Never loaded up the stock cub to see how it would handle loaded. My cub really has no stall, it just mushes then keeps flying. If I can build a cub I won’t use a wing cuff, sure it helps but not enough in my opinion. I read about the sportsman cuff and horton stol and all the mods one can get. Then I read about the light weight cubs, and how they fly, and the continuous attempts to make them light. What I really want is a really nice looking, great flying, capable plane that I can haul a load, and haul a##. Super Cubs and Cessna 180/185’s are as good as they come!
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  23. #23
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    Sportsman's cuff is worth having, as are the VG's. We would bring the 185 in at under 50 mph on final when light, no wing extensions.

    Amazing machines.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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  24. #24
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    Yes, I agree on the Sportsman cuff, it’s simply the best thing you can do to a Cessna wing.

    Interesting project, and VERY ambitious! Good for you!

    MTV
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  25. #25

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    I went and looked at several Cessna wings to decide what rivets to use, flush or raised. I decided on all flush rivets on the wing, that way I didn’t have to remember whether the whole I just debured was flush or not, less confusion for me. Used a manual c-frame and hammer to dimple skins and hand squeezer where I could. Riveted nose skins onto nose ribs, by the way Stewart if I had known Cessna bonded the nose skins, I would have too, hammering rivets in the nose skin was not easy. We then riveted all the top skins on. We started on the front spar on the bottom skins and worked our way to the trailing edge. The flap bay was challenging to rivet, but I thought we did pretty good for newbies. My 12 year old son was my gunner for the first wing.
    We finished up riveting, pulled the wing out of the jig and put the other wing in the jig. With the newly riveted wing on the table we put a flap in place and tried it out. The build manual says to align the rear spar so it is perfectly straight. How the hockey sticks do you do this? I measured to the jig, used the digital protractor on the spar, of course all this was done when building skins. Got it wrong...... we couldn’t get full travel out of the flap and had a big gap at the root of the wing. The wing will go back in the jig and I will make a new bottom tank bay skin and try again. The second wing I ended up using the digital protractor directly on the the bottom of the flap track and made them the same. They should come out better.
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    Last edited by Supercubrancher; 01-10-2022 at 10:13 PM.
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  27. #27

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    Right wing build

    We moved right into the right wing build. The first builder had done quite a lot of work to this wing I used his top and bottom outer skins but made new intermediate skins and tanks bay skins. I also made a bender to make hat channels. The hat channel press worked ok but not flawless, I will get a picture of it to post. Progress took off with drilling, deburring, dimpling, countersinking, cleaning with scotch rite pads and priming. Mounted the autopilot roll servo in this wing. Only four tries to get the bracket right, what fun. Put wires in convoluted tubing from wing root to servo for autopilot and tubing through nose ribs to tip for
    lights. Riveted on nose skins and top skins. Curtis, he works with us on the ranch and really loves GA, was my gunner for the top skins. We used a larger diameter flush rivet set in the air gun and I think these skins look better. Went from 1” diameter to 2”. Skins are smoother with less distortion at each rivet. Paint will really let me know how much difference there is.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  28. #28
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supercubrancher View Post
    Mounted the autopilot roll servo in this wing. Only four tries to get the bracket right, what fun.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Be certain to have an access panel to be able to remove that servo for maintenance at some time in the future. I had a factory built 185 with an autopilot and had to pull out the servo through the provided access opening. It was very difficult and excessively time consuming to remove and reinstall that servo. Two hands on the hardware through two very separate openings. Many, many unnecessary hours of labor.

    My hat's off to you, this is an enormous undertaking which you will be very proud of when finished.
    N1PA
    Likes 180Marty, JohnnyR liked this post

  29. #29
    stewartb's Avatar
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    I think the servo install is pretty slick. Especially that you have it driving a rod. I prefer that to the capstan type installations. I’ve never paid any attention to APs in Cessnas. Is that typical?

  30. #30

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    Skywagon, the servo is up against the wing skin with four screws through the mount and wing skin, there is a 5” inspection hole for the airleron beside the servo, so theory is open inspection hole, unhook connector and rod , remove screws and remove servo, I will get a better picture of the set up.

    Stewart, I would claim the set up, but I searched trutrack autopilot and then dug through there manuals until I found the 182 mounting, searched that specific installation manual and printed it, no reason to reinvent the wheel

    I have a question for the group about getting my n-number. I have one reserved and have to submit a request in writing.
    They want the aircraft manufacturer, would that be St Just Aviation even though they are out of business?
    The model would be Super Cyclone. There wasn’t a serial number given in the build manual so I can pick one?
    185-01 for example. Thanks in advance.

  31. #31
    stewartb's Avatar
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    You’re the manufacturer. You name the model and choose a serial number. That info also gets put on the external tag you rivet on the tail. Here’s how my Cub registration appears in an N number search.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by stewartb; 01-12-2022 at 08:58 AM.

  32. #32
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Eaa's Amateur-Built Aircraft Certification kit will be useful in answering these questions. Also all necessary forms are included. You are the manufacturer and serial number picker.
    https://www.eaa.org/shop/product-det...926&pr=2583379
    N1PA
    Likes mixer liked this post

  33. #33
    Bearhawk Builder's Avatar
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    And you can choose the serial number

  34. #34

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    Looking at your pictures it doesn’t look like your ribs or hat channels are dimpled. If you’re using flush rivets and are dimpling the wing skins then you need to dimple all the pieces that get riveted together.

  35. #35

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    Stewart great, thanks
    Skywagon thanks, and I did get the kit, there is a lot of info in there!
    Bearhawk thank you also
    snellerh May not look dimpled in the pictures, but yes the skins, ribs, and stringers are dimpled. The hat channels in the tank bay aren’t dimpled because the tank bay skins are .050 and they are countersunk so the channels don’t have to be dimpled. I looked at the two pictures you are referring to and they are both on the back of the heavy skins. I took the pictures to show the shop heads.
    Last edited by Supercubrancher; 01-12-2022 at 08:52 PM.

  36. #36
    Farmboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    I think the servo install is pretty slick. Especially that you have it driving a rod. I prefer that to the capstan type installations. I’ve never paid any attention to APs in Cessnas. Is that typical?
    No, Autopilots in Cessnas by and large are bridle cable driven.


    Transmitted from my FlightPhone on fingers…

  37. #37
    FdxLou's Avatar
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    Peter
    Both pitch and roll servos in my certified TruTrak C-180 install are rod driven. No bridle cables.
    Lou

  38. #38
    Farmboy's Avatar
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    Super Cyclone

    Lol. And then there’s trutrak to prove me wrong. 🤷*

    I knew I should have qualified my statement. Lol.


    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org

  39. #39
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FdxLou View Post
    Peter
    Both pitch and roll servos in my certified TruTrak C-180 install are rod driven. No bridle cables.
    Lou
    A friend i know bought an experimental TruTrak autopilot (don't know which model) several years ago,
    hoping to bootleg it into his certified Pacer (which he has yet to do).
    But the A/P itself intrigues me...it's a single axis (roll only), which is sometimes referred to as a "wing leveller".
    The servo mounts to the control yoke & has a sprocket which engages the chains that come down & connect to the aileron cables.
    You couldn't ask for a simpler, cleaner, easier to get at installation--
    it would be perfect for a 180/185 or similar.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  40. #40
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    A friend i know bought an experimental TruTrak autopilot (don't know which model) several years ago,
    hoping to bootleg it into his certified Pacer (which he has yet to do).
    But the A/P itself intrigues me...it's a single axis (roll only), which is sometimes referred to as a "wing leveller".
    The servo mounts to the control yoke & has a sprocket which engages the chains that come down & connect to the aileron cables.
    You couldn't ask for a simpler, cleaner, easier to get at installation--
    it would be perfect for a 180/185 or similar.
    Jim Younkin drew out how to install his autopilot in my Dad's Clipper on a napkin. Saw an early Pacer at Sun & Fun several years ago with a bootleg TruTrak in it.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

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