It’s been really hot this week and part of me is relieved that there’s a running race this weekend and all the roads are closed, so I can’t go flying. It would have been 40 Celsius at least in the sun, which causes big problems with battery charging and overheating. In this sort of weather I usually bring a sun shade to keep the batteries and electronics cool and just overheat myself.
Anyway, as I said last week, this gives me the opportunity to finally finish building the autogyro. I had a bit of a setback last night, though, as I broke the rudder link rod. If you look at the main picture above, it’s the metal rod linking the two rudder horns horizontally, connecting to the bell crank in the middle. You can see that it’s now got an adjustment bend on the right hand half, which wasn’t there before. The reason for this is that I broke the rod last night when I was trying to adjust the rudders to be central. Originally, I made the rod the perfect size, just as in the instructions. Except that it wasn’t quite perfect and I didn’t like how the rudders weren’t aligned straight, so I tried to put a tiny adjustment kink in the rod and snapped it. To be fair, I should have made it with an adjustment z bend in the first place, but figured that I could do it the hard way and make it a perfect fit. To be fair, it was only about 0.5mm out and I could easily have lived with the rudders both pointing slightly outwards, but I had to tinker with it. Then I made another stupid mistake and put both 90 degree bends for the left and right control horns into the rod before I pushed it through the bell crank collet in the middle. Of course, the hole in the brass collet is only just enough for the rod, so it’s impossible to push a 90 degree bend through the hole. What I did was to gently radius the 90 degree bend to a curve and force it through the collet hole. Then I tightened up the radius back to 90 degrees, taking care not to snap the rod for a second time. The left hand bend where the rod goes into the horn is now more rounded than a square 90 degrees, but it works. By the way, if you’re wondering why I put a loop into the rod for the adjustment rather than a tight triangle bend, I was worried about snapping the rod again, so I just made a nice easy looped bend. I knew I was only going to need 1 or 2 mm of adjustment, so this works fine.
After all that I now need to connect up the closed loop rudder and then all the control surfaces will finally work. I guess that will mean that it’s flyable, assuming the balance is right?