Q: I am having trouble installing the control stick into the control yoke.
A: Sand the black powder coating off the control stick where it goes into the yoke. You may need to remove some metal from the OD of the tube also. A long strip of 60 grit sanding belt will do the trick with the stick held in a vice. Put a light coat of primer on it for corrosion protection. Don’t sand inside the yoke – it’s too difficult and you can’t easily paint inside afterwards.
Q: Would a light coating of silicone help?
A: NO, NO, NO!!! Don’t get silicone anywhere near your Glasair project! Silicone is almost impossible to remove. It completely blocks fiberglass resin adhesion and can cause big problems. Silicone also feels dry to the touch after the solvents evaporate and you can end up spreading it onto other parts and surfaces that may eventually be laminated over.
Remember, clean all surfaces with acetone before sanding when prepping layups and clean them after sanding. Let all acetone evaporate off and the surface must be dry before laminating. You may notice that if you acetone before and after sanding, little fiberglass hairs will seem to appear sticking up from the surface. That’s good, it is the fiberglass particles that help give a good bond, not just the resin sticking to the surface.
Q: I want to be able to use a cotter pin so that I can remove the control stick for maintenance on the control panel.
A: Be careful with this one. I wouldn’t recommend it. The stick will wobble in the yoke. Removing the AN-3 bolt to get the stick out is no big deal. Be sure to put a good quality connector on the push-to-talk wires inside the stick with a service loop (inside the stick) so you can disconnect the wires from the stick without having to pull the seat pan out.
You could make removal of the control stick a little easier by opening up the front seat pan cutout a bit too. Or, cut the control stick up 2″ from the yoke and put a 4130 tubing sleeve over the joint with bolts in the upper and lower parts. That way, you can get at this upper bolt easily.
FYI: If you really want to make life easier when maintaining your Glasair, cut off the inboard flanges from the seat pans that normally go under the center console. Make a bracket that attaches to the top of the wing skin and put some nutplates on the back side for the inside sides of the seat pan to screw to.
We did this in our Glasair to allow removing the seat pans without having to remove the center console. We have an RG, and with all the components, hydraulics and electrical connections in the seatpan areas found ourselves going in there frequently. Removing the center console is a PITA.
Q: It would be helpful to be able to remove the passenger’s side control stick for more room on those long trips.
A: This is not a useful thing in my opinion. Passenger stick doesn’t appear to get in the way. Besides, she likes to fly it too!