Rebuilding the Control Column Assembly for an Alon A2 Aircoupe
This article describes the removal, disassembly, inspection, reassembly and re-installation of the control column in a 1966 Alon Aircoupe. This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not approved by the FAA, the type certificate holder, or anyone else. The work described below must be performed by, or performed under the direct supervision of, an appropriately licensed mechanic.
Disclaimer: Please understand that this info is being offered as food for thought only. I am not a licensed mechanic or an aeronautical engineer and I am not in any way qualified to give technical advice in regard to aircraft maintenance. Please consult a licensed mechanic or aviation professional before using any information provided here.
Control System Wear and Aileron Play
The control column assembly has several wear points that can lead to excessive play in the flight control system of the Aircoupe. In particular, these wear points can lead to excessive play or slop between the control wheels and the ailerons.
In a perfect world, a very slight movement of the control wheel would result in a corresponding slight movement of the ailerons. However due to normal tolerances and clearances in the linkages between the control wheels and the ailerons, some play or slop is unavoidable even if all of the parts are in new condition. With normal use, bearings, bushings, bolts and rod ends wear and this wear can lead to excessive or even dangerous amounts of play in the controls. By properly maintaining the control system components, the amount of play can be kept to a minimum.
When trying to eliminate control system play, it is important to understand that the effect of worn parts in the control system are additive in nature. A very small amount of wear on several of the many connections between the control wheels and the ailerons can result in an excessive amount of play in the overall system. Therefore, if an airplane has excessive play in the ailerons, fixing just one item in the control system such as a single worn out rod end rarely corrects the problem.
It is also important to understand that the wear points in the control column assembly probably account for less than half of the wear points that can lead to excessive aileron play. Beyond the control column there are several rod ends, rod end bolts, bellcranks and bearings that can also contribute to aileron play. In order to eliminate excessive play, all of these parts need to be in good condition. This article however, just discusses the control column itself.
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