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Electric Flaps Fix for bow legged builder

PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 11:27 am
by jjacky
I had a good time flying the highlander for the first time with Vic Payne (of Billy and Vic Payne's Highlander "ranch") and it went great but one thing became painfully apparent. My right leg is bowed out considerably from a motorcycle accident. So when the flap control handle is raised to any position it shoves my right foot off the rudder pedal. The fix is an electric flap actuator. Several of you guys have installed these. How do you like them and whose stuff did you get? Thanks for thinking this over...jbird

P.S. I was going to use Vans RV-6 gear but they (and the company that builds them) will not sell me one (even though they advertise they'll sell to anyone)...any of you guys belong to the "RV club" :>( .....Thanks

Re: Electric Flaps Fix for bow legged builder

PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 11:35 am
by cropduster1968
Why not fly it from the right side ? I like to fly my C180 that way. :)

Re: Electric Flaps Fix for bow legged builder

PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 11:44 am
by jjacky
C180..Sweet! Cropduster thanks for the idea but the Highlander's front right door post also interferes...not as much but enough to make it uncomfortable..
I'd love to have some of those Big_O_Cessna ruder pedal too..

Re: Electric Flaps Fix for bow legged builder

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 1:23 pm
by cropduster1968
Back when I crop-dusted in a pa18 supper cub I cut the flap handle off about 4 inches. It is harder to pull but not to much.Made life a LOT better. I pulled flaps on every turn so it can't be to bad. :D Did this for 3 years or 1200 hr dusting and spraying. Hope this helps.
Just Jim

Re: Electric Flaps Fix for bow legged builder

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:19 pm
by danerazz

Re: Electric Flaps Fix for bow legged builder

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:03 pm
by jjacky
Great ..Thanks guys. Anyone care to make a WAG on how many Lbs you're pulling on on the flap handle at Vfe. Crop-duster I like your idea but I'm concerned it maybe tough on Margie (way, way more petite than I) when she's flying.
Danerazz that's the best site I've seen yet for actuators...Thanks!

Re: Electric Flaps Fix for bow legged builder

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 4:27 pm
by cropduster1968
jjacky wrote:Great ..Thanks guys. Anyone care to make a WAG on how many Lbs you're pulling on on the flap handle at Vfe. Crop-duster I like your idea but I'm concerned it maybe tough on Margie (way, way more petite than I) when she's flying.
Danerazz that's the best site I've seen yet for actuators...Thanks!

Mark the handle with some masking tape before you cut it & let her pull it to see.I was 24 years old & 6ft1in & it was 48 years ago. :oops:

Re: Electric Flaps Fix for bow legged builder

PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 1:42 am
by danerazz
jjacky wrote:Great ..Thanks guys. Anyone care to make a WAG on how many Lbs you're pulling on on the flap handle at Vfe. Crop-duster I like your idea but I'm concerned it maybe tough on Margie (way, way more petite than I) when she's flying.
Danerazz that's the best site I've seen yet for actuators...Thanks!


You really need to find the force that the "short" end of the handle pulls on the flap cables. I'd have to measure the handle, but if it is 4:1 sand you pull 25#, then you are pulling 100 on the cables. I don't know what the force is or the ratio off hand, but you can easily see how it could be fairly high.

I love that site for all kinds of neat hardware. You could get the servo control type actuator and use a micro controller to make a progressive or push button flap control, one click would equal one notch of flaps instead of having to hold the switch.

Re: Electric Flaps Fix for bow legged builder

PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 6:51 pm
by jjacky
Hi Guys...The flap handle is 17" from grip center to cable clevis hole. The pivot is 3 inches from the clevis so Dane you're right 14/3 makes it about 4:1. The cable travel is 2". When I was flying the force on the flap lever felt like between 5 and 10 lbs so i think the pull on the cable is about 60 lbs max. , probably less. So I'm thinking an actuator with a 2" travel , 100 lbs or better of pull and a 2 second per inch travel time should work well...does that compute>? Also, in case it malfunctions, in an emergency, I think I can just grab the cables and heave ;>}

Re: Electric Flaps Fix for bow legged builder

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:11 pm
by kenryan
Does anyone make an actuator that has ends that move on both ends? That is, when it gets longer, both ends extend, and when it get shorter, both ends retract. It seems something like that might be mounted up high so that the flap cables could attach directly to it where they enter the fuselage. Doing that would eliminate two big pulleys, eight small pulleys, the flap handle, flap handle bracket, cable, plus all of the associated hardware.

Re: Electric Flaps Fix for bow legged builder

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 6:25 pm
by danerazz
How about a standard actuator and a double arm belcrank? Easy to make one.

Re: Electric Flaps Fix for bow legged builder

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:15 pm
by FlyerChief
When I was building my Highlander, I had considered mounting an actuator in each wing thereby eliminating the pulleys and the flap return springs. There was also a controller that I looked at that monitored and deployed two actuators simultaneously to ensure the flaps went up and down in unison. After speaking with Troy about how much he uses the flaps and the advantages of a manual system I decided to leave them as designed and also considered that it likely wasn't worth the extra weight penalty. It would have been an interesting experiment though!
Dan
Highlander 241

Re: Electric Flaps Fix for bow legged builder

PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 7:07 pm
by jjacky
Guys Thanks for the ideas. Kenryan I was unable to locate a double ended actuator but I really like the idea of locating the actuator up and out of the way on the cargo compartment roof. After the flap handle mechanism is removed the weight trade off should be negligible and I can get more weight aft. I'll post some pics.

Re: Electric Flaps Fix for bow legged builder

PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 10:02 pm
by SheepdogRD
I considered electric flaps, but Troy said they can't be deployed and retracted fast enough for him. If you ever watch him fly, he uses flaps a whole lot. I'd rather learn to use the flaps like he does than keep on using them the way I learned as a student pilot long, long ago. That means the manual system stays in ours.

With your issue in mind, I looked at the flap handle system on our Highlander. It appears that it would be possible to move the entire handle system back further between the seats. There's almost a foot of cable between the pulleys, so you could probably move it back, say, 10 inches. While it may require some welding, it would eliminate a lot of re-engineering and head-scratching, and you could retain the advantages of the manual system.

Re: Electric Flaps Fix for bow legged builder

PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 12:16 pm
by kenryan
danerazz wrote:How about a standard actuator and a double arm belcrank? Easy to make one.


I'm not exactly sure what a double arm bell crank is, but if it looks like a scissors it could be employed to make things work faster. For instance, an actuator with a 1 inch throw could be used to move the cables 2 inches. Such an approach would also allow for fine tuning the distance the cables move.