Making Flying Wires

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Making Flying Wires

Postby FredHoffman » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:22 pm

Making the tail wires is driving me nuts. I find it very difficult to be accurate. I tried building an elaborate jig out of wood but it added enough weight to flex both stabs. Tore that apart and used spring clamps to pinch the wires in the right position but everything moves all over the place with constant adjusting. I see no way to build this so all the wires will have the equal tension and be lined up perfectly. Every time I squeeze a sleeve there are very slight variations too. I find the tool with bolts that clamp much more accurate than the nicopress crimper which I also have. Making the control cables was no big deal as the turnbuckles could adjust out the minor variations. But this is a different animal ! I sure wish there was something with turnbuckles here. What have others done........that looks about right and moved on? This is near the last task to a complete aircraft.

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Re: Making Flying Wires

Postby FlyerChief » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:50 am

Hi Fred,
I'm not sure if you can do it this way once the plane is covered, but here's an excerpt from my builder's log...

To ensure symmetry at 90 degrees to the fuselage, I attached 4 ratchet straps to hold the horizontal stabilizers in the correct positions relative to the vertical stabilizer while installing the flying wires. Next I prepared the 12 flying wire attachment tabs by reaming out the powder coat residue in the 3/16” holes and drilling out the other ear of each tab to 7/32” to ensure that a Nicopress thimble will pass through the hole without binding.
I then secured a tab in each of the horizontal and vertical stabilizer bushings and added 3 adjustment washers between horizontal stabilizer and tab to provide for later adjustment for cable stretch in service.
Next, I made up the cable braces using a Nicopress sleeves, thimbles and protective heat shrink sleeves at the each end of the cables keeping them as taut as possible. The lower flying wires were made up of a single piece of cable that goes through a nicopress sleeve, around a thimble and back through the nicopress sleeve.

I found that the temporary ratchet straps were invaluable in holding everything square and solid during the entire process. As you do your final adjustment, use a framing square to check that things are still aligned properly as you remove washers to tighten the wires. You may be able to just protect your vertical and horizontal stabs with a pool noodle in order to set up the ratchet straps to keep things solid and square, but I'm sure you can figure something out.

The best way to get the correct tension on the wires is to build the flying wires with 3 washers under each tab, then once they are all done, remove as many washers as necessary to get the tension correct on each wire. Also, you may find it helpful to bend the tabs to match the angle of the flying wires. The angle set at the factory is the same for all the tabs when they make them, but the angle of the flying wires is slightly different depending upon where they are located. The second photo below was taken before I bent the tabs to the correct angle to match the wires and the last one shows proper alignment. You may also find it helpful to use Vicegrips on the set of wires you are crimping as there will be less slippage than with the squeeze clamps shown in your photo.

I hope that helps...

Rachet Straps.jpg

Flying Wire Ends.jpg

Proper Angle.jpg
When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. ~Henry Ford
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Re: Making Flying Wires

Postby BucF16 » Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:05 am

I intend to do mine like Dan (Fire Chief). In addition I'm buying tabs from Billy Payne at Just Plane Fun, that look like the below picture, for micro adjustment.
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Re: Making Flying Wires

Postby Tralika » Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:13 pm

I remember having the same frustration when I built my flying wires. I wish I had known about the adjustable cable tangs but I didn't find out about them until after I was done. I was able to get enough adjustment using the washers under the tangs as described in the build manual. When I disassembled the parts I made a diagram showing how many washers were under each tang. I'm about to reassemble everything now so we'll see if it all goes back together square. The tangs are also available from Lockwood Aviation. ... steel.html
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Re: Making Flying Wires

Postby danerazz » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:47 pm

You beat me to it,the tabs are much more reasonably priced at Lockwood.

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Re: Making Flying Wires

Postby AV8R Paul » Fri Aug 18, 2017 6:39 pm

I hate to tell you you will never get them exact. They should actually be made a little short, and require a washer under each cable mounting tab. Install all 4 cables with tge washer under each mounting tab. As you fly it, tge cables will actually stretch, and pretty soon you will find you need to remove some of the washers from under the tabs to tighten the cable up. New cable will stretch.
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Re: Making Flying Wires

Postby FredHoffman » Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:44 pm

Made a tie down mount on the hinges to help align the already covered tail. I did the wires as the factory instructions the first time before I covered the airplane but noticed on re-assembly it wasn't perfect alignment plus a few tabs were in the wrong places as those supplied in my kit were either 45 degrees or 30 degrees. So this is the second go around.
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