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  1. #726
    Cougar429's Avatar
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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    The extra advantage is you will be able to check the elevator linkage, something not possible with the original setup.

    I was never comfortable with that hidden horn. As an AME and heli pilot I became anal by training to check everything. Due to that I opted to move mine external. Fabbed a new cross tie and silver soldered a control horn I made from thin tool steel to fit just outside the fuse. Unobtrusive, but I can have a boo now and then.

    p.s. Yes the registration is a bit of a hoot. Came close on our Jetranger C-GARB, but never had the opportunity to fly one with my own initials.
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  2. #727

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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    The accessability the hatch will provide will be a definate advantage. I wasn't pleased with the original access hole and would not look forward to trying any nessesary adjustments.
    I'm not sure the Sullivan assembly will be necessary now after looking at the pics of your Zero.
    I like the install you did and I think that should work with a scale looking fairing fitted around the bottom of the strut and attached to the fuselage. I just need to figure out how to reinstall the control rod from the servo to the tailwheel arm which I'm not looking forward to.
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  3. #728

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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF


    ORIGINAL: Capt Easy

    The accessability the hatch will provide will be a definate advantage. I wasn't pleased with the original access hole and would not have looked forward to trying any nessesary adjustments.
    I'm not sure the Sullivan assembly will be necessary now after looking at the pics of your Zero.
    I like the install you did and I think that should work with a scale looking fairing fitted around the bottom of the strut and attached to the fuselage. I just need to figure out how to reinstall the control rod from the servo to the tailwheel arm which I'm not looking forward to.
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  4. #729
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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    I guess you could say mine is a *******ized copy of the Sullivan with the only difference being how it is linked to the steering. Another option would have been a standard steering double arm mounted to the top in place of their spring collar. Some trimming may have been necessary to allow enough steering angle. Not too complex. It was getting a reliable connection to the rudder that was the killer on that one. I could have run a Pull/Pull system such as Rare Bear, but that puts a bit of load on the servo output. I solved that one and will post pics in a bit. Off to dinner.
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  5. #730
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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    Okay Guys,
    With all the nice mods you are doing on this bird, you are making it very hard for me not to go to Tower Hobbies and pick up another ARF. I have one already and I love it!!! She is not a good looker anymore, but she flies great.
    Please keep the updates coming!!! Who knows, I may have to pick up one, just in case Top Flite drop this arf!!
    Sonny
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    jet22b
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  6. #731

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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    Jet22b,

    Same thing here. I've had mine for about 3yrs with 200+ flights and it feels like just another Sunday plane. These mods that are being done by Capt E makes me look at my AT-6 from another perspective.

    Ton2di

  7. #732
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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    Just to confirm, mine was the Gold Edition kit. I wish I had the ARF as it hopefully would have saved a lot of work.

    Here are the pics of the Pull/Pull setup in Rare Bear. The stock design had small adjusters nearly inaccessible near the rudder. I fabbed a couple of alloy link blocks for the cables and moved the adjustments to the front. The JR wheel does a much better job keeping the cables tight regardless of deflection angles. With standard arms, even if you try and get both ends set up the same pivot distance the tension seems to vary as you turn. In the last, out-of-focus pic you can just make out the springs to tie the tailwheel steering to the cables. You also may notice the rough area on the plastic. I cut the stock steering arms off and added one above the pivot. This gets the spring angle more in line and less prone to placing loads on the cables when the weight is off and prevents the arms from contacting the bottom of the fuse in the same condition.

    The cables are tensioned pretty tight, which as I stated puts considerable load on the servo output. Even bearings and the case can eventually pay the price. To counter that I used a longer cap bolt and ball end link run to a bulkhead in front of the servo. Did a good job of spacing, but if necessary the tension can be fine-tuned to zero out the stress on the servo.

    This can be applied to any model.
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  8. #733

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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    I've been trying to upload a drawing file (paint) to illustrate what I had in mind for my tailwheel/rudder control mod but nothing seems to work....ugh.
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  9. #734
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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    Can you change the format? Worst case would be to take a pic of the screen and upload it.
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  10. #735

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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    I tried changing the format several times to JPEG but nothing worked...

    Basically I plan to move the rudder control rod center aft, connect it to one side of an arm attatched to the tailwheel strut; connect pull-pull cables off the arm directly to an external rudder horn as in the full scale Texan. In theory it sounds like it should work in my mind anyway.

    The rudder servo will need to relocate where it won't interfer with the elevator servo and either relocate the rudder control rod plastic tube or install another one where it arrives more centered aft to secure it to the tailwheel and rudder pull-pull.

    Simple huh? What'd ya think?


    EDIT: I thought I could relocate the servo aft under the new access hatch but there's not enough room

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  11. #736

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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    Hey - I just want to let anyone interested to know I haven't forgotten to post further progress on my SNJ. It's just been a busy several days and weeks lately but I'm looking forward to returning to the tailwheel and then adding some further stuff to the wing like functioning lights and LG struts.
    Till then, I hope you guys get great some flying in.
    Dick
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  12. #737

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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    I've been laboring over the tailwheel and truth is my experience being limited, probably has me overthinking it as well. It's beginning to be not fun at all, but won't give up on it. It's just taking much longer than I expected. I've researched all over the net from actual photos to scale, fixed 1:5 Robart units to help with ideas.

    Cougar, your Rare Bear photos above look simple enough and probably could be applied but I'm not sure I'm clear on the description - limited experience again.
    I need to step- back and give it a break or just simply install it without the scale being such an issue. Maybe I should put it aside and work on the wing.

    If Cougar or anyone else is out there with any ideas or motivational help let me know. It wold be nice if it could fly sometime this year.....

    Thanks,

    Dick
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  13. #738
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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    On rare bear the tailwheel springs simply hook to the Pull/Pull cables forward of the tailwheel arms. By moving that arm to the top of the pivot rather than the stock position just above the tire my springs are much more in line with the cables. This places less stress on the cables and less chance for slacking when there is weight on the tail.

    I tried this idea with the Zero with no success, so ended up with another Goldenrod run forward to the rudder servo. No other choice.

    Just like any project look at it like eating an elephant. One bite at a time and eventually it's gone.
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  14. #739

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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    Thanks for getting back Cougar. My idea is to run the rod from my servo up front direct to an arm on my tailwheel horn and tie in a short pull pull cable connected to the tailwheel horn to the rudder horn. I'm not sure if that sounds clear enough or will be mechanically possble but I think it makes snce to me. What do you think? If I can figure out how to post a diagram of my plan I'll do it. Meantime thanks for your help.
    Dick
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  15. #740
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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    Try to eliminate any direct mechanical path between the tailwheel and servo as any energy imparted during ground ops will end up there. That is why I try to have some form of spring(s). It also tends to make steering more forgiving.

    As I mentioned, in the Zero I had to run a second Goldenrod, but the coil in the tailwheel acts as suspension with some forgiveness to steering. To get everything at least close to scale size and position I shortened the mount and bent/wound my own gear with spring coil out of stock piano wire. There is the stub of an alloy rivet as a spacer to have it reach below the cover and act as a load bearing. You will also see another rivet end as a thrust bearing to one side of the wheel. It also keeps the tire from rubbing the wire.

    The reason for all of this was to move all the linkages internal. I thought their stock setup was atrocious, (ugly as well as mechanically poor).
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  16. #741

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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    Cougar, from what you've shown I think it may work for me but I'm not totally clear. I've been studying your photos closely and I'm not sure but I think I see where the bottom half of your double arm connects to the rudder and tailwheel linkage but not understanding if what I see is clear tube running down the sides of the fuse. Is that the Golden Rod you mentioned earlier coming from your servo up front and does that then connect to the top half of your double rudder arm?

    I'm almost getting to the point of mounting the Sullivan assembly and connecting it directly to the rudder and move on with the build, but I'd rather like to follow up on what info you've taken the trouble to provide, so I'm not ready to give it up quite yet.
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  17. #742
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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    Sorry. Those pics were taken during the build and before all the elements were in place. The tailwheel steering arm is towards the top of the pic, (RH side with the plane in normal orientation) with the pivot facing forward. There is a link attached to the rudder steering arm hidden behind the wood mounting flange seen just above and to the right of the wheel. That runs on the LH side of the fuse.

    The blue tube is the outer sheath of the elevator control with a wood flange to allow alignment before final anchoring to the brace plate. I believe the clear tubing you see in the pics are the antenna guide running from the receiver area out to the tail stinger, (still predominantly 72MHz so have to make provisions and this is my normal setup) Neither Goldenrod to the rudder or wheel are installed yet.

    You will have to forgive me. I will remove the cover and take more pics of the final assembly to post tomorrow. Hopefully all will be evident there.
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  18. #743
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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    As promised, here are a couple of pics. The first is of the tail compartment with the linkage to both the rudder and tailwheel. The double layer setup on the rudder axis was intended for springs to run to the tailwheel steering. Ended up too restrictive or would have interfered with the rudder steering linkage itself. As you can see even now things are pretty tight.

    Second is at the rudder servo. You can spot the different linkage geometries, (less to the tailwheel to tame ground behavior in crosswind or ground ops).

    By the way, that bulkhead is made up of two sheets of thin ply sandwich over a balsa core. Very light and strong.
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  19. #744

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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    Thanks for the extra explaination. I ordered a 2-56 pull-pull system and hope to connect it to a rudder horn but not sure how to control the tailwheel unless I used another servo which I don't want to do. Anyway, if you have any specific ideas or anyone else has please let me know. I appreciate any input.

    I thought the attachted photos might help for some comparison. The pull-pull system would no doubt work well, but the rudder servo will need to be relocated to center position up front if I understand the geometry correctly. Tailwheel control is what has me bothered though. I'd like to use the Sullivan tailwheel assembley since it resembles the full scale tailwheel so much, but not sure how to add the control yet.

    I've got a few other responsibilities to deal in a couple daysbefore I can devote enough serious time .....I'll get back asap.

    Best,

    Dick
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  20. #745

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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    ....disregard
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  21. #746
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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    You may be able to rig a similar system to my Rare Bear where springs are run from the tailwheel arms to the Pull/Pull cables, perhaps where they are looped to link to the rudder arms. If not you should be able to form loops in the cable run(s) wherever you need to connect springs at the correct tension. Not too tight as that will cause excessive friction and wear in the tailwheel pivot.

    If you have never done Pull/Pull before one little trick to making a non-slip loop connection is to run the cable through the ferrule, curl it around again and feed it through the same direction as the first. Pull it tight then create the control loop by feeding it back through the ferrule the opposite direction. Repeat this curling process with the end of the cable through the ferrule again before crimping, in effect running it through 4 times. It takes very little extra cable length and I guarantee it will never pull loose. Just ensure you have a bit extra when forming the end loop. To ensure my cut ends do not catch anything I put a dab of liquid electrical tape over the ferrule. You can just as easily use RTV silicone.

    You can see an example of my ends in the pic.
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  22. #747

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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    Been trying to post an update to the tailwheel but had some problems. Anyway, the attatched photos should illustrate what it looks like so far. I decided to use a Du-Bro Tailwheel Assembly since it resembled the full scale so well. The bottom section of the fuse has been routed out to fit the unit. I plan to rotate the fwd plastic up and down on a pin passing through the fuse and slide a spring and or small slice of fuel tube over the top of the tailwheel shaft for shock absorbing, or install a shorter spring and fuel tube under the aft portion of the plastic between the plastic and wood. That's as far as I've gotten so far - problem is I'm not sure how to connect the rudder control if the tailwheel shaft moves up and down during taxi....if anything it looks like Goldenrod may be the only means to connect the rudder somehow.

    Dick
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  23. #748
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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    Back on to have a boo. Love the mods, but wondered how you were going to add steering inputs.

    I FINALLY finished the gear legs on mine. Will take some pics soon. The most fun was accurately marking for flats on the stub shafts to get proper toe-in.
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  24. #749

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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    [quote]ORIGINAL: Cougar429

    Back on to have a boo. Love the mods, but wondered how you were going to add steering inputs.

    FINALLY finished the gear legs on mine. Will take some pics soon. The most fun was accurately marking for flats on the stub shafts to get proper toe-in.

    Yeah, the I think the mods could be promising but then, the devil is in the details - I don't know what to do about the steering and rudder inputs either.[size=3]

    Here's my idea: Drive the tailwheel directly off the original installed rudder servo with a connection rod - then connect a tailwheel arm to a rudder horn with a pair of short pull-pull cables. If the tailwheel strut were centered why I couldn't tie a short Pull - Pull system directly between the tailwheel and a rudder horn?

    Any comments or suggestions would be very appreciated from you or anyone else.....

    Thanks,

    Dick
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  25. #750
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    RE: Top Flite AT6 ARF

    Use springs as I suggested to both prevent shock loads from entering the system and allow for geometry changes as the tailwheel suspension deflects.
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