This Game Is Rigged.

6 hours.

Would have been 7, but I went for lunch with the Marks in their hangar down on the west end.   Split pea soup, garlic bread, and a video on the history of the F-14.   Mark S used to fly them in the Navy, he’s now building a Rocket.

My biggest intention was to fix the interference between the control sticks and the throttle quadrant, as well as the alt-air and cabin heat controls.   I was fully prepared to move the quadrant back, but as it turns out, I don’t have to.

I reset the rigging on the ailerons to neutral, and also tuned the sticks so that they’re just a hair outward of center.   This clears the quadrant, but just barely grazes the alt-air and cabin heat controls, so they’ll have to be moved.   This is less of a big deal than moving the quadrant, and now I know the wings are rigged as well as they can be.  The purge valve control interferes with the stick, but that should never be open in flight, ever, so that doesn’t bother me.  What does concern me is that while the wings and flaps align at neutral/flaps up, the trailing edges of the wingtips are slightly off.   I don’t know if this will result in a heavy wing condition or not, but I’m guessing it might.  The remedy for that is to split the trailing edge of the wingtips and fasten them back together aligned to the aileron.

You might be wondering why this single, simple operation took 6 hours.   Once the wings are installed, access to various things is far less convenient.   There are access panels, but these are now on the underside of the wing, in the dark.  In addition to that, the bolts on the control stick require washers that are extremely difficult to install, especially with large fingers, and with the nose-up angle of the aircraft on the gear, a dropped washer tends to roll back under the seat floor, requiring numerous fishing expeditions with a telescoping magnet.

Next time, I’ll have to address the fact that there is no jam nut on the forward elevator pushrod, which will require some crawling, but on the whole is more accessible and should be easier.

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