HP-18 Center Stick Project

Update 9 March 2001:

I showed the center stick cockpit mechanism off at the SSA convention at Indiana. As expected, it was sort of a snoozer for the non-HP crowd. But I was gratified that everybody who saw it thought it looked real professional and workmanlike. Somehow, I had this secret expectation that some knowledgeable engineer or sailplane designer (there were many of each in attendance) would find some unthought-of load path or hidden gotcha. Didn't happen, at least not yet.

One thing I've done is the installation of a motorcycle brake master cylinder on the platform assembly for the center stick. The 7/8" transverse tube of the platform assembly is just the right diameter for the handlebar mount of the cylinder. The motorcycle units also have some other nice features - the're very leak resistant, pretty rugged and reliable, and since there are literally millions of them in the field, parts are cheap and common. What remains to be seen is whether there is enough stroke to actuate the somewhat sloppy Cleveland brake caliper on my '18. I'll keep you posted on that.

Ever since returning from the SSA convention, I've been watching for a break in the weather that would let me get over the Sierras and retrieve my HP-18 from Reno so I could get it into the shop and start installing the center stick in it. I have little inclination to tow a big trailer through a slushy Sierra snowfall. This weekend might be a good candidate, but I'll probably be going to the hangar wake for aviation pioneer Amelia Reid. My father has been instructing in Amelia's taildraggers for many years now, and Amelia often let us use her hangar to work on our little Paz two-seater.

page updated 04/02/01 all text and graphics copyright (c) 2001 HP Aircraft, LLC