If there's one thing the RV-10 needs, it's a gust lock for the rudder.
For you pilots used to flying certified planes, you probably
wouldn't think this would be a big issue, just a nice tool.
Well, on the RV-10 we have one thing that turns it into a
necessity. The Rudder cables are not held tight by any
tensioner, and the pedals do not have any form of forward return
spring. This causes the first gust to pull one of the pedals
rearward, putting lots of slack in the cable. Then, of
course, your well balanced rudder will start flopping in the breeze.
After a few more flops back and forth, both pedals will
probably be pulled aft, and then the problem just gets worse.
You absolutely need a rudder gust lock.
As for the ailerons and elevators, it would be nice to have one for
them too, although I haven't seen the ailerons flop around too much.
For the time being, I'm using the seatbelt hooked over the
stick to pull it aft and that actually does a great job of locking the
elevator and ailerons, other than the fact that the elevators are
pulled in a nose-up position. To prevent issues with this,
I'm attaching a strap to this rudder gust lock that will attach to the
stick, and allow you to set a neutral position, then your seatbelts
will pull aft against the stick, locking it in place.
The gust lock was easily and cheaply made using some 1" PVC, and an
extendable painting handle from the paint department. I cut
the handle and removed the mechanism for locking, then shortened the
handle to the optimum length.....just long enough to be able to put
good pressure on the pedals at near full extension, with the pedals
mounted in the forward position....and that allows it to be pretty
compact when compressed. This was my first shot at cutting
them and I believe I could have made it shorter if I tried.
The PVC pipe required is very minimal. A 10' piece
is cheap, and then you require a couple elbows and 3 T's.
Once they're all cut and glued together using PVC cement, I stuck some
putty in the leg openings of the center PVC Tee to prevent epoxy from
filling the tubes. Then I stuck the handle's threaded end in
the Tee and filled it with a flox-filled Epoxy mix. If you
coat the threads with vaseline, you may even be able to remove the end
from the handle. Then, to make it prettier, they sell PVC
paint at the store, and I painted the PVC parts.
Operation is simple: When you exit the plane, just stick the
bar into the pedals. The front T's are cut in half to go
around the lower pedal tubes where they won't interfere with anything.
Then extend the lock by twisting to unlock, and pushing the
pedals as forward as you can, while placing the handle butt in the
joint between the floor and front face of the seat, just below the
stick. The nice thing about the lock is that if you put it
on the pilots seat, it's in the way enough that you wouldn't overlook
it before flight. I'll post more photos of the straps later.
One of the nice things about this unit is that it is
extremely light, and pretty compact, but there are other options.
For those who may be in the market for a towbar, I have been working a
little with Bogerts to find a way to modify their existing towbar and
turn it into a Tow-Bar/rudder/aileron/elevator gust-lock.
They think it's not too far away and they will have one ready
for testing. This would be nice in that you would only have
to carry one device.
Aviation Tech Products
I just found out about something extremely similar, available as a
completed product, that you may be interested in. I have one
tried it out at and after OSH and it works great for the rudder.
It isn't as solid for the ailerons and elevators as what I've
devised though. It would be a fantastic rudder gust lock for
keeping in your plane though, as it is very small and light weight.
There is info available HERE,
on the rvtraining website.
In the last 3 photos you can
see how with my lock, I use a strap that holds the stick with the
elevator completely neutral, then pull back with the seatbelts against
it, which holds the ailerons and elevator tight. This works very
well. The Aviation Tech Products gust lock is right next to it.
This one also has a stick tie, but while it's super compact and
light for travel, it doesn't hold the stick very tight for ailerons and
elevators, so you may want to add your own strapping similar to what I
did...then it would be very nice indeed.