Chapter 18 – Handle Machining

I started off today with machining more canopy handle parts on the lathe.

Here I’m drilling the hole in the back of the aft “nub” that attaches the triangular latch/rod interconnect to the handle mechanism.

Here’s the “nub” about ready to be separated from the aluminum bar stock. I free-handed the taper on the back and felt pretty good about the job I did on it.

Test fitting the canopy handle aft connecting rod. The round part on the right side (which was essentially a cylinder last night) will get a hole drilled through it to interconnect to the handle lever rod.

Here’s a shot of the original 3D printed proof of concept and operational test canopy latch handle and the build-in-progress real-world aluminum handle assembly.

As I designed on the original version, I drilled and tapped a 3/8″-20 threaded hole down the center of the handle block. I then reused the threaded 3D-printed sleeve as a guide for the connecting rod. When it wears out I’ll replace it with a phenolic one.

Here’s a few shots of the assembled canopy latch handle body.

Again, you can see the 3D printed threaded plastic sleeve peeking out the aft end of the handle body.

And then a few hours later after a seemingly unending myriad of drilling & tapping, the handle is finally together and ready for test mounting.

I’ll cut the triangular piece (gray plastic) tomorrow, but won’t get to CNC machining the main handle body (blue) until I get my mill online.

Here’s another few different shots of the handle assembly in various poses.

And finally, a shot of it in the bird. So happy to see this in place. Tomorrow I plan to gin up some nutplate assemblies and get this thing mounted in the fuselage for real.

And a bit closer view of it “installed.”

As a point of note, if you look closely in these last two shots you can see the outline of the Jack Wilhelmson handle just above the throttle handle. Although I’ve already covered it, you can really see how disruptive it would have been with my panel & throttle handle configuration.

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