The OEM rudder handle mechanisms have been sitting in storage for considerable time, and I thought it was time to add them to the simulator and replace the very poorly made and ‘cheesy’ reproductions that I was using.
LEFT: OEM rudder handles and mechanism installed to Captain-side kickstand. The stick shaker can be seen in the foreground (click to enlarge).
The rudder mechanism is not a small item that you can easily screw to the kickstand. Each handle attaches to a 8-inch-long box, that houses the various circuitry, cabling and a dozen or so aircraft circuit breakers.
Connection to the aircraft’s system is via two Canon plugs at the rear of the unit, while movement of the pedals forward or aft is facilitated by a long metal cable that connects to the rear of the handle.
The mechanism is not light-weight and weighs in at just over 1 kilogram.
The rudder handles do nothing other than add to the aesthetics of the simulator. However, if wanted the various circuit breakers can be connected to an interface card (something I will not be doing).
LEFT: Rudder handle mechanism (prior to cleaning). The long metal cable that connects to the rear of the handle (enabling the forward and aft adjustment of the pedals) has been removed. The white handle hangs loose and needs to be attached to the box using plastic fasteners (empty holes). The black circular pull on/off circuit breakers can be seen below the white handle (click to enlarge).
Installation to MIP
There are several methods that can be used to install the mechanism to the Main Instrument Panel (MIP).
If you are using an OEM MIP, then connection of the mechanism to the kick-stand is a matter of using the existing bolts and placement holes. Fitment to a reproduction MIP is acomplished differently and depends upon how the MIP is constructed.
I fabricated an aluminium cradle (saddle) that is attached by two nuts and bolts to the lower portion of the kickstand (under the kickstand out of sight). The rudder mechanism slides into the cradle and a small screw holds the mechanism in the correct place. A similar assembly could easily be made from wood and painted Boeing grey.