Journal Archive (Newest First)

FLIGHT CONTROLS - STEERING TILLER

The steering tiller is an often overlooked piece of hardware for many virtual flyers.  The steering tiller provides greater control of the aircraft during taxi operations, and if calibrated correctly works very well.

The B737-800 Project ues the following flight controls:

  • OEM B737-500 dual yokes and columns
  • OEM B737-500 Throttle Quadrant (revamped to NG style)
  • OEM B737-400 rudder pedals with custom-made rudder pedal assembly
  • OEM B737-400 steering tiller (identical to NG)

OEM is an acronym for Original Equipment Manufacturer.

OEM Steering Tiller

The tiller has been salvaged from a B737-400 series aircraft and is identical to the tiller used in the 800 NG series airframe.  The actual OEM part is only the black handle and white arrow.  The remainder of the unit has been custom fabricated to allow easy attachment to the inside wall liners of the flight deck.

LEFT: B737 OEM steering tiller on custom plate (OEM 737-400 handle).   Click image for larger view.

As I don't have a shell and liners at the moment, I've attached two pieces of grey-coloured wood to the unit to enable temporary installation to the forward left of the Captain's seat.

To replicate the tension when turning the tiller handle, several heavy duty springs have been used.  The method used to simulate the pressure is very similar to that used in the yokes, columns and rudder pedals.  Calibration of the tiller is possible by using a single potentiometer.

Interface Card and Calibration

The tiller is connected directly to a Leo Bodnar BU086A interface card, although any joystick card such as a PoKeys card can be used.  A USB cable then runs from the interface card to the main computer.  The interface card allows the tiller axis to be registered in flight simulator.

The steering tiller requires careful calibration if it's to operate correctly.  Calibration is initially through Windows and then FSUIPC.  Using FSUIPC enables greater accuracy to be achieved. 

For further information, read this post - B737 Steering Tiller Installed and Operational.