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Thread: Rudder Pedal Spacing - How Far Apart Should They Be?

  1. #31
    Moderator Topaz's Avatar
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    Re: Rudder Pedal Spacing - How Far Apart Should They Be?

    Quote Originally Posted by BJC View Post
    Bill:

    I’m guessing that your airplane is intended more for cross country than for maneuvering, so the stability will allow for steady hands-off flight.
    I keep forgetting that you guys are always flying in smooth air.
    "If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." - Henry David Thoreau

    Design Project: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider
    Discussion Thread for the Project: Discussion: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider

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    Re: Rudder Pedal Spacing - How Far Apart Should They Be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Topaz View Post
    I keep forgetting that you guys are always flying in smooth air.
    Well, I've never been able to react to rough air with the stick between my knees.

    BTW, I do not often fly with the autopilot engaged, but I do like it when in class B with heavy traffic or other heavy traffic areas.


    BJC

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    Registered User davidb's Avatar
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    Re: Rudder Pedal Spacing - How Far Apart Should They Be?

    No need to route mixture and prop controls to the right side. Just having a second throttle control in the center or right side would give the right seater the ability to land or go around. Might that simplify installation a bit?

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    Registered User BoKu's Avatar
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    Re: Rudder Pedal Spacing - How Far Apart Should They Be?

    Quote Originally Posted by wsimpso1 View Post
    I wondered. I have flown a high performance glider with the pedals close together, and was not bothered by them, but wondered how that plays after three hours...

    I see that point, but... the stick is about half-way out the thighs and so will not clamp as well as if it were more like between the knees.
    This pretty much covers what I came here to add. The ergonomics of sailplane cockpits is a 3D concern that is to a surprising degree constrained by the 2D nature of knee joints. At issue is that most modern sailplanes have a center stick and an instrument pedestal or column between the pilot's legs that enforce a certain amount of what subway commuters call "manspreading." With the knees held apart by the cockpit infrastructure and the heels constrained by the tapering of the fuselage nose, the optimal angle for the pedal platform or crossbar, or for the pedal pivot, is not necessarily parallel to the aircraft lateral axis. Most modern sailplanes, mine included, have about a 15-degree angle between the pivot axes of the two pedals. The pedals themselves are relatively planar, so the 15-degree angle is reflected at the pedal crossbar as well. The result is a low-fatigue system in which the rudder is operated essentially by the ankles alone, and in which the pivoting of the ankle involves only the very natural deflections used during normal activities such as walking.

    Bottom line, I'd locate the bottom of the pedals wherever convenient, but then I'd do a round of sit-ins to play around with the pedal and pivot angles to make them relatively neutral to the alignment of the lower leg. If you don't use the rudder a lot, it might be acceptable to have the pedal crossbars at a slight angle, but with pivots parallel to the lateral axis.

    --Bob K.
    Bob Kuykendall
    HP-24 Kit Sailplane
    HP-24 Kit Sailplane Facebook Page
    http://www.hpaircraft.com/hp-24
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    "Homebuilt aviation is not for folks
    who won't try stuff at home."

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    Re: Rudder Pedal Spacing - How Far Apart Should They Be?

    Quote Originally Posted by BoKu View Post
    This pretty much covers what I came here to add. The ergonomics of sailplane cockpits is a 3D concern that is to a surprising degree constrained by the 2D nature of knee joints. At issue is that most modern sailplanes have a center stick and an instrument pedestal or column between the pilot's legs that enforce a certain amount of what subway commuters call "manspreading." With the knees held apart by the cockpit infrastructure and the heels constrained by the tapering of the fuselage nose, the optimal angle for the pedal platform or crossbar, or for the pedal pivot, is not necessarily parallel to the aircraft lateral axis. Most modern sailplanes, mine included, have about a 15-degree angle between the pivot axes of the two pedals. The pedals themselves are relatively planar, so the 15-degree angle is reflected at the pedal crossbar as well. The result is a low-fatigue system in which the rudder is operated essentially by the ankles alone, and in which the pivoting of the ankle involves only the very natural deflections used during normal activities such as walking.

    Bottom line, I'd locate the bottom of the pedals wherever convenient, but then I'd do a round of sit-ins to play around with the pedal and pivot angles to make them relatively neutral to the alignment of the lower leg. If you don't use the rudder a lot, it might be acceptable to have the pedal crossbars at a slight angle, but with pivots parallel to the lateral axis.

    --Bob K.
    I understand completely. My left ankle has a bone graft and pins to lock one joint and very limited and marginal movement for the amount of movement required to operate toe brakes in the other joint. I have to adjust the toe brake angle to get it just right or I have to lift my leg and use my heel on the toe brake.
    Pops

    If its not there, it cost nothing, weighs nothing, and is 100% reliable.

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    Registered User don january's Avatar
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    Re: Rudder Pedal Spacing - How Far Apart Should They Be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pops View Post
    I understand completely. My left ankle has a bone graft and pins to lock one joint and very limited and marginal movement for the amount of movement required to operate toe brakes in the other joint. I have to adjust the toe brake angle to get it just right or I have to lift my leg and use my heel on the toe brake.
    Pops looks like we need to tap and drill your ankles for a grease Zerk. Stiff ankles is one reason I went heel brakes on mine.
    Taylor- Mono, PDQ.

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    Re: Rudder Pedal Spacing - How Far Apart Should They Be?

    Quote Originally Posted by don january View Post
    Pops looks like we need to tap and drill your ankles for a grease Zerk. Stiff ankles is one reason I went heel brakes on mine.
    Grease will not help bone grafts and pins I fell about 16'-18' and landed on concrete with my left leg straight down. Lots of broken bones in my left leg and damage to my hip and back. Concrete is HARD.
    Cast from toes to hip for 6 months two times.
    Pops

    If its not there, it cost nothing, weighs nothing, and is 100% reliable.

  13. #38
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    Re: Rudder Pedal Spacing - How Far Apart Should They Be?

    Quote Originally Posted by davidb View Post
    No need to route mixture and prop controls to the right side. Just having a second throttle control in the center or right side would give the right seater the ability to land or go around. Might that simplify installation a bit?
    I thought I was simplifying by skipping mixture and alternate air...
    Billski's opinions expressed here are available free and may be worth the money you paid for them. Understand that they are based upon a successful combination of education and a lifetime of experience using that education, but I can not know everything about your circumstances. Your choices are yours alone, and you must be the final judge on what you do. No whining...

  14. #39
    Registered User Daleandee's Avatar
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    Re: Rudder Pedal Spacing - How Far Apart Should They Be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Toobuilder View Post
    I find the narrow pedals of the RV-8 less comfortable than the very wide pedals of the Rocket. I suspect somewhere in between (shoulder width) is perfect.
    In my Cleanex (Corvair/Sonex) sitting in the left seat gets a comfortable set of pedals to use that are about shoulder width apart. Because I have a single center stick I have the option to change up and sit in the center using the outside rudder pedals which are obviously wider but still quite comfortable. Makes for a wide cabin single seater ... and much easier to watch your six.

    I see you are building a center console with dual sticks so this option isn't something that would work ...

    Dale
    N319WF

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    Re: Rudder Pedal Spacing - How Far Apart Should They Be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daleandee View Post
    In my Cleanex (Corvair/Sonex) sitting in the left seat gets a comfortable set of pedals to use that are about shoulder width apart. Because I have a single center stick I have the option to change up and sit in the center using the outside rudder pedals which are obviously wider but still quite comfortable. Makes for a wide cabin single seater ... and much easier to watch your six.

    I see you are building a center console with dual sticks so this option isn't something that would work ...

    Dale
    N319WF
    My Falconar F-12 had rudder pedals on both sides ( 2 place , side by side) with a single center stick and flap handle and a Piper style overhead elevator trim crank. Engine controls on the left side. I liked everything, I could set towards the center and use the outside rudder pedals except having to use the flap handle that was down between the seats. No problem in cruise on a long trip. Could also put both feet in between the rudder pedals and extend my legs towards the firewall to stretch out. Lot of room to move around. Lots of long trips in this airplane.
    Pops

    If its not there, it cost nothing, weighs nothing, and is 100% reliable.

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    Registered User davidb's Avatar
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    Re: Rudder Pedal Spacing - How Far Apart Should They Be?

    Quote Originally Posted by wsimpso1 View Post
    I thought I was simplifying by skipping mixture and alternate air...
    Yeah, I don’t know what you are using for an engine/prop nor your landing gear configuration. I could just keep guessing and assuming. BTW, sorry for assuming you didn’t have good reason for not putting the engine controls in the center.

    And, thanks for sharing your build and decision process. Lots of good info and discussion that is educational for me.

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    Registered User don january's Avatar
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    Re: Rudder Pedal Spacing - How Far Apart Should They Be?

    0n my Taylor mono I have 11 inches from center of pedal to center of pedal and that's up fairly tight to Fus. sides and the heel brakes are tucked between them. Would be a big problem to knee the stick. but you can stop roll rate and pitch if you squeeze your legs together to hold stick. I call it a pucker.
    Taylor- Mono, PDQ.

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  20. #43
    Registered User wsimpso1's Avatar
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    Re: Rudder Pedal Spacing - How Far Apart Should They Be?

    Quote Originally Posted by davidb View Post
    Yeah, I don’t know what you are using for an engine/prop nor your landing gear configuration. I could just keep guessing and assuming. BTW, sorry for assuming you didn’t have good reason for not putting the engine controls in the center.

    And, thanks for sharing your build and decision process. Lots of good info and discussion that is educational for me.
    http://www.homebuiltairplanes.com/fo...ead.php?t=8344
    Billski's opinions expressed here are available free and may be worth the money you paid for them. Understand that they are based upon a successful combination of education and a lifetime of experience using that education, but I can not know everything about your circumstances. Your choices are yours alone, and you must be the final judge on what you do. No whining...

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