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Thread: One solution to the skinny control wheel

  1. #1
    Tailwind_Fan's Avatar
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    Default One solution to the skinny control wheel

    Hi everyone,

    I donít know how many people feel like I do, that the control wheel is just too small to really get a good grip on, but, I suspect that thereís a decent number that feel like I do. This can also cover the unsightly flaked off paint too. The key is to use a good quality cork handle bar tape (I love the feel of Cinelli cork,) and self adhering splice electrical tape. I placed the two short pieces at the top of the inner handle and one long piece that runs on the outside. I then wrapped from just about center down the bottom. Overlapping at the center creates a nice little tactile reference bump. I used the full finishing tape in the top middle and cut the second in half for the bottom.
    Before:
    32230057-2446-469F-8700-6D011A42D717.jpg
    After:

    8FCF0E57-A14B-4D56-897B-6D83EB9C5E21.jpg 40DC9691-8431-4C98-9BBF-F13E96555F79.jpg B8A6E8CA-C5EC-4412-B713-AA7B7CFAEB05.jpg

  2. #2
    Glen Geller's Avatar
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    Default Re: One solution to the skinny control wheel

    Nice solution!
    I went to the auto parts store and bought a fake leather steering wheel cover for trucks, in black, actually IO bought two.
    https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/b...80450b/5632548
    I cut the covers into two pieces each, half for each control wheel, and half for each strut inside the windshield.
    Those struts get hella hot in the summer sun and when climbing into the plane it can be too hot for some to touch.

    And it looks kinda nice from the outside, too.

    GG
    Glen Geller
    1955 PA22-150 "One For Papa!"

  3. #3
    Tailwind_Fan's Avatar
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    Default Re: One solution to the skinny control wheel

    Good idea Glen. Also love the covering of the bracing tubes. That reminds me that the last couple of times I used these tubes to get in. So, I’m going to cover them too.

    Alana

  4. #4

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    Default Re: One solution to the skinny control wheel

    Well, Alana and Glen I think both ideas are less than ideal. I usually don't comment on personal choices but this one strikes me as worthy - simply because it is the primary pilot interface for control of the plane. In my experience the increased wheel size significantly interferes with the view to instruments, especially on the top part of the wheel. As for the brace wrap it may also reduce a view to the world, unless its really limited to just the very top part of the braces. The reduced view to the instruments is more annoying to me. My plane came with both wheels wrapped some synthetic automotive material like Glen suggests and I was always ducking and bobbing and weaving to see around the fat wheel. I agree the skinny wheel is not easy to wrestle with it you're yanking a banking a lot, but its not a shovel handle either. I guess some folks just like to really have a good grip on things. Also, I typically go with "form follows function", but I still have to say that I think neither modification enhances the aesthetics of the cockpit at all. If I were wanting more purchase or friction, I'd try something with less cross section and girth. If I really had to have more of the fat bar feel, I'd limit it to the sides grips only and leave the top of the wheel alone. My 2 cents.

  5. #5
    andya's Avatar
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    Default Re: One solution to the skinny control wheel

    good points, but I put the automotive simulated leather wrap on mine for the feel of something more
    substantial. True, it may block a little more view of some of the instruments but for my purposes I
    have adapted over the many years I have had this on my yokes. I guess the other comment is
    I really don't look at much on the panel with exception of Airspeed in the traffic pattern, climb and descent
    other wise I've go my eyes outside enjoying the scenery and monitor where I'm headed on XC's.
    Please don't take offense as non is intended. Turns out we all have different priorities and desires.
    "Progress is our most important problem"

  6. #6
    JPerkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: One solution to the skinny control wheel

    I found the hoop too skinny as well. I used paracord as that's what I had and if need be it could be pulled off and used for something else; like if I ever have a spontaneous camping episode.20170618_180236.jpg

    Sent from my SM-G930V using ShortWingPipers.Org mobile app
    Jason Perkins

  7. #7
    Tailwind_Fan's Avatar
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    Default Re: One solution to the skinny control wheel

    Quote Originally Posted by Subsonic View Post
    Well, Alana and Glen I think both ideas are less than ideal.... My 2 cents.
    Certainly, a valid point. Thank you for commenting.

    -Alana

  8. #8
    wmvosburgh's Avatar
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    Default Re: One solution to the skinny control wheel

    I've never really thought too much about the control size on something I've flown. The range of aircraft I've flown is relatively small, though.
    I've always tried to keep my contact with controls light and minimal. An instructor I met early on told me "The yoke is like a dog terd. Would you pick up dog terd with your whole hand and squeeze it? Of course not...you'd grab it daintily with a thumb and index finger." That analogy has always stuck with me and I've passed it on to most of my students. I believe it helps fix issues with over controlling and flying out of trim early in training. Also good for a laugh.
    An FAA article from somewhere around 2012 or 13 incorporated some research on a pilots ability to perceive pressure changes following even slightly prolonged occasions of gripping or holding something. Long and short of it was if you're holding on even a little tight you won't perceive what the aircraft may be trying to tell you.

  9. #9

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    Default Re: One solution to the skinny control wheel

    Almost all my students grab the controls with way to much force, and can't feel what the airplane is telling them. The way if ix it is to have them weave a pencil between their fingers. If they try and grab the controls tightly, it hurts like hell. A light touch is all that is needed, thumb and index finger only. The size of the wheel doesn't matter if that is how you hold the controls.

  10. #10
    Gilbert Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: One solution to the skinny control wheel

    Right on! My Clipper only needs a thumb and index finger on the stick.

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