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Technical Chat Tips and Advice, including flying the Luscombe

Moderator: HTB

 #2245  by Paul Hignett
 Mon Mar 31, 2008 10:08 pm
Hi Everyone,

Heres the problem, just as i think im almost finised restoring her i find another problem.

Went to connect the aileron cables today and find that the Balance cables seem to be about 2inches too short :evil: , I know there are 2 lengths of cable, 1 for the fabric wing and 1 for the metal wing.

Has anyone had this problem as well and does anyone know what the exact dimensions of the cables for the metal wing should be.

I ordered these cables from the luscombe foundation in the states so was hoping they would be the right ones, just wondered if there is a error in the parts book and the numbers should be swapped around?

Any suggestions much appreciated.


 #2247  by Paul Hignett
 Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:15 am
Just had a thought................ is it possible for people to recover fabric wings with metal?? were they of the same framework internally? could this explain why cables dont fit?were the two wings (fabric/metal) the same sizes?


 #2249  by dmcneil
 Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:06 pm
Hi Paul,

Greetings from the colonies. There are indeed two different length aileron balance cables depending on whether the wing is rag or metal. From the 1959 Silvaire Master Parts List:

p.n. 285015............ Cable assembly, aileron balance, fabric wing, (length 16' 7/8" Univair catalog)
p.n. 285015-99....... Cable assembly, aileron balance, metal wing, (length 15' 10 3/4" Univair catalog)

The lengths are from the Univair catalog

Your other question about covering the ragwings with aluminum skins... yes, that was done in the field by some owners. However, the underlying structure is much different between the factory rag and metal wings. And of course, the ragwings had steel tube V-struts while the metal wing had a single aluminum strut. The rag wing is conventional with aluminum spar, built up wing ribs (stamped ribs in postwar airplanes), and drag and anti-drag wires. The metal wings used the same extruded spar but had little else in common. The factory metal wing has fore and aft hat section stringers on the top and bottom skins with no ribs and no other internal bracing save for the strut attach fittings. The metal wing had almost no internal structure between the fuselage wing fittings and the lift strut fitting as all loads were taken by the wing skins.

Dan McNeill
Placerville, California

 #2250  by Paul Hignett
 Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:41 pm
Hi Dan,

Many thanks for that.

I had managed to find those sizes yesterday in univair as youve mentioned.
"p.n. 285015............ Cable assembly, aileron balance, fabric wing, (length 16' 7/8" Univair catalog)
p.n. 285015-99....... Cable assembly, aileron balance, metal wing, (length 15' 10 3/4" Univair catalog)"

Heres where the fun starts.......or not as the case may be.

The cables ive recieved are indeed the 15'10 3/4", lablled metal wings, so i have taken out the new cables and physically measured them, correct according to labels, but, still 2" to short when in the wings :cry:

I cant see how i would have made a fundimental mistake and rigged the cables wrong, as there isnt exactlly much there, any suggestions please?

i can get all cables to meet and be connected.....just with about 3 threads only............BUT the ailerons then droop by about 3inches each wing and tension becomes high. Ive got 3engineers all had a look at it trying to figure it out but we keep coming back to 'cables to short'

Can anyone definately say what there cables lengths are in there wings, i just wonder if the part numbers have been switched round and the metal wings cables should be the 16' 7/8"

The previous owner had actually a homemade cable to fit the wings, im beginning to see why but wanted to know why incase its an error which affects everyone else.

Thanks everyone
 #2251  by Pete Bush
 Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:54 pm
Hi Paul,
are you using the correct length turn barrels and fork ends?

Let me know if you are still stuck and I will remove a balance cable from a rag wing I have at home and measure it for you. I always thought the metal wing had the longer cable but I may well be wrong.

Pete (G-BROO)

 #2252  by Paul Hignett
 Thu Apr 03, 2008 8:43 am
Hi Pete,

The previous owner had short turn barrels on at the ailerons, which ive replaced with the correct longer ones, the 2barrels for the drive cables dont seem to effect the balance cables as i can get the ailerons set up correct from stick to aileron and working in correct sense etc with enough adjustment left.

However there is only 1 barrel on the balance cable, again this is the long barrel but yet the cables still dont meet and there are no options of different fork ends for the balance cable as its a fixed/sealed cable and ends.

I think that I definately need the longer cables, but the part numbers in the books have been swapped around , ie rag=metal wing and metal wing=rag.

Any help much appreciated.

Many thanks in advance.


 #2256  by dmcneil
 Thu Apr 03, 2008 5:59 pm
Hi Paul,

I've got a call in to the good folks at Team Luscombe... the TC holder... to verify the part numbers and lengths. They are all off at the Sun'N Fun Fly-In in Florida right now, but I hope to hear from them in the next day or so. I don't have a spare cable to verify the length directly.

Are all your aileron circuit pulleys the standard A-120 3" variety? As you said, there just isn't a lot there to cause a change in the cable end position.

As soon as I get any more info I'll pass it along.


 #2257  by Pete Bush
 Thu Apr 03, 2008 10:30 pm
Hi Paul,

I have just taken out the balance cable from a pre-war rag wing I have and guess is 15' 10 3/4'' long.

I had the same problem as you about 15 years ago but I put it down to lack of experience on Luscombes, you can't tell me Univair and others have been selling the wrong part numbers for all these years!! I remember when I swapped the cables for the longer ones all was well, (that was a metal wing model also) I always make my own cables now, more reliable source and much less dosh.

I hope this helps.

Pete (G-BROO)

 #2258  by Paul Hignett
 Fri Apr 04, 2008 8:29 am
Hi Everyone,

Many thanks for the replies and help.

It would seem that univair have reversed the Dash system compared to the original Luscombe part numbers, thus resulting in confusion.

Fresh new set of cables are on there way soon :D Cant wait as this is the last bit to be done now.

Cheers everyone and thanks to Luscombe endownment for sorting everything out.


 #2259  by dmcneil
 Fri Apr 04, 2008 5:18 pm
Hey Paul,

Glad you got things sorted out. I just got a call-back from the Type Certificate holder and had a nice chat. The lengths given in the Univair catalog are indeed reversed. Amazing they have been listed that way for so long without correction. The part numbers are correct based on the 1959 Fort Collins Luscombe Master Parts Catalog, but the lengths are reversed. Earlier part numbers in earlier catalogs listed the metal wing balance cable as p.n. 285015-10.

In summary, here's the correct numbers and lengths:

ragwing balance cable; p.n. 285015; 15' 10 3/4"
metal wing balance cable; p.n. 285015-10 (or -99); 16' 7/8"

 #2261  by Nige
 Sat Apr 05, 2008 9:06 am
Well done Paul, and a big thankyou to you all who have resolved this.

This a good example of how the website really helps, amazing those numbers were reversed for so long!

 #2264  by howell
 Sat Apr 05, 2008 6:14 pm
Hi All,
I have to say the information that flows around the internet is amazing, imagine how long and much head scratching would have gone on in the old days to sort this aileron cable problem. Big Thanks to Nige for starting the site and a keen group of Luscombe owners that keep contributing.
Chris Howell G-SAGE

 #2889  by Steve Martin
 Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:49 pm
A it just the balance cables that are different lengths, or do the stick to aileron cables similarly have differing length cables (rag/metal wing)?...
 #3450  by Steve Martin
 Sat Mar 07, 2009 5:54 pm
Can anyone help or explain this to me: I am just replacing the port "stick to aileron" cable and have a new cable from Univair No: U285014 which corresponds to the part in the Univair manual.

The new cable is 18ft,1and 7/8inches long. The old cable is an inch longer which may be put down to stretching? Stud ends that are attached to the cables and screw into the turnbuckles (attached to the fork ends on the ailerons) and these are different. The old cable stud end is MS21260 (possibly a made up cable in th UK), while the new cable stud end is AN669 (as per the parts manual).

The old turnbuckle is 2 1/4" long and the thread does not fit the new cable stud end. Looking at the Univair parts manual the turnbuckle should be AN155-32L. The LAS Aerospace catalogue says that AN155 items can be replaced by MS2125 turnbuckles, so I have now the replacement long (4") turnbuckle for AN155-32L = MS2125-B5L from LAS. Still with me !! This in theory should fit ..but.....

Trouble is the tread although the right way round doesn't fit the new Univair (U285014) cable, stud end thread (AN669), when the book says it should!

Do I need a different turnbuckle or a different cable? :scratch: or is there an easier solution? I suspect the cable is the wrong one.
 #3452  by Nige
 Sun Mar 08, 2009 9:10 am
As you know Steve, by coincidence, I'm also replacing Brug's Port Stick to Aileron Cable this coming week at Chilbolton, Brug's engineering base, { this Friday } and will let you now how I get on! However, I've elected to have a cable made up by Graham, the engineer, who has been making these cables for all types for years and after all the cable confusion, confirmed by this thread, I'm sleeping better here, knowing how relaxed Graham sounds over the phone about fitting mine! He estimates approximately 3 hours, with my help {??} to complete the job. I'll let you know how it goes. I believe he has lots of cable lengths in stock in his workshop. Fingers crossed.. :shock:

Would I be out of place to suggest Univair get there act together regarding this issue ??