This bright red aircraft with a chequerboard rudder design looks great – click on the photo or here for a short video explaining the controls: A32 Vixxen with Y-stick controls
Various stick control systems have been tested and refined over the last 6-9 months resulting in what Yuriy Yakovlyev (Aeroprakt CEO and chief designer) says is probably ‘the most comfortable control configuration I have ever flown’.
As you can see from the picture, the Y-stick is centrally placed to make entry and rapid exit as easy as ever for the pilot and passenger – no need to contort yourself over a seat-front control stick. The throttles have been moved from the A22 positions beside the seats, familiar to so many Foxbat owners, to the bottom outboard end of the instrument panel. The throttles are now push-pull and have large, easy to grip handles. The Y-stick itself also has sleek new covers and handles, in keeping with the image of the A32.
A32 aircraft with Y-sticks are available for manufacture from September 2016. The cost is the same as for the (standard) twin control yokes.
Foxbat Australia has been working with a professional aviation control-lock company to develop a new system for locking the single handle and Y-stick control version of the aircraft. The result is a secure method of locking the flaperon/elevator control stick, suitable for use when the aircraft is parked outside – overnight or longer. This system is not suitable for twin control yoke A22 aircraft.
You may recall that as well as instructions in the A22 Pilot Operating handbook (POH) a recent factory mandatory service bulletin advises that when a stick-control aircraft is parked outside, the metal lock-pin must be supplemented with control surface clamps to ensure there is no damage to the elevator rod-end connection due to wind gusts. However, while it is relatively easy to clamp the flaperons at the wing tips, clamping the elevator has proved more difficult.
Without access to suitable surface clamps, a number of owners have preferred to remove the lock-pin and instead use the seat belts to lock the controls when the aircraft is parked outside. Nevertheless, the inconvenience of continually adjusting the seat belts, after they have been used to lock the controls, may cause some pilots/owners not to lock the controls properly. Also, some owners do not like the elevator ‘up’ position which results from locking the controls with the seat belts.
Worse yet, some owners still rely on the lock-pin even in adverse conditions – risking potentially disastrous damage to the elevator rod-end connection.
The new control/gust lock system is an excellent solution to ensuring that your A22 can be parked safely outside in all normal wind conditions, without the need to use either the metal lock-pin, seat belts or surface clamps. It holds the flaperons in a neutral position with the elevator ‘down’.
The new lock consists of a red adjustable looped strap, which fits and tightens over the stick. This loop is attached to two forward extending straps which are positively anchored via ‘pin-and-eye’ fixtures (not press-studs) on each side of the centre tunnel. The eyes on the strap ends are quickly pushed into their locked position and are released by pulling down on the strap end. The loop round the stick is adjustable and is also easily tightened and released. Each part of the strap system is labelled ‘Remove before flight’ and can be easily attached and removed from left or right seats.
Installation is very simple, requiring only the drilling of an additional hole each side to accommodate the anchoring pin bolts – which also utilise an existing hole.
Now, here’s the good news: during the introductory period until the end of April 2016, the price will be A$55 including 10% GST. After the introductory period, the price will be A$75 including GST. This price includes everything you need to fit the system and full installation instructions. Postage will be charged at cost.
If you want one of these control locks, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and address to confirm your order. You can pay directly with PayPal or with your credit card via Paypal – we’ll send you instructions.