I have 70 hours on my plane now and my rudder is just as stiff as when I first flew it. My bungee broke at 18 hours and the rudder was loose as a goose, wish I could have that free movement again. Walt Synder has flattened his V Block which I'm thinking is a great idea. When I'm flying I have to push through the detention and then the rudder gets easier. Descending I need left rudder to center the ball and hold it or the ball goes to the left. Has anyone had a solution to this pressure? I'm use to it now and glance at the ball constantly to keep it coordinated, otherwise you get the oil canning letting you know you need to do something. I love these planes and sure hope we can improve this one inconvenience to have control harmony. None of this bothers me during landing or takeoff as you are just reacting to which way the nose is pointing and correcting for it, it's just that initial push through the rudder V Block that seems to be bothersome.

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I flattened my V for the same reason.  300 hours on a 601HDS and it works great.

Flattened mine and now my rudder is silky smooth. Maybe mine was stiff because the Rotax is so light and my CG is normally very far aft but never out of range. My max movement of the strut was maybe an inch, so maybe lots of force from the bungee? Anyway I'm loving it now.


My rudder was never stiff and I haven't modified the detent and really can't feel it go in or out of the detent! Two things come to mind:

Have you liberally lubricated the nylon block that has the detent? I use white lithium grease.

Have you tried relaxing the tension a bit on your rudder cables? I've heard that excessive tension seems to aggravate stiffness.



Yes that's exactly what I use the white lithium grease and my cables are at the recommended settings at the bottom end also. It just seems like I have to push hard at some points and then at other times they are ok, not easy like a Cessna. I think I'll try removing the detent at my first 100 hour which will give it 30 more hours of breaking in and maybe will be just fine.

These reports of rudder stiffness and/or having to "push" the rudder out of the detent has really intrigued me! I got to thinking ... maybe I have just adapted or something, but as I've said ad nauseum, seems it was never a problem in my plane!

I went out to the hangar today and decided "by golly, I'm going to deliberately try to see if I can feel what these guys are talking about!"  Sooo, I took a short flight and really paid attention to rudder effort and feel. I can honestly say I cannot detect the detent in the bearing block at all! At both normal cruise speeds and slow flight, I smoothly swung the rudder back-and-forth and just absolutely, positively, couldn't feel any sort of notch or detent or increased effort to move the rudder! My rudder will respond to just resting a shoe on the pedal - I really don't have to forcibly push to get a reaction. I've seen others report it is not a problem and then some say it is really objectionable. My bearing block is totally unmodified as far as the detent/ramp angles.

I do have a 600 series rather than a 800 series tire on the front which weighs 2.8 lbs less than the 800, I suppose that helps lighten the forces on the detent, but I honestly don't remember any difference in rudder "feel" when I had the 800 installed.

Maybe a lighter tire helps? ... or maybe it's sheer, dumb, luck!  Who knows?   ;>)




While taxing on a paved level surface with feet on the floor, do you track straight? Centering block may not be centered?

Just a thought.

See you after Thanksgiving.

Del Clowes


Seems to track straight, only been on pavement a few times. Wow is dirt ever forgiving and my tires still look new. I'll call you once I'm back from the holidays.

If there is weight on the front tire it helps push the centering pins up out of the detent so you probably won't feel it as much during taxiing.  I haven't put many hours on my plane but I have not noticed any force or resistance required to get the rudder off center.  I have the 2nd edition kit if that makes a difference.  At first I had a "notchy" feeling stick.  Sprayed all the bearings on the torque tube, stick and the elevator with a white lithium grease spray and it was like magic.  All the controls are tight and smooth now.



As a suggestion go To www.vikingaircraftengines.com. In the shopping link is the fix for Zenith nose gear. No more bungees. I have one coming for my CruZer build. I have already sold my 601XL-B or I would have installed the steel bungee on it also.
I'll be curious to hear some pireps on the steel bungee mod and how it feels/works. I imagine there's some being installed now.

That's quite a fix!  I wonder how much more that weighs though?  Keep us posted on that mod.  


Build a taildragger. No notch problem 'cuz the notch is part of the nose gear. (This also solves the "how to seal up the nose wheel steering rod slots in the firewall" problem at the same time - no rods going through the firewall.)

And, come to think of it, the taildragger proves that the notch thing is not needed for safe flight since it was designed without a notch and it flies just fine by all reports that I have heard.


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