|Aerobatic pilots are aesthetes. Not only does their sense of beauty create the most beautiful airplanes in the modelling world. Also the peripheral equipment has to have a touch of elegance and finesse. I’ve seen starter boxes which can pass quite well as the treasure chest of a Royal Family. Or tool boxes which need not hide behind the jewel case of First Ladies. And - let’s not forget the handles.|
|Lutz Hetges, Germany, may not be the fastest builder. But whatever he does is thought out carefully and executed extraordinary well. He is a mechanic by trade, and he is a stunt flyer.|
So the technical skills and the aesthetic inclination mix perfectly in this
- the word “product” is just too crude to describe his handle.
It is a in-flight- adjustable-line-length gadget. Also line spacing can be changed together with individual position of leadouts. This may come in handy when our airplane doesn’t like to turn evenly both sides. Some may argue that in-flight adjustment of line length ( lines relative to each other ) is not needed. I like this feature. While I do have several handles, I have more airplanes than handles. And sooner or later I pick a handle which hasn’t already been adjusted to the airplane I’m flying. So very often this kind of adjustment is highly welcome.
|Lutz’ handle is biased. This shape depends on what you like, what you’ve been used to, and your style of holding your hand while flying. For a more or less stretched arm a biased handle is a necessity ( unless your wrist movement is out of the norm ). This handle has some overhang like most of those handles with a front bar. Producing this tool takes a little more work than what is usually required. But then, take a look at this jewel - it should really be kept in a jewel case and not necessarily be used for flying!|
|The handle consists of five layers. In the middle there’s the centre layer made of some kind of plastic ( like Pertinax; a brown plastic material which includes fabric fibres). What is not seen in the drawings is the threaded rod; in Lutz’ case with M4 thread. On this rod rides a small brass runner with M4 threaded hole.|
|The cable runs through a small hole and is soldered to the runner. On the rod bottom end a knurled knob is soldered. Turning the knob will move the runner up or down, thus changing line length. The grooves for the cable are shaped with a soft bend to reduce friction of the cable as much as possible, and to keep it from being bent sharply.|
|The two main frames are cut from hard aluminium. The wide slot at the rear allows the runner to move up and down. The small cutout on top of the wide one is the seat for some kind of bearing to keep the top end of the rod. Those two slots at the front end will hold the two aluminium sliders which serve as adjustable leadouts. The small hole in the middle is for a M3 bolt which squeezes the main layers, thereby fixing the sliders.|
|At last two wooden layers are shaped to the pilots hand to provide a tight grip and comfortable feeling when flying. The layer which touches the palm is permanently glued to the main layers. The other part should be made removable. It is held by three bolts and can be taken off for inspection and maintenance.|
of this handle is not too simple. The photos will give you an idea of the
basic principle, and the drawings can help to produce the various parts.
On the bottom of this page you’ll find a button for download. This
will get you a copy of Lutz’ original drawing as he gave it to me.
If you print it out you’ll have a full size sketch to work from. Please
pardon Lutz - the drawing is not 100% correct ( the original was lost, and
Lutz did a replacement for me in a hurry! ). But I think - those who insist
on using such a noble tool usually don’t need detailed advice. You’ll
want to shape this handle very individually, anyway.