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Aviation History in Control Wheels; Yokes


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Some great information on collecting and restoring control wheels, yokes and columns has appeared in individual threads over time. Thought it might be worthwhile to start a dedicated thread on the topic since it might pop up more often in a search. I had posted about the differences in early and late B-17 control wheels in a different thread. I'm guessing it might get more views and comments in this thread. And perhaps entice others to post and ask questions about different control wheels.

 

From the 1940's through the 1970s most manufacturers of large military, airline and business aircraft also installed decorative caps in the center hubs of their wheels--which are have a collectors following themselves.

 

So...contrasts in control wheel design: Early B-17s (all from the model 299 prototype to partway through [i think] early B-17F production) had an entirely different look than the iconic design that followed it for the rest of B-17 production. It had a decidedly art-deco 1930s look to it and was also used in the passenger-airline version of the B17, the model 307. And this wheel design, in turn, was derived from the wheel used in the Boeing 247....the first "modern" airliner. Variations on the design theme of the later production B-17 wheel were used on the B-29, B-50 and C/KC-97 series of aircraft. Dimensionally, for width and spoke location, it's easy to see the influence that B-17 control wheel design had on both the B-47 and B-52 control wheels.

 

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Below are photos of early and late model control wheels for the B36D (top) and B36J. The former is in my collection. But a late model B36 wheel has proven difficult to come by. Does anyone out there have an idea of where I might be able to find one of these to acquire?

 

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  • 1 month later...

Was hoping this thread would generate some posts from others who have an interesting control wheel, column/yoke or (hub) cap in their collection. Perhaps it will in time.

 

Meanwhile, thought I'd post some shots of this wheel from an A-26 (later re-designated B-26) Invader. They show the wheel in the as-bought, in-process and restored conditions. Often, a control wheel of a given design got used in several aircraft. This same wheel design was used on more aircraft than any wheel design I'm aware of. It was used on the North American B-45 Tornado, Northrop B-35 Flying Wing, Northrop P-61 Black Widow, Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon and on the Convair R3Y Tradewind flying boat. Anyone out there know of other wheel designs used in multiple aircraft?

 

In the early 1960s a bunch of A-26's were rebuilt and modernized by On-Mark Aviation. One of the mods some of them carried was a new wheel....which was the same as the one used the the Lockheed C-130.

 

 

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Great thread, hope it keeps drawing attention now and then.

 

 

HONORING FAMILY LtCol Wm Russell (1679-1757) VA Mil; Pvt Zachariah McKay (1714-97) Frederick VA Mil; BrigGen Evan Shelby, Jr (1719-94) VA Mil; Pvt Vincent Hobbs (1722-1808) Wythe VA Mil; Pvt Hugh Alexander (1724-77); Lt John R. Litton (1726-1804); Bvt BrigGen/Col Wm W. Russell (1735-93) 5th VA Rgmt; Lt James Scott (1736-1817); Capt John Murray, Sr (1747-1833); Capt John Sehorn, Sr (1748-1831) VA Mil; Pvt Corbin Lane (1750-1816) Franklin/TN Mil; Cpl Jesse D. Reynolds (1750-1836) 5th VA Rgmt; Capt. Solomon C. Litton (1751-1844); 1Lt Christopher Casey (1754-1840) SC Mil; Pvt Mark Adams (1755-1828); Pvt Randolph White (1755-1831) Bailey's Co. VA Rgmt; Capt. John R. Russell (1758-1838); Pvt Joseph T. Cooley (1767-1826) Fort Hempstead Mil; Pvt Thomas Barron (1776-1863) 1812; Capt. John Baumgardner (1787-1853) VA Mil; Pvt Joel Estep (1828-1864) Co B 5th KY Inf CSA & US; Pvt George B. Bell (1833-1910) Co C 47th IL Inf US; Cpl Daniel H. Barron (1838-1910) Co B 19th TN Rgmt Inf CSA; Capt Richard K. Kaufman (1908-1946) 7th PRG/3rd AF CCU; T-5 Vernon L. Bell (1926-95) 1802nd Spec Rgmt; PO2 Murray J. Heichman (1932-2019) HQSB/MCRD; PFC Jess Long (1934-2017) US Army; PFC Donald W. Johnson (1931-) 43rd ID HQ; A1C Keith W. Bell (1931-2011) 314th TCW; A3C Michael S. Bell (1946-) 3346th CMS; A1C Sam W. Lee (1954-2017) 2d BW; AW3 Keith J. Price (1975-) VP-10; 1Lt Matthew Wm Bell (1985-) 82nd Abn/SOC








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I'd like to see how much it would take to lay hands on a C-123B and/or U-3A wheel...

 

I ground-crewed and flew a bunch of hours on both, '64-66

HONORING FAMILY LtCol Wm Russell (1679-1757) VA Mil; Pvt Zachariah McKay (1714-97) Frederick VA Mil; BrigGen Evan Shelby, Jr (1719-94) VA Mil; Pvt Vincent Hobbs (1722-1808) Wythe VA Mil; Pvt Hugh Alexander (1724-77); Lt John R. Litton (1726-1804); Bvt BrigGen/Col Wm W. Russell (1735-93) 5th VA Rgmt; Lt James Scott (1736-1817); Capt John Murray, Sr (1747-1833); Capt John Sehorn, Sr (1748-1831) VA Mil; Pvt Corbin Lane (1750-1816) Franklin/TN Mil; Cpl Jesse D. Reynolds (1750-1836) 5th VA Rgmt; Capt. Solomon C. Litton (1751-1844); 1Lt Christopher Casey (1754-1840) SC Mil; Pvt Mark Adams (1755-1828); Pvt Randolph White (1755-1831) Bailey's Co. VA Rgmt; Capt. John R. Russell (1758-1838); Pvt Joseph T. Cooley (1767-1826) Fort Hempstead Mil; Pvt Thomas Barron (1776-1863) 1812; Capt. John Baumgardner (1787-1853) VA Mil; Pvt Joel Estep (1828-1864) Co B 5th KY Inf CSA & US; Pvt George B. Bell (1833-1910) Co C 47th IL Inf US; Cpl Daniel H. Barron (1838-1910) Co B 19th TN Rgmt Inf CSA; Capt Richard K. Kaufman (1908-1946) 7th PRG/3rd AF CCU; T-5 Vernon L. Bell (1926-95) 1802nd Spec Rgmt; PO2 Murray J. Heichman (1932-2019) HQSB/MCRD; PFC Jess Long (1934-2017) US Army; PFC Donald W. Johnson (1931-) 43rd ID HQ; A1C Keith W. Bell (1931-2011) 314th TCW; A3C Michael S. Bell (1946-) 3346th CMS; A1C Sam W. Lee (1954-2017) 2d BW; AW3 Keith J. Price (1975-) VP-10; 1Lt Matthew Wm Bell (1985-) 82nd Abn/SOC








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I'd like to see how much it would take to lay hands on a C-123B and/or U-3A wheel...

 

I ground-crewed and flew a bunch of hours on both, '64-66

The control wheel for the old straight-tail Cessna 310 (Civie version of the U-3) are not difficult to come by on Ebay. I bought mine for $75. Prices vary a lot. The wheel for the C123 Provider is the same as used on Fairchild's earlier C-119. They do show up occasionally on ebay and will typically go for $300-$400. Occasionally an outlier will sell for more if in nice shape. The pic of my C119 wheel shows it mounted to the control head used in the DC-4 (C-54). It "fit" for display purposes.

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Brings back jump seat memories...

HONORING FAMILY LtCol Wm Russell (1679-1757) VA Mil; Pvt Zachariah McKay (1714-97) Frederick VA Mil; BrigGen Evan Shelby, Jr (1719-94) VA Mil; Pvt Vincent Hobbs (1722-1808) Wythe VA Mil; Pvt Hugh Alexander (1724-77); Lt John R. Litton (1726-1804); Bvt BrigGen/Col Wm W. Russell (1735-93) 5th VA Rgmt; Lt James Scott (1736-1817); Capt John Murray, Sr (1747-1833); Capt John Sehorn, Sr (1748-1831) VA Mil; Pvt Corbin Lane (1750-1816) Franklin/TN Mil; Cpl Jesse D. Reynolds (1750-1836) 5th VA Rgmt; Capt. Solomon C. Litton (1751-1844); 1Lt Christopher Casey (1754-1840) SC Mil; Pvt Mark Adams (1755-1828); Pvt Randolph White (1755-1831) Bailey's Co. VA Rgmt; Capt. John R. Russell (1758-1838); Pvt Joseph T. Cooley (1767-1826) Fort Hempstead Mil; Pvt Thomas Barron (1776-1863) 1812; Capt. John Baumgardner (1787-1853) VA Mil; Pvt Joel Estep (1828-1864) Co B 5th KY Inf CSA & US; Pvt George B. Bell (1833-1910) Co C 47th IL Inf US; Cpl Daniel H. Barron (1838-1910) Co B 19th TN Rgmt Inf CSA; Capt Richard K. Kaufman (1908-1946) 7th PRG/3rd AF CCU; T-5 Vernon L. Bell (1926-95) 1802nd Spec Rgmt; PO2 Murray J. Heichman (1932-2019) HQSB/MCRD; PFC Jess Long (1934-2017) US Army; PFC Donald W. Johnson (1931-) 43rd ID HQ; A1C Keith W. Bell (1931-2011) 314th TCW; A3C Michael S. Bell (1946-) 3346th CMS; A1C Sam W. Lee (1954-2017) 2d BW; AW3 Keith J. Price (1975-) VP-10; 1Lt Matthew Wm Bell (1985-) 82nd Abn/SOC








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I hope the memories are good ones....

Among the best memories of my whole life... so grateful to have had the opportunities.

 

Nothing like it.

HONORING FAMILY LtCol Wm Russell (1679-1757) VA Mil; Pvt Zachariah McKay (1714-97) Frederick VA Mil; BrigGen Evan Shelby, Jr (1719-94) VA Mil; Pvt Vincent Hobbs (1722-1808) Wythe VA Mil; Pvt Hugh Alexander (1724-77); Lt John R. Litton (1726-1804); Bvt BrigGen/Col Wm W. Russell (1735-93) 5th VA Rgmt; Lt James Scott (1736-1817); Capt John Murray, Sr (1747-1833); Capt John Sehorn, Sr (1748-1831) VA Mil; Pvt Corbin Lane (1750-1816) Franklin/TN Mil; Cpl Jesse D. Reynolds (1750-1836) 5th VA Rgmt; Capt. Solomon C. Litton (1751-1844); 1Lt Christopher Casey (1754-1840) SC Mil; Pvt Mark Adams (1755-1828); Pvt Randolph White (1755-1831) Bailey's Co. VA Rgmt; Capt. John R. Russell (1758-1838); Pvt Joseph T. Cooley (1767-1826) Fort Hempstead Mil; Pvt Thomas Barron (1776-1863) 1812; Capt. John Baumgardner (1787-1853) VA Mil; Pvt Joel Estep (1828-1864) Co B 5th KY Inf CSA & US; Pvt George B. Bell (1833-1910) Co C 47th IL Inf US; Cpl Daniel H. Barron (1838-1910) Co B 19th TN Rgmt Inf CSA; Capt Richard K. Kaufman (1908-1946) 7th PRG/3rd AF CCU; T-5 Vernon L. Bell (1926-95) 1802nd Spec Rgmt; PO2 Murray J. Heichman (1932-2019) HQSB/MCRD; PFC Jess Long (1934-2017) US Army; PFC Donald W. Johnson (1931-) 43rd ID HQ; A1C Keith W. Bell (1931-2011) 314th TCW; A3C Michael S. Bell (1946-) 3346th CMS; A1C Sam W. Lee (1954-2017) 2d BW; AW3 Keith J. Price (1975-) VP-10; 1Lt Matthew Wm Bell (1985-) 82nd Abn/SOC








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  • 3 weeks later...

This is a great thread!!

 

I recently obtained this Beech-18/C-45 control wheel. Looks like it has been refurbished already. I am going to try and put this one on a plaque wall mount. Have to figure out how to make the mount. Really like these old wheels!!

 

Chris

 

 

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Nice wheel Chris....saw it on Ebay as it was going through. I think that D18 wheel is a classic design and one of the nicest wheels ever put in a Beech. Early D-18s, in the 1930s, used the same wheel as the D-17 Staggerwing.....which is even more a classic than the D-18 due to its unique negative stagger wing arrangement. But, the later wheel design you have there is nicer than the earlier design:

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Nice...

HONORING FAMILY LtCol Wm Russell (1679-1757) VA Mil; Pvt Zachariah McKay (1714-97) Frederick VA Mil; BrigGen Evan Shelby, Jr (1719-94) VA Mil; Pvt Vincent Hobbs (1722-1808) Wythe VA Mil; Pvt Hugh Alexander (1724-77); Lt John R. Litton (1726-1804); Bvt BrigGen/Col Wm W. Russell (1735-93) 5th VA Rgmt; Lt James Scott (1736-1817); Capt John Murray, Sr (1747-1833); Capt John Sehorn, Sr (1748-1831) VA Mil; Pvt Corbin Lane (1750-1816) Franklin/TN Mil; Cpl Jesse D. Reynolds (1750-1836) 5th VA Rgmt; Capt. Solomon C. Litton (1751-1844); 1Lt Christopher Casey (1754-1840) SC Mil; Pvt Mark Adams (1755-1828); Pvt Randolph White (1755-1831) Bailey's Co. VA Rgmt; Capt. John R. Russell (1758-1838); Pvt Joseph T. Cooley (1767-1826) Fort Hempstead Mil; Pvt Thomas Barron (1776-1863) 1812; Capt. John Baumgardner (1787-1853) VA Mil; Pvt Joel Estep (1828-1864) Co B 5th KY Inf CSA & US; Pvt George B. Bell (1833-1910) Co C 47th IL Inf US; Cpl Daniel H. Barron (1838-1910) Co B 19th TN Rgmt Inf CSA; Capt Richard K. Kaufman (1908-1946) 7th PRG/3rd AF CCU; T-5 Vernon L. Bell (1926-95) 1802nd Spec Rgmt; PO2 Murray J. Heichman (1932-2019) HQSB/MCRD; PFC Jess Long (1934-2017) US Army; PFC Donald W. Johnson (1931-) 43rd ID HQ; A1C Keith W. Bell (1931-2011) 314th TCW; A3C Michael S. Bell (1946-) 3346th CMS; A1C Sam W. Lee (1954-2017) 2d BW; AW3 Keith J. Price (1975-) VP-10; 1Lt Matthew Wm Bell (1985-) 82nd Abn/SOC








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Yours is a fine example of a late model P-38 wheel Ian. From a human factors standpoint it was a big improvement over the the original design. From what I've read the pilots still would have preferred a stick.

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<p>An interesting variant on the control-stick grip design and early attention to HOTAS philosophy was the twin-gripped stick used in the Convair F-102 and later F-106 aircraft.  The left grip controlled various radar and other functions.  When unlocked this grip can be moved through fore-aft and left-right arcs of about 30 degrees to control radar antenna elevation (and azimuth?) and various other functions.  The right grip is stationary and has switches for pitch&roll trim, NWS, MIC, a damper and an armament trigger.  I know I'm leaving stuff out.  Maybe a driver or former crew chief can chime in with some more in-depth explanation....</p>

<p> </p>

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<p> </p>

<p> </p>

<p> </p>

<p> </p>

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The B-57 was a license built Americanized version of the English Electric “Canberra”. Many are not aware that the Martin B-57 used two different control wheel designs. The larger diameter hub is the earlier of the two. I’m posting some photos to compare and contrast. Is there a forum member who knows which model/variant of the B-57 used a particular wheel design?

 

While the two versions of the aircraft were externally similar (except the canopy), the control wheels were entirely different. I’ll post photos of the control wheels in the British version later.

 

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Hello all:

 

Been awhile since I've posted anything new in the way of control wheels. Thought I'd post the following shots on the differences between the B-52D, B-52G and B-52H control wheels. I'm not an expert on the B-52. If anyone has some technical details on these wheels, please chime in with what you know. Also, the D and H are in my collection and the photos are mine. The photos of the G wheel were found online.

 

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I have heard that there is a variation of the F-8 Crusader control stick that has

two grips on it. One for the control of the aircraft and the other for the radar, similar to the

F-102 and/or F-106 dual grips.

 

Northcoastaero; thanks for the tie-in on the Crusader grip. Did a quick search online. Will need to expend some time on looking into how that grip was mechanized. Looks like similar philosophy but different grip design approach from the Convair F102&106.

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One of the most important "aircraft" of the '40's & '50's, the Link trainer.

Wow...

HONORING FAMILY LtCol Wm Russell (1679-1757) VA Mil; Pvt Zachariah McKay (1714-97) Frederick VA Mil; BrigGen Evan Shelby, Jr (1719-94) VA Mil; Pvt Vincent Hobbs (1722-1808) Wythe VA Mil; Pvt Hugh Alexander (1724-77); Lt John R. Litton (1726-1804); Bvt BrigGen/Col Wm W. Russell (1735-93) 5th VA Rgmt; Lt James Scott (1736-1817); Capt John Murray, Sr (1747-1833); Capt John Sehorn, Sr (1748-1831) VA Mil; Pvt Corbin Lane (1750-1816) Franklin/TN Mil; Cpl Jesse D. Reynolds (1750-1836) 5th VA Rgmt; Capt. Solomon C. Litton (1751-1844); 1Lt Christopher Casey (1754-1840) SC Mil; Pvt Mark Adams (1755-1828); Pvt Randolph White (1755-1831) Bailey's Co. VA Rgmt; Capt. John R. Russell (1758-1838); Pvt Joseph T. Cooley (1767-1826) Fort Hempstead Mil; Pvt Thomas Barron (1776-1863) 1812; Capt. John Baumgardner (1787-1853) VA Mil; Pvt Joel Estep (1828-1864) Co B 5th KY Inf CSA & US; Pvt George B. Bell (1833-1910) Co C 47th IL Inf US; Cpl Daniel H. Barron (1838-1910) Co B 19th TN Rgmt Inf CSA; Capt Richard K. Kaufman (1908-1946) 7th PRG/3rd AF CCU; T-5 Vernon L. Bell (1926-95) 1802nd Spec Rgmt; PO2 Murray J. Heichman (1932-2019) HQSB/MCRD; PFC Jess Long (1934-2017) US Army; PFC Donald W. Johnson (1931-) 43rd ID HQ; A1C Keith W. Bell (1931-2011) 314th TCW; A3C Michael S. Bell (1946-) 3346th CMS; A1C Sam W. Lee (1954-2017) 2d BW; AW3 Keith J. Price (1975-) VP-10; 1Lt Matthew Wm Bell (1985-) 82nd Abn/SOC








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One of the most important "aircraft" of the '40's & '50's, the Link trainer.

 

bobatl:

 

While there were some variations on the wheels used in the (multi-engine version) of the Link trainer, I don't think your wheel came from a Link. Your wheel most likely came from a Beech D-18/C-45/AT-11....all variations of the wheel in the classic "Twin-Beech". See further up on this thread where a member posted a photo of the D-18 wheel. While anything is possible as far as mods getting made during wartime use, every multi-engine Link I've seen has a heavy-casting circular tri-spoke wheel that was either painted or unpainted. The spokes are hollow in back and they didn't have "hard-rubber" coating like control wheels actually mounted in aircraft. And the Link wheel weighed about twice what a B-17 wheel weighed ! Photo below is the Link wheel in my collection....along with a shot of a "multi" Link.

 

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bobatl:

 

While there were some variations on the wheels used in the (multi-engine version) of the Link trainer, I don't think your wheel came from a Link. Your wheel most likely came from a Beech D-18/C-45/AT-11....all variations of the wheel in the classic "Twin-Beech". See further up on this thread where a member posted a photo of the D-18 wheel. While anything is possible as far as mods getting made during wartime use, every multi-engine Link I've seen has a heavy-casting circular tri-spoke wheel that was either painted or unpainted. The spokes are hollow in back and they didn't have "hard-rubber" coating like control wheels actually mounted in aircraft. And the Link wheel weighed about twice what a B-17 wheel weighed ! Photo below is the Link wheel in my collection....along with a shot of a "multi" Link.

 

attachicon.gifLinkYoke.jpg attachicon.gifDSCN1946.JPG

It would probably be very difficult to prove what came from the factory on every version of the Link. I can think of the possibilities that Link was asked to install Beech wheels on a particular contract or that a depot overhaul program did so later. The fact that the Link emblem mounted on the panel instead of the wheel may have been to allow use of different wheels. I know that the Curtiss-Wright simulators were built in different versions for various bombers and airliners but I never asked anyone if the cockpits were perfect matches or if they just concentrated on the instrument panel.

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