Machining Seat Tabs and Control Arms

We recently made some progress in parts production.  Our machine shop includes a Tormach CNC Milling Machine that allows us to easily and precisely fabricate parts for our aircraft.  In this post we are drilling and milling seat tabs and water-jet cutting control arms and bell cranks.

Using our CNC Mill in manual mode to drill the 1/8" holes into the 30+ seat tabs.
The holes have been precisely located along one edge and centered on the other using the edge finder.
After drilling we use a 3/4" 4-flute center cutting end mill to cut the radius on the end of the seat tab. This cut will conform perfectly to the 3/4" tube that the tabs will be welded to.
Preparing to execute the manual plunge into the part using the jog wheel.
Seat tabs are complete and a quick fit check is performed. Next step is to weld them onto the pilot seat sub-assembly.
Layout of the control parts in the OMAX Make software. These parts are cut from 0.125" 4130 steel and the estimated cut time is 27 minutes.
Another batch of parts cut from 0.090" 4130 steel. Tabs are added to prevent the parts from falling into the water tank. Some light cleaning on the wire brush wheel and the parts will be ready for welding.
The Control Stick U-Joint Mount is comprised of a short section of tube and an arm that needs to be welding together. The tube must be centered about the lower hole on the arm and to accomplish that we once again rely upon 3D-printed tooling to hold the metal parts in place for a tack weld.
Tube centered and ready to weld. The tack welds are quick enough that they don't overheat and melt the plastic tooling. It does not take much heat to melt PLA plastic.
The Control Stick Mount is welded and fit checked with the other half of the assembly.
Elevator control stick torque tube arm.
Control Arm Robot.

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