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Old 06-06-2021, 06:34 PM
moespeeds moespeeds is offline
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: west berlin
Posts: 64
Default Adding rear seat rudder pedals, throttle, prop controls on a completed aircraft?

Hey guys, how big of a job is it to add rear seat pedals, throttle, and prop controls on a completed aircraft?


Moe Colontonio
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Old 06-06-2021, 06:40 PM
David Z David Z is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Thunder Bay Ontario
Posts: 751

The rudder pedals won't be too terribly difficult. Everything is fairly accessible.

The throttle is more invasive surgery. I'm working on mine at present and that's with the fuselage partially cleco'd together. Not sure how one would get a prop control to the rear seat. I don't think there's enough room for twice the linkages. My plan is "voice activated prop control", AKA the rear seater asks the front seater to adjust RPM.
Empennage Passed Pre-close Inspection
Wings mostly done
Fuselage at the "porcupine stage"
Dash 8 day job is financing the RV8
Donation till September 2022
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Old 06-06-2021, 07:15 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 5,002

Some time ago, I got a ride in the rear seat of an RV-4. The owner had an aneurysm and explained that there was a very small chance that it would burst and I'd be on my own. The plane had stick and rudder pedals but no throttle. We rigged up a bit of cord with which I could pull the throttle closed. There was no way to increase power by myself.

After the uneventful and quite pleasant flight, I realized that there were some other things we hadn't addressed - no brakes, no canopy latch, no radio. The flight was in the winter and there were snowbanks around the airport. I had visions of driving the plane around the field, unable to get out or even stop, and trying to stuff it into a snowbank, all the time talking on my phone to 911. Yes, this assumed that I could get an unfamiliar plane safely on the ground (I wasn't RV current; I fly a C180) in the first place.

Just mentioning this story so that if you plan to give any control to the back seat, give them enough.

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Old 06-06-2021, 07:22 PM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
VAF Moderator / Line Boy
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dayton, NV
Posts: 12,794

We have an “emergency” back seat throttle in the RV-8 - its simple an aluminum tube with a hook on one end, and a knob on the other. There is a velcro loop hanging down from the center welded structure (the front seat back rest). You can hook the throttle rod into the handle of the throttle, and hang the rod from the velcro strap, and have a fully functional throttle in the back seat. Completely non-invasive, and installable preflight or inflight.

Paul F. Dye
Editor at Large - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
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Old 06-06-2021, 07:46 PM
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scard scard is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cedar Park, TX
Posts: 3,358

Prop control is completely irrelevant in an RV8 if there is nobody in the front seat to actuate it. No matter where it was set, it is good enough.

We gravitate toward "emergency" thoughts without knowledge of the intended purpose of the original question.
Scott Card
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Old 06-06-2021, 09:36 PM
moespeeds moespeeds is offline
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: west berlin
Posts: 64

Prop control is a very minor consideration, I don't need it at all.

I just want to make sure that whatever 8 I buy, I can knock out the 10 hours of dual in type for my insurance requirement.
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Old 06-06-2021, 11:09 PM
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vlittle vlittle is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Victoria, Canada
Posts: 2,361

For the throttle, I used a 1/4 threaded aluminum rod, a rod-end bearing with an aluminum stand-off bushing and a ball-end from Macmaster-Carr. I also added a trim switch. The flip-up rudder pedals were from FlyBoy.

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V e r n. ====
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Last edited by vlittle : 06-06-2021 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 06-07-2021, 09:34 AM
Pixair Pixair is offline
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Napa Valley
Posts: 41
Default RV8 Dual

The easiest way to get your 10 hours would be to go fly with Bruce Bohannon in Angleton TX.
His RV8 is set up for dual instruction from the rear seat, including throttle, rudder, and brakes.
He is a great instructor and knows the RV8 very well.
His contact info is on VAF or google.
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Old 06-07-2021, 09:51 AM
moespeeds moespeeds is offline
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: west berlin
Posts: 64

Flying from NJ to TX just doesn't seem like the easy way to me. 10 hours would be a lot of time off work and expense on travel. It's plan B at the moment.

I've got a guy local to me with plenty of RV time, just need a plane to do it in as his 4 has no rear seat controls.

The more I look into it, the less of a problem it is. I built an 8 25 years ago, just couldn't remember what all that looked like back there. Thank you everyone for the advice.
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Old 06-07-2021, 12:15 PM
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f14av8r f14av8r is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Tampa (Wimauma actually)
Posts: 451

I added a backseat throttle and rudder pedals to my completed RV-8. The throttle is the more difficult install but not unreasonably difficult. The Vans rudder pedal kit is pretty easy.

I can think no good reason for a prop control in the rear seat.

The rear seat throttle works fine.

The rear seat rudder pedals are not as useful as I would like. It's nearly impossible to get full rudder deflection trying to push on those little mushroom heads.

The bigger issue is the lack of brakes in the rear seat. I wouldn't be comfortable giving instruction in a tailwheel airplane without brakes and I suspect most instructors feel the same way.
Randy King
Tampa (Wimauma), Florida
RV-4 N212CS (sold)
RV-8 N184RK (sold)
Currently flying a Pitts S-2E

Exempt and gladly donating anyway - Current through March 2025
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