Ken Bickers

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almost_ready_to_launch.jpg (43738 bytes)Cabane fitting 02.JPG (925027 bytes)DSC00929.JPG (1830032 bytes)DSC00930.JPG (1752699 bytes)

Finished Pietenpol Airframe (02).JPG (151384 bytes)Four Link Anti-Torque System (painted).jpg (13700 bytes)

Instrument coamings st bd view.JPG (682059 bytes)Piet initial mating of wing (front view).JPG (209874 bytes)Piet initial mating of wing (rear view).JPG (173192 bytes)Rear pit step (block and bracket).JPG (1427009 bytes)

Rear pit step (close up).JPG (1297275 bytes)Rear pit step (full size).JPG (1661597 bytes)sticks and shadows.jpg (37156 bytes)Wing assembly (aileron).jpg (282191 bytes)


When I was at the point of installing brakes, I spent a fair amount of time sitting in the cockpit trying to figure out whether to use toe brakes or heel brakes and exactly where and how to mount them to be most comfortable to me. To be sure, the thought process may have been muddled by all the airplane noises I was making. I also thought about mounting something on the stick.

In the end, I decided I liked the idea of a hand brake. I also liked the idea of differential braking. And I couldn't figure out an elegant way to mount two brake levers on the stick. So I built something that I think will work just fine and meets the keep-it-simple test.

I welded up a bracket onto which two mountain brake levers could be mounted -- facing each other. I mounted the bracket under the right hand side of the rear instrument panel.

 Hand brake viewed from rear cockpit.JPG (8542 bytes)    (taken from the rear seat)

Hand brake viewed from below (1).jpg (13770 bytes) (looking up from below at the bottom of the instrument panel) 

Attached to the levers are bicycle cables that operate old-style band brakes. With one hand, I can activate the left, the right, or both levers together. I haven't operated them yet under engine power. I have tried them out with my son and my dad pulling me around on the taxiway. Of course, two man power is a lot less than the power of a whole bunch of horses.

For years, I've told people that I expected to finish building my Pietenpol on Tuesday. I was
wrong. I finished a day early.

After a mere 20 years and 2 months (most of it spent with no progress being made), today I
received an Airworthiness Certificate on NX313KB.

The lesson here is to keep plugging away. Eventually there will be no more items on the to-do

Taxi testing to commence later this week.

Cheers, Ken