Thumb catch on steering tillers

Any VC10 related discussions.....
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Jelle Hieminga
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Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2002 9:03 pm
Location: Amsterdam

Thumb catch on steering tillers

Post by Jelle Hieminga »

I thought I would share the following little detective story with you. Ian Ottaway has a few great souvenirs, thanks to his father, including the steering tillers from G-ARVB. He noticed that one of them has a machined area that is not present on the other example.
His question is, why the machined area with the slot? I checked a couple of older photos and found out that this little slot is present on the forward spoke of the tillers of some of the original BOAC Standards. Take G-ARVF for example (the tiller on the other side also has this slot on the forward spoke):
The later VC10s do not appear to have these slots and on Ian's other tiller, it is also not present. That points towards something that was only used early on during testing and removed afterwards, leaving the slot where it was mounted on the tillers as the only remaining evidence. The fact that only one of Ian's tillers, the co-pilot's tiller, has this indicates that the other tiller was most likely changed at some point during 'VB's service life. Looking back through several photos I found one showing the cockpit of G-ARTA in early 1962 and this appears to show a catch mounted on this area on the tiller. The original photo is no.3 on this page, but zoomed in on the relevant area this is what I see:
We have given this some thought and the only thing that makes sense is a tiller lock of some sort, enabling the pilot to fix the tiller in a certain position (perhaps straight ahead?) by moving the catch with his thumb. Who knows more about this little catch? Please post your thoughts and facts below...
Buttons . . . check. Dials . . . check. Switches . . . check. Little
colored lights . . . check.
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Location: About 5 miles from Wisley Airfield

Re: Thumb catch on steering tillers

Post by 1103 »

From my 1962 notes -

" Thumb studs on the steering handles are provided to limit the steering angle during take-off, landing or fast taxying to 14 deg. on each side of the aircraft centre line"
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