My name is Greg, and this is my first instructable.
I work at an aircraft salvage yard. Everyone who works here loves airplanes and the owner has several. One that I'm in love with is a 1946 Aeronca Chief. The 1946 Chief is a fabric skinned aircraft and has been re-skinned recently ( the ceconite fabric process weakens and fades over time so it needs to be redone, not like aluminum aircraft of today).
The interior is in rough shape, often bush planes are that way. I decided to give the airplane a little clean up and restore to its former glory, as close as I can get without spending a lot of money.
This instructable is about my first step, the aircraft control wheels.
Step 1: 2012 vs. 1946
In 1946, control wheels were metal and to make them comfortable to grip for hours they wrapped them with rope.
Unfortunately, after years of use, sweat and moisture gets trapped in the rope and rusts the wheel. After the rope frays and tatters, it looks like a rusty old frayed noose.
So here we have the cockpit of the '46 Chief when it was new. The second pic is what it looks like today, the third is how we're going to make it look.
Step 2: Removing the Control Wheel
The only problem is the control wheel was painted on the control shaft by the looks of things, so I used a blade and elbow grease to loosen wheel from the control column. I jammed the pilots control wheel against my knee and pulled and rotated the copilots wheel to get it free.