Designing and building your own airplane is a chore most people will never accomplish. It’s harder than it looks. All the people your editor knows who have accomplished this, even “just” the building part, talk about the 90-percent rule: 90-percent done – 90-percent to go.
Getting the Nose Gear to Steer
Tomas Brodreskift of Equator Aircraft is probably at the 95-percent stage of aircraft completion on his hybrid P2 amphibian, but he and his team still need to drill new holes, make new fittings, laminate some additional pieces and finally get a nose-gear steering system in place. Since his airplane doesn’t have a set of rudder pedals, steering is controlled by pushing on switches on an orange handgrip in the cockpit.
Motor Run Number 2
Since it last ran in April before being transported to the Friedrichshafen Aero Expo, the Equator P2 has waited for its nose gear and “steer-by-wire” controls, among other things, to enable it to make its way around the airport. The quietness of the overall system is noteworthy.
Perhaps Tomas should consider putting a shroud around the propeller and using the P2 to commute on public roadways. The control gear, which looks like a variation on rack-and-pinion steering, seems to do its job as planned. Having a thoroughly different form of steering control on a retractable nose wheel is a great accomplishment in itself.
We can look forward to further progress in the near future, as Tomas and his team make ready for faster taxiing and that first lift-off.