Hardware made by the major manufacturers is almost 100% reliable if
it is used correctly. In many cases you have options of what to
use, but choosing the wrong hardware causes the reliability factor to drop
Additionally, even if the hardware does not fail, it
may cause binding or other problems that can result in the demise of your
For example, a pushrod that does not align properly with the
control horn will bind if a linkage is used that does not allow for the
One thing to be very careful about is the hardware included in
kits and especially Almost-Ready-To-Fly aircraft. In many cases, the
manufacturer feels that in order to market their model, they must provide
a complete hardware package. To decrease costs, they provide
hardware that is substandard.
I do not intend to give you the impression
that all hardware included in kits is junk. Reputable kit manufacturers will not
provide hardware that does not work. Sometimes
using the included hardware is a matter of personal preference and other
times it should be discarded for reasons of airworthiness.
For example, Sig kits
used to come with thick poly hinges. I never liked these hinges even though
there was nothing wrong with them.
On the other hand, each of the handful of
ARF aircraft I have assembled has without exception needed almost all
of the hardware to be replaced. It was junk that I simply would not
trust not to fail.
Examples of poorly chosen hardware:
- EZ Connectors on either end of a control surface pushrod
- Cheap styrene clevises (they can break easily — kiss your plane
- Brittle music wire and threaded rod (usually black wire included
with imported ARF's)
- Tube-In-Tube pushrods that bind (usually pneumatic tubing)
Again, it is not only the type of hardware that determines reliability, but
also the quality and how it is
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