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  • South Paw

    Newbie with P407 plans . I’m used to the stick in my left hand and throttle on the right . Years ago I had a luscombe. I’m thinking about a left door instead of right. I’ve ordered a fished mouthed fuselage tube kit and was wondering if it would be seamless fit , would it be worth doing or not?

  • #2
    Hey Scout!

    Proud Southpaw here as well. My first build was a Glasair (side by side) with throttle in center, so I thought that was the only way I could fly. Couple of planes later, I got into an Acrosport. Left throttle in that one and it felt pretty good. Next was a Husky - left throttle again. Sold the Husky when I got the Patrol and built it with a 3 lever (left mounted) quadrant. Felt perfectly natural. Now I’m in a helicopter- talk about no choice about which hand to use! I’m giving thought to another build, that’ll be a center throttle, but it has nothing to do with being a Southpaw.
    For me, it makes no difference left or right hand on the stick. Your mileage may vary... I’d think a specific "Left hand build" would be harder to sell. You might find a Citabria, or similar, to rent for a few hours. Betcha it’s not as big a deal as you think!

    Bill

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    • #3
      Everything I fly is left hand stick/yoke right hand throttle etc. I’ve always set my planes up like that. I have both doors and put everything on the right side to mainly use the left door, well almost everything. Forgot the flap handle.

      Steve P203

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      • #4
        A Luscombe and a 4-place BH are really all I have any significant time in. I’ve flown both from the right seat on a couple occasions and have flown a cub. I wouldn’t make the effort to build a left hand Patrol. After maybe a couple hours you won’t notice the difference. A left hand Patrol would likely be harder to sell but more than that, you’ll constanty be fielding questions from cub guys about why you fly with the wrong hand. 😁
        Scratch Built 4-place Bearhawk. Continental IO-360, 88” C203 McCauley prop.

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        • #5
          Right hand throttle, or left...your brain figures it out in short order and you forget that it was ever a concern. I fly both configurations daily and don’t ever think about it. Years ago, when first presented with this, I had the same concerns about it being awkward and was a bit worried about it. A couple of hours later and it was completely forgotten. Personally, I would never advise to build a “left hand” airplane, it’s just not necessary.
          Mike

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          • #6
            Echoing the above, no need, you'll figure it out in a few hours and then wont want to go back the other way.

            I sometimes go back and forth in one day. Sometimes yoke to stick and right to left throttle. That's all easy.

            Now landing on centerline after changing seats (left to right or right to left), nope. Can't do that for 50+ hours. hahaha.

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            • #7
              Thanks for the advise, there is a Decathlon for rent where I work I've been wanting to get some training in it. And I believe it would be a harder sale if it only had a left door.

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              • #8
                I guess if you have never instructed or flown professionally, it makes sense to feel natural with the yoke or stick in your left hand in side by side seating. It's really no big deal to switch hands. Our brains are pretty good about figuring these things out without us really noticing a change. That being said, if you try that Decathalon and after a couple hours don't think you like having the stick in your right hand, you are building a plane for you, build what you want.

                Would you move the flap lever and trim over too or just switch hands momentarily when you need to move those levers? Totally doable, but everything you change generally requires several other things to be changed.
                Rollie VanDorn
                Zanesville, OH
                Patrol Quick Build

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                • #9
                  Instructors change back and forth, sometimes more than once a day. Not an issue. The biggest worry for me was learning to hang glide after flying airplanes for 5k+ hours. On a hang glider you move the control the exact opposite that you do with a stick or yolk. Push to go up (slow), pull back to go down(fast). Opposite also for turning left and right. It was absolutely never an issue.

                  It did make me think about something else that I have wondered about. One of the biggest cockpit feux-paus is putting 2 similar shaped and operated controls next to each other. Someday, you will grab, and actuate, the wrong one. Trust me as someone who has done it more than once, in 2 different aircraft types. I was questioning whether to use the same exact control for the throttle and prop (and mixture for most others). I know on light aircraft "that is the way it has always been done".

                  I guess it is in front of you, and you can look before you grab. Maybe someday I will make an different shaped handle for either the throttle or prop.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by svyolo View Post
                    Instructors change back and forth, sometimes more than once a day. Not an issue. The biggest worry for me was learning to hang glide after flying airplanes for 5k+ hours. On a hang glider you move the control the exact opposite that you do with a stick or yolk. Push to go up (slow), pull back to go down(fast). Opposite also for turning left and right. It was absolutely never an issue.

                    It did make me think about something else that I have wondered about. One of the biggest cockpit feux-paus is putting 2 similar shaped and operated controls next to each other. Someday, you will grab, and actuate, the wrong one. Trust me as someone who has done it more than once, in 2 different aircraft types. I was questioning whether to use the same exact control for the throttle and prop (and mixture for most others). I know on light aircraft "that is the way it has always been done".

                    I guess it is in front of you, and you can look before you grab. Maybe someday I will make an different shaped handle for either the throttle or prop.
                    I always liked the throttle quadrant style controls with very different shaped heads on them. I've not seen that in the style most people including myself put on most builds.
                    I'm pretty sure I can still to this day address an engine out in a pa31 and a be20 with a blindfold on. Great ergonomics in both those.

                    Flap and gear levers should also be nowhere near each other and have the appropriate shape of a tire and a flap(if not a bar) respectively.
                    Last edited by zkelley2; 01-23-2020, 07:45 AM.

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