Well after dithering about how to “correctly” solve the issue with the NOS initiator handles in my ACES II seat, I finally got off the dime and removed about 10mm of material from the front of the handle well.

We’ve got clearance, Clarence!

With that done, I was able to re-install the spring mechanism that connects the handle to the torque bar. The torque bar spans the seat width and connects the two handles together.

Spring mechanism.

There’s two things left to do right now – I need a spring compressor in order to collapse the spring enough that I can install the retaining pin at the top end of the guide rod. I’ve also got a temporary fastener installed on the bracket attached to the torque rod. That has to be replaced with the original 10-32 bolt. Once that’s done, I can repair the other side!

The Other Side.

Next steps will include dumping the spring into rust remover and getting the latching/guide mechanism that’s under the seat pan cleaned up and re-installed. I’ll be posting a video about this soon.

In this video I cover the components of the VPForce FFB system I’m going to use and doing the 3D scanning needed in order to design the components for the system.


Fresh off the camera. 🙂

This weekend saw a bunch of “non-F-15” work done in the shop. I spent Saturday working on the PrintNC project – I bought some “pcnpro” parts that consist of machined aluminum parts for the X & Y roller assemblies. I also previously purchased some replacements for the X & Y roller steel that weren’t cut as square as they needed to be.

In my rush to get the new parts marked & drilled, I got my X & Y axes mixed up and drilled the wrong holes in the X axis roller beam. (That’s a 90mm long bit of 3×2″ steel box beam.), so I had to cut a new one. In order to do that, I had to unbox and set up the new horizontal band saw that I bought. That was originally purchased in order to make parts that I needed for the new canopy hinge support. It took me a while to get the thing dialed in – I’ve never used a metal cutting bandsaw before. It started out making pretty bad cuts – thicker on the bottom than on the top. I sped up the blade and adjusted the force applied so that it cut slower. I got a good enough result after a few iterations that I was able to cut a new bit of steel for the X axis roller beam part. All three parts (2 Y axis roller beams and the 1 X axis roller beam) have been drilled, tapped, and painted. I’m waiting for some new fasteners to show up so I can install them. The “supplied” fasteners are socket head cap screws, and button head screws should really be used to mount them to the HGR carriages. There will be a rant about this when I do the “post mortem” video of the mechanical assembly.

I ordered a 14″ diameter Lazy Susan bearing today in order to build a multi-use platform. The first use will be to support the ACES II Ejection seat while I work on it. I’ve got it up on my main work table so having it on a Lazy Susan will make it easier to work on, and it won’t scratch the shit out of the table when I move it. 🙂

As to the ejection seat, it’s been positively identified as some kind of training device. I got some great feedback from an employee of the company that manufactures them. The number of real components leads the individual to believe that it was originally designed as some kind of procedures trainer for pilots. Investigation of its origins are still ongoing.

I’m going to try to update this site with weekly updates. We’ll see how well that works. 🙂

Here’s a link to some photos I took of the seat right after I got it “unboxed”.

This page can also be found on the Technical tab above.

Getting a real ACES II ejection seat for the F-15C has been a dream since I got the cockpit section. It took 23 years to do, but I finally got my hands on one!

Check out the “unboxing” video below:

Unboxing an ACES II Ejection Seat

Fortunately it’s not missing critical bits and should prove fairly easy to restore.


I just dropped a new video that covers the re-launch of the project. It’s time to get shit done.

Check out the Library tab above – I’ve scanned the complete mishap report as I received it from the USAF in 2004.

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