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Ball Links for Model Airplanes

May 05, 2015

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Airfield Models ( Links for Model Aircraft

Ball links are commonly used where the pushrod is not in the same rotational plane as the control horn.  The link prevents binding because it can rotate in more than one plane.

There are a number of sizes of ball links, but only two types.  The first is a hooded ball link.  These have a ball with an integrated threaded shaft that is bolted to the control horn or servo arm.  The link is threaded onto a piece of threaded rod and snaps over the ball.  Some manufacturers have started to make this type ball link in larger sizes.

I would not use the smaller style on control surfaces of anything larger than maybe a .15 size model.  The reason being that the shaft is small and could be easily broken.


Ball Links

Typical Ball Links.Top: A ball and hooded ball link.  This type is a good choice for throttles and control surfaces of small aircraft.  The ball shank is too delicate for use on larger aircraft.

Bottom: A typical helicopter style ball link.

A ball link is a good choice when the pushrod and arm do not align well.The second type of ball link has a ball with a hole in it and a link that is not hooded it looks like a tennis racquet without the strings.

The ball is attached to a horn using a bolt and lock nut.  These are commonly used on larger aircraft and at almost all points on R/C helicopters.

The one thing to look out for with this type of connector is that some of them can crack and release the ball.  The result is predictable.

This style ball link tends to be heavier and more expensive than other type of pushrod connectors as well as over-kill for smaller models.  However, they are also very reliable.



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