Sunday, February 3, 2008

How to keep tip-up canopy struts from pulling the canopy frame too far forward

The fitting of the canopy frame to the fuselage is a difficult process, of course. Every time you make an adjustment somewhere, another out-of-whack gremlin appears somewhere else.

This is particularly true after everything has been put together, you're reasonably satisfied with the fit of the canopy frame on the fuselage, and then you add the canopy struts. In my case, building an RV-7A airplane, this was very frustrating. The struts pull the frame forward significantly. Goodbye nice gap between the canopy skin and the front top skin. Goodbye nice fit between the canopy and the aft window. Goodbye fit of the latch lugs into the hole in the canopy locking mechanism.

The solution was invented by Mark Phillips of Tennesee who revealed it here. It's a bracket that is positioned on the longerons, forward of the subpanel, with a bolt that serves as a "stop" for the canopy frame. By adjusting the bolt nuts, the frame will only go as far forward as you want.

With all credit to Mark, I'm happy to document how I made and installed these brackets. Go here to see the step-by-step guide.

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