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  #1  
Old 01-11-2015, 06:47 PM
trib trib is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 474
Default Tip up instrument rain guard- a permanent solution

I have previously tried a water resistant fabric rainguard but it still seemed to let some water in if it sat (puddled) in the fabric. Twice I have gotten my radio wet where it malfunctioned, either would not work or would not transmit, and had to remove it and dry it in my oven to get rid of any moisture. As I have gotten my IFR certification in my 6A, it is not acceptable to have any issue here. I have also previously replaced the canopy seal with a somewhat larger one, which I have not seen any water enter when in light rain in flight, but when on the ground and opening the canopy in the rain, the water of course drains into the opening, particularly if it is also raining at the time, and gets the instruments wet between the panel and subpanel. So I decided to work on the 100% solution and make a custom fiberglass watershield. It took me several weeks, but I'm now happy with the shield and comfortable in its protection. It fits very closely to the canopy structure to drain any water which may leak into the area, directing it out the sides of the canopy while minimizing any lost real estate where instruments could project behind the panel.

I started by making a plywood mockup of the space between the panel and subpanel, with the hinged canopy mocked up also (just the 3/4" board which repeats the raising and lowering geopmetry. The mockup was filled with insulating foam and then carefully carved while incrementally operating the hinged portion to get 1/4" clearance at the end between the canopy and foam. Here you can see the mockup with the foam being shaped.



Next I covered the foam with wax, then placed packing tape over the plywood where the layup would be and then applied paste wax for a mold release. After that I layed up 3 layers of 4 oz. glass with West system epoxy.



After curing, I popped out the fiberglass raw watershield.



Next, I fit the shield in place carefully marking it and cutting it into 3 sections. Two holes per section were drilled through the shield and subpanel and cleco'd in place. During final constructions, the holes were enlarged with plate nuts placed in the subpanel to secure each piece with #8 screws.



Here's a side view.



Now here's a picture of the three pieces in finished form. Both ends of the center piece have a 1/4" dam added to prevent small amounts of water from dripping between the hinge gap, and the side pieces also have a dam at the inboard end for the same purpose.



Here is a closeup of the dam, with the drain for the center piece visible. This is just a 1/4" serrated plastic adapter to which tubing is attached and run outboard to the side of the canopy. Any water which drains from the center or sides while in flight is quickly force out the side of the canopy due to the higher pressure inside the fuselage while in flight. If you doubt this, just get your sleeve near the side of the canopy while in flight, it will try to suck your shirt right out of the airplane!



Here's a picture of the 3 pieces painted and in final condition before installation.



And here is the final product





Custom fit, waterproof and no more worries about water somehow getting onto instruments either in flight or on the ground. A lot of work, but I'm now worry free!
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Tim Ribble
Virginia Beach
RV-6A (only took 13 years to build )
N621TR In unrestricted operation
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  #2  
Old 01-11-2015, 07:04 PM
Bill Boyd's Avatar
Bill Boyd Bill Boyd is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Landing field "12VA"
Posts: 1,710
Default Nice!

Good work, Tim.

Pull a mold and make some blanks for the rest of us! I'd be happy to have a set. The $10k in new avionics about to go into my 6A deserves the same protection, even though I'll only be VFR in this bird.

The only part that doesn't sound fun is installing nutplates on the bulkhead.

-Stormy
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  #3  
Old 01-11-2015, 07:48 PM
Brantel's Avatar
Brantel Brantel is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Newport, TN
Posts: 7,513
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by trib View Post
Custom fit, waterproof and no more worries about water somehow getting onto instruments either in flight or on the ground. A lot of work, but I'm now worry free!
While this is definitely a nice looking addition and will go a long way toward increasing protection from water, I would caution you to still keep your guard up for other leak paths.

Specifically the hinge joint area (kinda looks like you made your original seal continuous across there which is good!) and between your new addition and the subpanel (unless you put a gasket of some sort in there).

Water also has a way of traveling a long way from the source of the leak and ending up in bad places.

Water leaks are the only real reason to dislike a Tip-Up in my experience but according to Van's, they have never had one leak......
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---------------------------------------------------------------------
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Last edited by Brantel : 01-11-2015 at 09:13 PM.
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  #4  
Old 01-11-2015, 08:02 PM
Mel's Avatar
Mel Mel is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dallas area
Posts: 11,223
Default

Almost 22 years. No problem!
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Mel Asberry, DAR since the last century. Over 1,000 certifications accomplished. Discount for Veterans, Law Enforcement, Fire Fighters.
EAA Flight Advisor/Tech Counselor, Friend of the RV-1
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  #5  
Old 01-11-2015, 08:09 PM
Bill Boyd's Avatar
Bill Boyd Bill Boyd is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Landing field "12VA"
Posts: 1,710
Default I'm happy for you

...if you've never had a tip-up leak, but I've encountered it (not in flight but after tie down outside in the rain) and it's no fun to launch and immediately lose a radio, transponder and a RMI uEncoder backlight display power HV supply to water inside the avionics. Thankfully the radios came back after drying out a few days, but the DC-DC supply was toast and it was a worrisome flight home wondering what might drop offline next.

That's with a canopy cover in place and with silicone sealant bead molded in place between the tip up and the forward mating surface. I now tape my seams if expecting rain at a R.O.N. It's a hassle.
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  #6  
Old 01-11-2015, 08:32 PM
PIN 37 PIN 37 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Adelaide Australia
Posts: 218
Default

I like it, looks good.
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  #7  
Old 01-11-2015, 09:22 PM
Brantel's Avatar
Brantel Brantel is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Newport, TN
Posts: 7,513
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel View Post
Almost 22 years. No problem!
Give me some of that magic dust to sprinkle on my plane!
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Brantel (Brian Chesteen),
Check out my RV-10 builder's BLOG
RV-10, #41942, N?????, Project Sold
---------------------------------------------------------------------
RV-7/TU, #72823, N159SB
Lyc. O-360 carbed, HARTZELL BA CS Prop, Dual P-MAGs, Dual Garmin G3X Touch
Track N159SB (KK4LIF)
Like EAA Chapter 1494 on Facebook
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  #8  
Old 01-12-2015, 06:56 AM
Walt's Avatar
Walt Walt is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Dallas/Ft Worth, TX
Posts: 6,345
Default

Great job on that cover!

Here's is an alternative for those that might be looking for something a bit easier to install available from GloCustom paint shop.

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Walt Aronow, DFW, TX (52F)

EXP Aircraft Services LLC
Specializing in RV Condition Inspections, Maintenance, Avionics Upgrades
Dynamic Prop Balancing, Pitot-Static Altmeter/Transponder Certification
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Authorized Garmin G3X Dealer/Installer
RV7A built 2004, 2000+ hrs, New Titan IO-370, Bendix Mags
Website: ExpAircraft.com, Email: walt@expaircraft.com, Cell: 972-746-5154
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  #9  
Old 01-12-2015, 07:18 PM
SinCityJets's Avatar
SinCityJets SinCityJets is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Redding, CA
Posts: 63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt View Post
Great job on that cover!

Here's is an alternative for those that might be looking for something a bit easier to install available from GloCustom paint shop.

I couldn't find this on their website. Was it custom??
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  #10  
Old 01-12-2015, 08:11 PM
sprucemoose's Avatar
sprucemoose sprucemoose is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: MKE
Posts: 1,532
Default

Flightline Interiors sells these as well.

http://www.flightlineinteriors.com/accessories
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Milwaukee
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