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  #1  
Old 11-22-2015, 09:31 PM
ChuckGant's Avatar
ChuckGant ChuckGant is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Collierville, TN (M41)
Posts: 129
Default Broken piece on corner of tilt canopy

Hello all,
I am a brand new owner of an RV-7. Upon putting it in the hangar for the first time, the struts failed to hold the tilt canopy open and it slammed shut, chipping a piece off of the right rear corner and causing a 4" crack. I've done a search and read about all of the other cracked canopies out there. As I am new to this, I'd just like a sanity check on how to fix it. From what I've read:

1. Drill a pilot hole at the end of the crack. What size? 1/16" or 3/16"?
2. Use Weld-on #3 in the crack.
3. Use Weld-on #16 to glue the chipped piece back on.

Do you all think this will do the trick? The airplane hasn't been painted yet, so should I replace the canopy first and then get it painted, or is this so common that I should just live with it?

Any recommendations for stronger struts? It doesn't take much for the weight of the canopy to overcome the ones on the plane now.

Thanks,
Chuck

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  #2  
Old 11-22-2015, 10:15 PM
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az_gila az_gila is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: 57AZ - NW Tucson area
Posts: 10,011
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I would replace the canopy before painting and add canopy guides to greatly reduce the chances of a re-occurrence -

http://www.vansairforce.com/communit...8&postcount=10
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Half completed RV-10 QB purchased
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  #3  
Old 11-22-2015, 11:05 PM
PCHunt PCHunt is offline
 
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Location: San Diego, CA
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Default

OTOH, I would repair the canopy by stop drilling and gluing or "Plastic Welding". The repairs will never be in your line of sight when you are in flight.

And think how many times you can tell the story!!!
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  #4  
Old 11-23-2015, 04:49 AM
terrykohler terrykohler is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,044
Default Take A Deep Breath

I'd consider fixing it as follows:
1. Stop drill the crack. Make certain you're at the end of or even beyond the visible crack. DO NOT USE STANDARD DRILLS. They can cause even more damage.
2. Glue the broken piece back in place. Use Sika or some other agent compatible with plexi (acrylic).
3. Add a targa strip wide enough to to cover the damage. It will help with rain protection, look good, and can be painted to match when you're ready to do the whole aircraft.
4. Replace the gas struts. You can order from Vans. Also available at auto parts stores, but you'll need the proper stroke length and pressure, or you'll still have problems. I find I need to replace these every 2-3 years as they lose pressure- don't want the top banging down because of a little breeze.
Terry, CFI
RV9A N323TP
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  #5  
Old 11-23-2015, 06:26 AM
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Steve Melton Steve Melton is offline
 
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Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 3,515
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ouch! install a couple of those big ugly white canopy guides. they will protect against this in the future.

I see they now have black too.

http://www.bullerent.com/CanopyGuide.htm

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Last edited by Steve Melton : 11-23-2015 at 11:25 PM.
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  #6  
Old 11-23-2015, 08:09 AM
ChuckGant's Avatar
ChuckGant ChuckGant is offline
 
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Location: Collierville, TN (M41)
Posts: 129
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Thanks for the advise gents. I ordered some canopy guides. I am going to try to repair it now, and re-evaluate replacing the canopy later, before we paint. I'm not sure I'm ready to tackle replacing the canopy just yet.

Quote:
3. Add a targa strip wide enough to to cover the damage. It will help with rain protection, look good, and can be painted to match when you're ready to do the whole aircraft.
This sounds like a good idea. Can you give me a few details how you'd do this? aluminum or fiberglass/composite? I would like to strengthen the overhang area of the canopy. Seems like a weak point to me.

Thanks,
Chuck
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  #7  
Old 11-23-2015, 08:25 AM
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Greg Arehart Greg Arehart is offline
 
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Location: Delta, CO/Atlin, BC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Melton View Post
ouch! install a couple of those big ugly white canopy guides. they will protect against this in the future.
I made mine from a piece of scrap black delrin plastic from the local plastic store. Hardly visible against a black-painted rollbar.

Greg
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  #8  
Old 11-23-2015, 08:28 AM
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mburch mburch is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,316
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The above suggestions are all right on the money. I had this happen on my RV-9A and it still makes me sick to think about it. In my case the broken-off triangle was slightly smaller and didn't reach any of the screws, so I was able to fill the gap with foam and fiberglass and hide it under a strategically-sized targa strip.

For me the ultimate fix to this problem was to build a new airplane with a slider canopy, but you probably didn't want to hear that.
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  #9  
Old 11-23-2015, 10:08 PM
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chrishalfman chrishalfman is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: LaVista, NE
Posts: 62
Default Not wanting to sound belittling.....

Can I ask a question? You say 'Upon putting it in the hangar for the first time....' Did you have the canopy open when you were moving it? I'm paranoid about leaving my canopy up outside even when there is no wind. I never leave it up when moving it-the gas springs on mine are basically as strong as they were when they were new, but they aren't hydraulic.
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La Vista, NE
-7A, 360+ hours on the Hobbs, ECi O-360 185 hp, GA200L Whirlwind prop
Anything I post on here may not be the best way, the right way, the only way, or even an accepted way to do something, but it's how I did it. Use the information accordingly.
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  #10  
Old 11-23-2015, 11:23 PM
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Jim P Jim P is offline
 
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Posts: 945
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Second the targa solution. I did the very same thing before flying!
1) Glue the broken piece in place.
2) Lay up a targa strip (especially since it hasn't been painted) and that will do a couple things; one, covers the cracked part, and two, provides a pretty decent seal for airflow and water. It's a lot easier than replacing the canopy and you'll never know it was a problem.
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