VansAirForceForums  
Home > VansAirForceForums

-POSTING RULES
-Advertise in here!
- Today's Posts | Insert Pics

Keep VAF Going
Donate methods

Point your
camera app here
to donate fast.

  #1  
Old 06-11-2016, 06:22 PM
Lt Dan Lt Dan is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Utah
Posts: 100
Default Canopy Frame Repair

Greetings!

In January I bought a wonderful fastback RV-4 from a guy in Kansas City. I'm very happy with it - in about four months I've put about 100 hours on it! It was finished in '08 and is built nicely. From what I hear the 4's did not have very good plans and building instructions making them more difficult to build than the rest. No offense to the builder at all, but the canopy was definitely not his strong point. It has always bugged me that (1) it takes a considerable slam to close it right, (2) it leaked like crazy until I put about 10 feet of weather stripping on it during this latest record-setting cold winter, and now, most importantly, (3) the bulkhead / cross-brace just aft of the roll bar and above the passenger's knees has separated from the longitudinal frame tube on the right side. After some time, I noticed recently that the only thing keeping the bulkhead attached is a single rivet (to the skirt) on the right side. Furthermore, there's now a crack in the paint on the outside where the rivet attaches. I have no building experience so I need some help deciding what to do with this problem. I believe I may have to remanufacture the bulkhead entirely since the present one appears too short by about a half an inch, causing this problem to begin with. Not sure if there are plans for this part, etc...

Or, considering the possibility of a complete canopy makeover, does anyone know who the canopy building expert in my area is? (Dallas/Ft Worth - Oklahoma City - moving to Tucson, AZ in August '16)

Here are some pics:


A closeup of the sole rivet holding the bulkhead to the skirt



The right side of the skirt from the outside:


Showing the crack:
__________________
08 RV-4
09 RV-8
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-11-2016, 08:08 PM
acam37's Avatar
acam37 acam37 is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Lufkin Tx
Posts: 760
Default

If it's a fastback then the canopy frame was fabricated from scratch. It looks like the welds broke loose so you may have to find a good tig welder.
__________________
Arlie Conner (A&P)
RV-4 (N124TT) Sold
RV-8 (N269CP) Sold
RV-4 (N684ML) completed 3-17-19
KOCH Nacogdoches
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-16-2016, 10:07 PM
Lt Dan Lt Dan is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Utah
Posts: 100
Default

Apparently nobody really likes building the canopy...
__________________
08 RV-4
09 RV-8
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-16-2016, 11:44 PM
rvbuilder2002's Avatar
rvbuilder2002 rvbuilder2002 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hubbard Oregon
Posts: 9,665
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lt Dan View Post
Apparently nobody really likes building the canopy...
Dan,
The primary issue is that being a fastback RV-4, it is a hybrid, probably one of a kind airplane (I am not aware of anyone that ever sold an after market kit for a fastback canopy on an RV-4), so there is nothing specific that anyone can really provide you in the way of specific tips on how to repair it.

It appears to be a failure at a weld that was possibly poorly done (seems to be little penetration).
It would probably be risky to re-weld that location without first removing the canopy which would of course be a huge job.
At this point a better option might be to rivet some type of gusset between the tubes.
__________________
Opinions, information and comments are my own unless stated otherwise. They do not necessarily represent the direction/opinions of my employer.

Scott McDaniels
Hubbard, Oregon
Van's Aircraft Engineering Prototype Shop Manager
FAA/DAR
RV-6A (aka "Junkyard Special ")
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-17-2016, 02:19 AM
CATPart CATPart is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: up up and away
Posts: 312
Default

Isn't Jay Pratt up around Ft Worth? I think he is sort of a for hire RV guru type.

Better figure that out before you get a crack in the bubble.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-17-2016, 09:39 AM
KatieB's Avatar
KatieB KatieB is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Belton, MO
Posts: 1,144
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lt Dan View Post
Apparently nobody really likes building the canopy...
I did, but you wouldn't like my time frame! (about 6 months)

I'd call Jay Pratt of RV Central like CATPart said. He can probably get you fixed up, or at least point you toward someone who can. He's based at Hicks. Super nice guy.
__________________
Katie Bosman
EAA Homebuilt Aircraft Council
Rebuilt most of SNF tornado victim RV-3B Tony Boy II (had to sell him, but he's flying!)
VAF Dues Paid 2021!
Thoughts & opinions expressed here are my own, and not those of my employer.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-17-2016, 09:50 AM
wilddog wilddog is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: va.
Posts: 674
Default

Looks like you could split some tube length wise then weld up an el to fit the broken tubes and you could rivet it in place. Probably should do other same to the other side too.Otherwise your going to have a huge job removing the existing canopy, welding the tubes and attaching a new canopy.The old weld looks like they never melted the long tube and just gobbled on some weld and it broke.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-18-2016, 07:32 AM
Lt Dan Lt Dan is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Utah
Posts: 100
Default

Thanks for the advice. I know that welding with the canopy 'in-situ' is going to be next to impossible. So is it a viable alternative method to fabricate a new bulkhead and rivet the whole thing onto the side tubes (no welding at all), or do you think rivets alone are not going to be strong enough for this application?
__________________
08 RV-4
09 RV-8
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-18-2016, 11:41 AM
Jaknjoan Jaknjoan is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 246
Default Removing canopy

If the builder left you a short piece of hinge pin in the front, you should be able to pull the pin with a needle nose visegrip, remove a few attachments and the canopy should come off within 10 minutes of work. I also have a fastback and installed it myself, starting with Van's canopy frame, removing what you don't need and improvise the rest. Really wasn't a big deal.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-18-2016, 02:13 PM
acam37's Avatar
acam37 acam37 is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Lufkin Tx
Posts: 760
Default

I built this fastback canopy frame from scratch, with the exception of the cross brace. I got it from Vans. It is probably cheaper than fabricating one from raw stock aluminum.
[IMG][/IMG]
__________________
Arlie Conner (A&P)
RV-4 (N124TT) Sold
RV-8 (N269CP) Sold
RV-4 (N684ML) completed 3-17-19
KOCH Nacogdoches
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:28 PM.


The VAFForums come to you courtesy Delta Romeo, LLC. By viewing and participating in them you agree to build your plane using standardized methods and practices and to fly it safely and in accordance with the laws governing the country you are located in.