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Old 06-01-2021, 10:25 AM
Reflex Reflex is offline
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Kansas
Posts: 192
Default RV-14 Canopy Frame Issue....

Having 3 days to work on my RV this weekend, I was looking forward to getting mass amounts of work done. Unfortunately, I ran into a snag on Friday evening that stopped my progress. I’m hoping that some of you can give me your thoughts.

Hopefully you can see the pictures below.

Rear canopy frame does not fit the roll bar.

The frame is .024 too short on top and .135 to wide on the lower corners.

  • When the canopy closes this will put stress on the top of the canopy
  • As the canopy frame descends from the 45-degree point, it gets wider. This will likely make the canopy wider than the rear window causing unsightly workmanship.
Other Info:
Upon finishing the frame, I was stunned how well it fit except for the rear frame assembly that is supposed to match up with the roll bar.

I’ve seen nothing about this particular issue here on Van’s Air Force. I know the canopy is a tough build, but the pictures I’ve seen of other RV-14’s look good. I’m hoping that this is normal, but I don’t see how it could be.

  • This is NOT an issue with the canopy rails, they look great (they’re just way wide at the rear of the canopy frame).
  • Yes, the C-01442C spreader bar was used.
  • The holes in C-01442C spreader bar measure 45 13/16” on center
  • Canopy alignment pins work flawlessly.
  • There is no apparent malformation of the C-01405 R/L frame pieces that make up the rear of the frame.
  • The gap between the frame in the roll bar is proper.
  • There is no warp or twist in the canopy frame.
  • The overall fit is excellent with the canopy pins engaging properly.
Hopefully the pictures below describe the problem better than my words.

Please give me your thoughts, experiences, or insights.


Dues Paid for 2021
Emp Complete (including fiberglass)
Wings complete (including fiberglass)
Fuse Complete
Working on Finishing Kit

Last edited by Reflex : 06-01-2021 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 06-01-2021, 11:15 AM
rvbuilder2002's Avatar
rvbuilder2002 rvbuilder2002 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hubbard Oregon
Posts: 9,599

It's been a while since I installed an RV-14 canopy, but the canopy resting on the top of the roll bar will be what regulates the vertical position of the frame when the canopy is fully closed. If it is too low with the pins engaged, you may have to drill the rivets at the splice plate on the top and realign it using the small amount of slop available in the rivet holes.

On the sides, the inward curve of the canopy will have it trending inward towards the roll bar so you can't properly check alignment with a square, 90 degrees from the front face of the frame.
A more proper method would be to use a flexible straight edge laying in the joggled flange along the bottom of the frame, and see if the projection of the canopy shape off the back of the frame will be matching closely to the roll bar.
Another thing to keep in mind is that on the sides the rear window and main canopy don't cross the roll bar parallel to its surface (another by-product of the compound shape of the canopy) so this should be kept in mind when evaluating the fit of the frame.
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
RV-6A (aka "Junkyard Special ")

Last edited by rvbuilder2002 : 06-01-2021 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 06-01-2021, 11:22 AM
PatrickN PatrickN is offline
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Redmond, WA
Posts: 24

Interestingly, I ran into the same problem. The top of my canopy aft frame rested below the roll bar. When installing the canopy handle on page 38-14, I noticed the top of the canopy frame ends at the handle were too close together (to the point of needing sanding) and there was a big gap at the bottom. I called Vans about this, and they said they've never heard of this problem. Regardless, Van's sent me free replacement C-01405L and C-01405R and that fixed the problem.

In terms of the side, it's less of a problem for the aft canopy frame to be slightly proud of the roll bar. The key thing is the canopy side skins must exactly match the fuselage sides for it to look good.

Edit: Didn't see Scott's reply before my post
RV-14 #140469
Empennage Kit: Complete
Fuselage Kit: Complete
Finishing Kit: Mostly Complete
FWF: In Progress

Last edited by PatrickN : 06-01-2021 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 06-01-2021, 05:24 PM
Little Al Little Al is offline
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Osage, Iowa
Posts: 23

Clearly you have never had the joys of a RV4 canopy frame or worse yet a Hamon canopy frame on a rocket. Consider yourself blessed🤣🤣🤣
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Old 06-02-2021, 04:44 AM
Avoca1us Avoca1us is offline
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Reynoldsburg, OH
Posts: 30

I had the same issue with my canopy. The sides turned out to be a non issue. I installed washers on the top of the roll bar (thick and thin glued to the roll bar) prior to drilling the canopy. The washers are permanent spacers.
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