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Section 38-12: Issue w Canopy Rails


Well Known Member
I might post this in the "gotchas" as well. Turns out that there can be manufacturing issues with C-01409L/R (which you cut apart on 38-11). When the flanges are bent it is done over an aluminum form. The piece can slide a bit when this is done. Turns out that is what happened to my part. (Pictures are on my FB page--"ken's rv-14"). A call to Van's confirmed that this has been an issue with other builders.

The end result is that one or both rails might be off and you won't be able to get the 1407 bent correctly to have it match the curve of the fuselage. In my case, after riveting 1409 and 1427 together and clamping them to the fuselage to get the curve right, the left rail did not go out to the edge of the fuselage in the middle of the rail when the ends are set flush to the fuselage, while the right rail did. This is after Step 6 where you bend the 1407. The gap was about 3/32" on the left. It is sort of odd that one was OK and the other was not.

How to tell if this will be an issue is easy. cleco the 1409 and 1427 together. The 1427 will be on top of the 1409. Measure the distance between the outside edge of 1427 (side next to the flange) and the inside flange edge make make sure that the gap is equidistance on both rails. In the center (lengthwise), the Left side was 1/32" while the right side was 3/32 to 1/16. Right was fine left bad. Interestingly the gap of 3/32" was the amount that it was off on the left.

In addition, you can cleco the 1407 to 1409 and determine how the bottom edge of 1407 compares with 1409 in both rail assemblies. In my case ones side was flush with the bottom edge to 1409 while the other went past the bottom edge of 1409.

Hopefully this makes sense.

I would like to know if others have had this issue.
After careful consideration, I am going to try the following. First, I am going to create a template of the left canopy deck and check it against the right deck. Then, remove 9 (75%) of the rivets that hold the C-1409R rail angle to the C-1427R rail flange, starting at the fwd end. Then, with the rail still attached to the rail angle I should be able to manipulate the assembly such that the rail again matches the profile of the canopy deck. I am considering completion of the C-1405 aft canopy frame assembly and clecoing all of the relative components together including the steps indicated in section 38-13, paying close attention to the influence of the C-1404 support flange connection to the C-1427 rail flange, as this connection ultimately dictates the relative position of the rail assembly to the canopy deck. Any thoughts?