VAF Forums

VAF Forums (
-   RV-8/8A (
-   -   Bailing out of an RV-8 especially if you're on fire (

donaziza 08-14-2014 02:48 PM

Bailing out of an RV-8 especially if you're on fire
I've started a couple of threads on this subject in the last 7 years. Got various answers on how one couldn't open the canopy in flight on an RV 8 due to high/low?? pressure. Paul Dye, years ago, suggested I put easy to remove "pip Pins" in the front of the canopy, where there are presently bolts with nuts. Or even to take off with them not installed at all, (the forward windscreen metal hoop would hold the canopy in place. (This I did with my old 8, and it worked fine even during acrobatics)

I had also asked Vans if they had any documentation on anyone ever bailing out of an RV 8. They said "yes", but unfortunately, the poor guy didn't have a parachute. (Obviously a fire, else why would he have done it)

So here's my question: I'd like to write Vans and see if they would be willing to sacrifice an 8 to see if one can indeed get out of the thing if one had a rip roaring fire. If one uses the "pip pins" as per Paul Dye, I'm assuming you'd only have to slide the canopy back a half inch or so, push up, and bang, that canopy is gone. Would it hurt the vertical stabilizer?? Sure, probably,---- probably put a nice dent in the upper forward leading edge of the VS, but who cares, you're leaving anyhow. Maybe there is something Vans could do in a wind tunnel test vs a real airplane.

So now the point of all this. If I'm the only one to write Vans, I think I'd probably be dismissed as "Yeah Right". But if a whole lot of us write, maybe 50 guys or so, I would think we'd have their attention. I only know RV 8's, but I would think my thinking would apply to any slider canopy, ie RV 6's etc. ( Don't know how one would deal with the "tip up" canopies.

Whadaya'all think of my idea?

sailvi767 08-14-2014 02:52 PM

I may not quite understand what you want but what happens to the pilot in this test?


donaziza 08-14-2014 02:59 PM


Originally Posted by sailvi767 (Post 907407)
I may not quite understand what you want but what happens to the pilot in this test?


Of course I wouldn't want anything to happen to a test pilot----that's a given. -----Vans would have to engineer it where the test pilot gets out no matter what. (I.m no aeronautical engineer---is this not possible?

XOverZero 08-14-2014 03:02 PM

I see lawyers....


donaziza 08-14-2014 03:05 PM


Originally Posted by XOverZero (Post 907412)

I see lawyers....


Well, Could it be done in a wind tunnel test??

N941WR 08-14-2014 03:15 PM


Originally Posted by XOverZero (Post 907412)

I see lawyers....


That is funny!

If the canopy comes off cleanly, the pilot can land the plane. Someone will still need to pick up the pieces. (It has been reported that -8's fly fine w/o the canopy.)

If it hits the VS or HS, the pilot (Joe Blank?) is going over the side, then IF the plane doesn't hit anyone/anything, Van's will have a mess to clean up. The environmentalists will go crazy due to the spilled oil and 100LL. Oh, that leaded fuel will be a BIG issue.

I don't see it happening because I'm not sure the certified manufacturers have done the same test.

Good luck, I think the results would be interesting. BTW, I would think they would run this test on a SbS simply because there are more 6, 7, 9, and now 14's than 8's.

Veetail88 08-14-2014 03:18 PM

Ummmm. Yeah, you're going to get a "yeah right" even if 50 folks write.

To sacrifice an aircraft and put a pilot at risk for such an answer is not realistic.

This the experimental/amateur built market we play in. It's not like they're selling certificated aircraft here with airframe parachutes that need to be proven.

Neal@F14 08-14-2014 03:26 PM

Someone has already proved that you can indeed open the canopy of an RV-8 and bail out if the aircraft is on fire.

R.I.P. :(

flyboy1963 08-14-2014 03:33 PM

wind tunnel, or uber-simulator?
how about bolting an -8 fuse to the back of a flat-deck, and taking it down a deserted Nevada highway at 100 kts? Pop the canopy, see if you can send it skyward...attached with a lanyard to keep it off the road of course!
...or perhaps Paul Dye knows where to find a 747 that we could piggyback an -8 onto? :) ( might be one parked somewhere with a 'for rent' sign on it?!)
heck, could test the entire Van's fleet at once!

KRviator 08-14-2014 03:38 PM

Why limit it to just the -8's? As a soon-to-be -9A driver I'm interested in knowing if my canopy will depart cleanly too. And what about the 10's and their gullwing doors?

They won't do it, no matter how many people write to them for the simple reason the risk doesn't justify any potential reward.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:58 PM.