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Old 05-21-2018, 09:08 AM
Radioflyer Radioflyer is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Boston
Posts: 70
Default Bubble canopy bird strike mitigation

I am just terrified of hitting a bird in flight and having it penetrate the canopy and into my face. This has happened in the past (not yet to me), has been reported here very recently. and will continue to happen. There must be something that can be done to better protect occupants in a bubble canopy.

What comes to mind is application of a tough transparent film on the forward part of the canopy. I know there are films designed to control and contain shards of glass from an impacted sliding glass door. However, these films will not conform to the compound curves of a bubble canopy. There are also various forms of a more stretchy polyurethane tape (colloquially known as helicopter tape and used on leading edges of blades) that is none-yellowing, transparent, and tough.

There has to be a polyurethane film material that can meet the requirements. It won't stop canopy breakage, but will mitigate the shards and impact force to the face. Another solution is to attach a second layer of conformally molded polycarbonate plastic to the aft side of the canopy. Of course, one can always wear a helmet and visor...but a canopy lamination of some form seems more practical overall.
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