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  #1  
Old 09-04-2018, 02:14 PM
Plumbmaster's Avatar
Plumbmaster Plumbmaster is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Concord, CA
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Question RV6 Open Canopy...

I would like to start a brief discussion on canopies opening in flight inadvertently and the results thereof. I understand that tilt up canopies (especially the ones that open sideways) can open I flight and blow off, but what about sliders on the RV6, RV7 and RV9?.
Secondly, is it even physically possible to open the canopy n the 6 or 7 in case one needs to exit the aircraft in flight. Why would one need to exit the aircraft? the reasons should be obvious; structural failure due to aerobatics, fire, angry wife etc...
I'm about to embark on basic aerobatics and would like to hear from others experiences with the slider canopy.
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  #2  
Old 09-04-2018, 03:38 PM
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Snowflake Snowflake is offline
 
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Owners of -6, -7, and -12 tip-ups have had canopies open in flight (usually due to forgetting to latch on departure) and they can be flown normally apart from the canopy sitting partly open (6" or so if I recall) and the glareshield blocking some forward view. They are unlikely to depart without some "other" confounding factor... Canopy jettison pins pulled, for example, or maybe excessive gyroscopic forces?

The sliders are reported to be almost impossible to open more than a few inches in flight, the aerodynamic loads want to close them. A number of people have modified the forward rollers to attach to quick-release pins that could be pulled if jettisoning the canopy in flight was desired. In that case, one would pull the pins first (while the latch is holding the canopy shut), then release the latch and try to slide back. The aerodynamic forces should lift the front of the canopy off, and tear the slider block off the rear track.

All in theory, of course. I don't recall any reports of *intentional* canopy jettisoning where the pilot continued to the ground safely.
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Last edited by Snowflake : 09-05-2018 at 08:19 AM.
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  #3  
Old 09-04-2018, 03:51 PM
Andrew Anunson Andrew Anunson is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowflake View Post
Owners of -6, -7, and -12 tip-ups have had canopies open in flight (usually due to forgetting to latch on departure) and have flown normally apart from the canopy sitting partly open (6" or so if I recall) and the glareshield blocking some forward view.
There have been at least 9 RV crashes and 4 RV fatalities associated with canopies opening in flight.... so it should be a worthwhile discussion.
Not caused by, necessarily... but associated with. (Same as most other aircraft with doors or canopies)

Last edited by Andrew Anunson : 09-04-2018 at 05:58 PM.
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  #4  
Old 09-04-2018, 04:03 PM
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Fred.Stucklen Fred.Stucklen is offline
 
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Location: Brooksville, FL
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Default Tip-Up canopys

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowflake View Post
Owners of -6, -7, and -12 tip-ups have had canopies open in flight (usually due to forgetting to latch on departure) and have flown normally apart from the canopy sitting partly open (6" or so if I recall) and the glareshield blocking some forward view. They are unlikely to depart without some "other" confounding factor...
So how many out there have truely "Experimented" opening their canopies in flight? Do those of you that fly tip-ups know that the canopy can be substituted for the elevator in the case of elevator control failure? It turns out that the canopy is a lifting surface. Opening it causes the nose to fall, which can be overcome with trim alone. Once trimmed, opening the canopy further will cause the nose to fall further. Closing it will cause the nose to rise (all at the same power level). Flaps MUST be left in the UP position or the canopy looses control. I have successfully tested landing the aircraft under these conditions (on a long runway) using ONLY canopy positional input and hands off the elevator.

I can say from experience that an unplanned open tip-up canopy should not result in a loss of control unless the pilot stopped flying the aircraft.
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  #5  
Old 09-04-2018, 04:13 PM
odens_14 odens_14 is offline
 
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My experience: Two times I have had my primary latch open on my tip-up -7 due to me not getting it completely latched before takeoff. both times my secondary latch on the "roll bar" was closed so it only raised an inch or so until that caught it.

The first time I had my wife with me and we were able to get it shut when I slowed almost to stall and she pulled and I latched. it takes a pretty good pull to get it back down. The second time I was solo and didn't have enough hands to pull down, latch and keep straight so I just had to land. I didn't notice any adverse handling at all.
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  #6  
Old 09-04-2018, 04:17 PM
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Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is online now
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This topic has been discussed in depth many times over the years. The archives contain all these threads....the search engine is your friend.

Bottom line, the tip-up canopies (RV-3 and -4 excepted) will ride open about 6" and can be closed if the plane is slower than cruise speed. The sliders are very difficult to open much past 6".
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Last edited by Sam Buchanan : 09-04-2018 at 04:26 PM.
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  #7  
Old 09-04-2018, 04:19 PM
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Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Anunson View Post
There has been at least 9 RV crashes and 4 RV fatalities associated with canopies opening in flight.... so it should be a worthwhile discussion.
I think a better summary would be "There have been X number of crashes due to pilots not continuing to fly their RV after a canopy has opened".

Open canopies don't create an unflyable RV.
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  #8  
Old 09-04-2018, 05:12 PM
Desert Rat Desert Rat is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Buchanan View Post
I think a better summary would be "There have been X number of crashes due to pilots not continuing to fly their RV after a canopy has opened".

Open canopies don't create an unflyable RV.
I'm probably not qualified to respond since I'm in the fact finding phase and haven't even flown an RV.

However, I think that the above statement holds true no matter what you're flying. I've been a CFI for a long time now. With primary students, when they are getting close to solo, I'll pick a time on either the upwind or final when they have a relatively high workload, reach across the airplane (c-172) and pop the pilot side window open.

WITHOUT FAIL, every student I've ever done this to will immediately focus on closing the window even if we're only a couple of hundred feet in the air, and even if we've talked about "fly the airplane first" less than an hour before in the preflight brief. Any thought of holding Vy in the climb, or keeping a stabilized approach on final is immediately abandoned due to their new #1 priority of closing a window that could be open all the way up to Vne with no problems at all.

When I do a BFR we'll discuss this and I suggest that we go through the same exercise, as well as opening the door in flight. I've worked with more than one relatively high time Cessna pilot that had no idea it's possible to open the window in flight, not to mention that there's a process for closing a door in flight.

If they had a door or window pop open before we talked about it and went through the process, I have zero confidence that they would have performed perform any better that the 15 hour pre-solo student.
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  #9  
Old 09-05-2018, 07:56 PM
JimWoo50 JimWoo50 is offline
 
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Default My slider wouldn’t budge

Not one inch. One of my first flights didn’t latch all the way so I slowed to 70 kts or so, tried to pull it back and slam it shut but no way. Was real loud and windy but no other bad things happened.
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