Finishing Kit

April 14, 2012

The Canopy Jettison Handle - 6.0 hrs.

Here's another one of those detail items that I wanted to get finished before riveting the sub-panel and ribs to the fuselage. I have noticed for a long time now that a lot of builders are foregoing the use of the canopy jettison handle. It does take up precious space in the panel, after all, not to mention the fact that nobody has ever jettisoned a tipup canopy from an RV in flight. Not that I know of, anyway. One wonders if it's really necessary to have one. But, that's a topic for discussion that I don't really want to get into here. I simply wanted to find a way to use it, if possible. This is a great idea because you still have the handle, but it takes up zero panel space!

Some time back, my good friend Stephen Christopher sent me a photo of how he installed his this way, so I can't take credit for this idea. I happened to have a scrap UHMW block on hand that I made a mistake on earlier. I was able to use it for this application. The hardest part, and most time-consuming aspect of this job, was that I wanted to install some platenuts behind the block in the hat channel. The only way to get this done, impractical as it is, was to drill out all the dozen or so rivets and take the hat channel off. I remember drilling out rivets on this piece at least once before, too, so I hope this is the last time! I took my time and drilled them all out carefully with no damage to anything. Then it was a simple matter to drill bolt holes and install 2 platenuts, then rivet it all back together again. Here's the finished result!

As you can see above, I also had to cut a small notch in the throttle cable bracket for clearance. I don't think it will be any problem to locate all the cables to one side or the other.

So how does this look? And work? Well, I climbed into the cabin and sat in the seat for quite a while. Since it's underneath and forward on the sub-panel, it's not really even visible unless you bend down and look for it. It's not in the way of my knees or troublesome in any way that I can think of. Yet, when I reach for it, it's right there. The angle you see on the handle is also very ergonomic, fits into my hand perfectly as I grab it. The best news is, it's very easy to operate. A twist of the hand and the latch can be opened. So I haven't given up a thing, by locating it this way.

So at this point, at long last, I think I'm ready to rivet the sub-panel and ribs to the fuselage. Then... on to the canopy!

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