Rear Canopy Seals
After much frustration trying to keep my
canopy from rattling using the plastic rear canopy seals from
Fletchair (and the little stabilizing rubber blocks on the original),
I finally threw up my hands and developed this solution. Unlike
the replacement seals from Fletchair, which quickly scuff the
paint on the turtle back, the felt used in this solution has had
no effect on my paint after 3 years.
Although I did this modification while I
had the canopy off, it's clear that it can be done with the canopy
installed on the aircraft--probably in less than 30 minutes. Two
large, high-resolution photos at the end of this document show
details of my installation.
Here's a step-by-step guide.
- Purchase several strips of felt 1/4"
thick, 2 inches wide, and of a length equal to the semi-circumference
of the aft edge of the canopy. I bought mine at the local Target,
but others users have had success with Frost King felt
from Walmart. (Note: 2-seat owners recommend 1-1/4 inch wide
by 3/16 thick.)
- Temporarily affix a single piece of felt
in place to the inside of the canopy for experimentation.
I used little bits of Velcro. You can use contact cement, but
be sparing because you may have to move the felt strip several
times to get it positioned correctly. Begin by positioning it
1 inch from the rear edge of the canopy. In my installation,
the correct position was 1/2 inch from the edge.
- The felt strip is positioned correctly
when the canopy is moderately hard to close. A fair amount of
speed is required to push the canopy the last six inches, and
you'll feel that the latch is really working to snug the canopy
against the bow. There will be zero lateral movement of the canopy.
- Now cement the felt permanently to the
inside of the canopy. I used Grip brand contact cement.
(Others have used carpet tape instead of contact cement.) Close
the canopy, and leave it alone. Let it set for 24 hours, after
which it will be easier to close.
- With time, the felt becomes permanently
compressed between the canopy and the turtleback. The compression
continues over the next few weeks until the canopy feels like
a perfect fit, requires no extraordinary effort to close, and
has no rattles or air leaks.
- If after a while, you feel you've over-done
it in the snugness department, use a razor knife to remove 1/2
inch from the rear edge of the felt.
- If you hangar your plane, leave the canopy
open a few inches to keep the felt (and the rubber bow seals)
Although I used 3-inch wide felt strips,
it's clear from the wear marks that 2-inch strips are sufficient.
The strip is glued about 1/2-inch for the rear edge of the canopy.
This shot is taken upward from the cargo