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Are bubble canopies hot?


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Thanks everyone, some great advice from personal experience. So it seems bubble canopies are hot on the ground and while taxiing but not so much in the air. I'll need lots of air flow from naca inlets and some sort of shade. And it's good to be able to taxi with the canopy cracked open.

 

 

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I use a couple of suction cup sunshades in my RV-12, and they work surprisingly well to provide shade and keep the sun off the iPad I also bought a Koger sunshade but have never bothered to fit it. The cheap shades are removed in cooler weather. I usually taxy with the canopy slightly open in hot weather, otherwise it gets very hot very quickly. The side vents work very well in the air and the cockpit stays comfortable, but on the ground in hot weather with the canopy closed and no shades it's a very different story.

 

rgmwa

 

 

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This is a very relevant subject this week where it hasn't been below 40 degrees each day for the last week. Not real great flying weather anyway at this time of year at mid day, but it has been in mid to high thirties even in morning and afternoon. Is there any regulations against getting the top of the line automotive window tints on the canopies? The top of the line modern window tints are good at minimizing heat without being too dark.

 

 

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C

 

This is a very relevant subject this week where it hasn't been below 40 degrees each day for the last week. Not real great flying weather anyway at this time of year at mid day, but it has been in mid to high thirties even in morning and afternoon. Is there any regulations against getting the top of the line automotive window tints on the canopies? The top of the line modern window tints are good at minimizing heat without being too dark.

Can they be applied to a 3d curved surface?If they are a film I'd imagine they can only be applied to a flat surface.

As I will be making my own bubble I can hopefully use a tinted acrylic with a uv coating.

 

 

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CCan they be applied to a 3d curved surface?If they are a film I'd imagine they can only be applied to a flat surface.

 

As I will be making my own bubble I can hopefully use a tinted acrylic with a uv coating.

Yes. Most apparently they can be applied to surfaces which are not totally flat (or curved in one plane). I'm not sure how much curvature they can handle. There are many different types of window tint film so it might be worthwhile speaking to a few automotive window tint experts about just which films will handle more distortion.

The alternative is that they will have to be laid in segments. Maybe not ideal from an aesthetics point but it is likely a good installer should do a passable job of blending it in.

 

 

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CCan they be applied to a 3d curved surface?If they are a film I'd imagine they can only be applied to a flat surface.

 

As I will be making my own bubble I can hopefully use a tinted acrylic with a uv coating.

I've mentioned this before but I think it bears mentioning again ...

 

Do give very careful thought to whether to use a tinted acrylic for your canopy. If you ever get caught out near last night it could be a tragic showstopper.

 

We all like to think we'll always be safely on the ground once the sun is down but just occasionally you might get caught out, and that could be fatal if you have a tinted canopy.

 

I always liked to pride myself on my careful flight planning but I have to admit to having been caught out a few times over the years - unexpectedly strong headwinds on the last leg of the day, storm clouds on the western horizon at sundown, high ground to the west I hadn't been aware of because I was forced to use an alternate, and so on.

 

There are few things more scary than watching the ground below rapidly turning black while you're still a few miles out from an unlighted airstrip - and a tinted canopy will turn the ground black quite a few minutes earlier than a clear one will.

 

I'm still here today thanks to an old bush-pilot mate who taught me a trick that's invaluable if you caught in the approaching dark. Wear your sunglasses until you're on mid final approach - you can peek over them in quick glances to be sure of avoiding hazards - and then whip them off for short finals and round-out, you'd be amazed how well you can see for 20 seconds or so, even if it's nearly dark.

 

 

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Air vents will keep you cool but sunburn is another important factor. At altitudes the sun has a real "bark" to it.on a clear day I wouldn't tint a canopy or windscreen. Good wrap around (the JOE Cool Look) sunglasses required. You don't want U/V coming in from the sides damaging your eyes. Nev

 

 

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Yes, I've had near freezing temperatures airborne but the sun was still burning my skin.

 

I think temperatures will be similar in a low/high wing but the direct heat/glare of the sun swings me in favour or high wings.

 

Is this what you call radiated heat?

 

 

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I fly an RV4 and a Corby Starlet, in Qld on the tropic line.

 

The RV is like a goldfish bowl and it is quite hot on the ground, but letting the canopy sit up about 50mm provides a cooling prop wash. Once in the air it cools down rapidly with the vents in the fuselage sides.

 

The Corby is similar, but has vents in the canopy which work well. On the ground the canopy pulled right back it is comfortable. It can also fly with the canopy open.

 

Worse than the heat in my opinion is the brightness, which makes it very hard to rad an iPad.

 

The high wing aircraft are definitely more comfortable in the heat, on the ground, but not enough to make me want one.

 

 

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Yep hot. My canopy has been painted overhead which reduces the direct sun on your head. A better fix would have been vinyl wrap which could be removed or re-positioned unlike paint.

 

 

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How hot.. damn hot!

 

I use a piece of static cling film cut to size and placed directly overhead. Hasn't fallen off yet in 3 years. Along with mandatory hat and sunscreen provides a bit of relief from direct sun.

 

Streetwize Static Cling 1200x450mm Black

 

Winter time you get enough solar radiation to keep warm with a light jacket.. until the sun goes out then its fricken cold.. lol

 

 

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I’ve been flying sportstars with the front hinged bubble canopy, yeah they get a bit toasty but they have a sliding sun shade which helps. As long as you have a few air vents it’s really not that bad. Just go higher!! Toughen up aussies ;)

 

 

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Forty years Airtourer ownership has given me a fair understanding of the "Greenhouse Effect". Other than the sometimes superheated environment the visibility has always given a strong bias towards the perspex bubble.

 

After about a dozen Nullabor crossing in the Airtourer we developed our own coping strategies. Firstly dress in a long sleeve cotton shirt, and forget the shorts, Sunburnt legs is something not easily forgotten. I also used a soft cotton floppy hat and the Ray Bans were just not for the looks. We used the shades with suction cups which we could move around for best protection.

 

On a 8-9 hour flying day there were some times that were quite comfortable, and some times when there was no denying nature. I found flying directly into the sun at either early morning or late afternoon more tedious that the midday sun. Even on the ground there was no let up, with standing around on a hot apron when refueling no joy. I can recall a couple of times finding comfort in the Kalgoorlie FSU in the 1980's, attempting to capture all the cool air coming out of the air conditioner. We might have the Nullabor behind us but it was tempting to linger in the cool and stall embarking on the last two hours to home.

 

On long hot flights take particular note of rehydration. The body is going to loose a lot of fluid, and whilst the body adapts to fluid loss to a certain point, it does not take too long before stress becomes evident and the decision making process suffers impairment. We used to constantly sip, and generally aim for a cup of fluid an hour.

 

Now that the legendary Kiwi pilot Cliff Tait's books have become accessible to download, Cliff details in "Water Under my Wing" the issues he faced in ferrying a collection of Airtourers, CT4s and Fletchers, all with bubble canopies, to various parts of the world. Cliff's initial ferry flights with the Thai CT4s imposed some severe physical demands on him on the Brisbane to Darwin legs, and his robust comments were not always well received in a more temperate NZ. He even resorted to opening an umbrella inside a CT4 in an attempt to gain respite!

 

Even when the sun has gone down not all the issues have disapeared, when that ice cold lager makes a satisfying, yet rapid progression past the larynx and the kidneys and liver that have already had a bit of a workout for the day, face yet another challenge.

 

Summer flying is Aus can come with its challenges, and some aircraft are better equiped that others, but be mindful that there are times hwen we humans can be the weakest link.

 

 

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I have a low wing, bubble canopy, aircraft.

 

It is fitted with 2 large, directional, controllable delivery, high volume air vents (ex W123 Mercedes) each "fed" by its own NASA scoop. In addition I have a sliding glider type window on each side of the canopy (mainly for ground ventilation as a bit noisy in the air).

 

I have used a plain white 1/2 circle decal over a small part of the canopy and a silver (one side), plastic static mesh film (can see through it) obtained from AutoBarn, over a larger area - cheap, reusable and effective.

 

I try to avoid departures that are much over 30C but once in the air have no problems maintaining a nice cockpit environment.

 

When "parked" for any length of time, I cover the canopy with a fitted opaque cover. This effectively prevents overheating & UV damage to the interior of the cockpit.

 

 

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That reminds me of a story.

 

My SIL has a tendency to ask my opinion on things. I always give it some careful thought before giving her an answer and in the end she always does what she had already decided to do before she asked my opinion.

 

In this case, the OP has already bought the plane.

 

 

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I leave the canopy open a few inches when taxiing It does get a bit hot but not enough to be a problem and the great visability more than compensates for it

I have often wondered about this visibility argument. From what I have seen the only time a low wing has 'better' visibility IMHO is in turns but seriously how often are we turning? Flying in a low wing you do get an uninterrupted view of the sky but generally there isn't too much of interest up there (not in the conditions I fly in anyway) to see. In my high wing other than the nose area and fuse I get an uninterrupted view of the ground.

 

On longer cross country legs I have spotted so many things looking down past my leg in a 'normal' straight and level configuration that I never would have spotted in a low wing without flying hard turns.

 

Anyway not having a go at low wings but just pointing out what I see as 'great visibility' 012_thumb_up.gif.cb3bc51429685855e5e23c55d661406e.gif

 

 

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Oh and to be relevant to the thread it is a Lot better having a wing between you and the sun, I still taxi with my door open but that is just to look cool not get cool:what the:

 

 

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Oh and to be relevant to the thread it is a Lot better having a wing between you and the sun, I still taxi with my door open but that is just to look cool not get cool:what the:

They all get hot SDQDI high or low on the ground

Upside is I can lay in the ants longer as the shade stays for longer under a low wing:-)

 

Plus I can lay down instead of stand up

 

Sliding canopy in the Tecnam Sierra has some great advantages while taxiing

 

Also you may be surprised how good of view you get out one when flying as they fly quite nose low in trim

 

 

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I have a Tecnam Sierra which is a low wing sliding canopy, I average over 100 hours a year in it and don’t have much problem with heat as the vents are pretty good unless like this morning, 22 deg on the ground and 31 deg at 3500ftA hat is a must in a bubble canopy low wing and may even be worth getting a couple of those suction cup fold up visors you get for kids side windows, I have been saying for about 5 years that I should get a couple but still haven’t got around to it

Hi Alf

 

I found the Supercheap sun visors very effective. There is a longer car side window version that is perfect for the Sierra. Throw away the original black suckers and buy the same size clear suckers from Clark Rubber. They rarely fall off then. And for any low wing bubble canopy, have a look at the ‘Snap vents’ sold by Aircraft Spruce. Price is low and vents very effective on ground. If LSA get approval from the manufacturer before installation!

 

Regards

 

Bruce

 

 

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Like some of the others, I have a Sportstar and I love the bubble canopy and the view. Like the others, it can get hot on the ground and during taxi, but just open it a bit and you get some crazy airflow, so not that bad.

 

One thing I would recommend though is to get a UV Filtered version, or you will get horribly burnt.

 

 

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