One of the modifications I want to make to the canopy, is to add the Flyboys Supertracks. This allows the Canopy to open more aft, which enlarges the entrance space of the baggage compartment.
This modification can be installed on a finished RV, however if you install it while building it is less work. Also, since the track spine needs to be extended (there is an extension track in the Flyboys kit), I decided to ask Van’s for a longer track spine. Turns out they have one, which is actually for the RV-8.
The alignment between the original Van’s canopy track and the Supertrack must be precise to enable a fluent transition between both tracks. In the end you need some shims to even the ‘gaps’ (the shims are also provided in the Supertracks kit).
The rollers of the original canopy are modified with a second roller, which slide through the Supertrack. Again, because I install the Supertrack while building, I only have to build the final roller.
Just like the original rollers, the modified rollers are attached to the Canopy with a bolt through the front frame bar.
The Supertrack itself is attached to the fuselage just aft of the standard rail. Since there is no room besides the Supertrack, the attachment bolts are flush inside the track itself. That means you have to drill bigger holes through the track to be able to reach in with a screwdriver. You can see the ‘big hole’ here on the right side.
The aft side of the Supertrack is fastened to the baggage auxiliary bulkhead, with a small strip.
I’m hesitating to cut a piece of the top skin to enable the canopy to slide even further aft. The proposed trimmed area is mark red on the painters tape. In a later session I did trim this part, but it turns out the bolt that connects the Supertrack with the strip prevents the canopy sliding further than 1 extra inch.
So you can see here the canopy slid all the way back on the Supertrack, without trimming the top skin. Trimming did enable it to go back further, but don’t cut is aft the attachment bolt.
After installing the Supertrack, I continued on the canopy anchor blocks. These secure the aft side of the canopy when it is closed by the latch.
The hardest part is to drill the arresting hole in the block. I decided to incrementally drill it and then test the result by sliding it.
Time: 8 Hours, Rivets: 16/0 (2020-08-04)
Time: 6 Hours, Rivets: 0/0 (2020-08-05)
Time: 8 Hours, Rivets: 0/0 (2020-08-06)