FlyBoys Canopy Latch

Time: 2 Hours

When you fly the RV-8 without a passenger it is pretty hard to reach all the way back to grab the canopy and slide it closed. So builder usually put some sort of stop so that the canopy catches and stops just behind the pilot which makes it easier to grab and close. I decided that I like the FlyBoys latch and this is how I installed it. The idea is that there is a free swinging teardrop shaped plastic piece that gets bolted to the canopy frame at the roller connection point. FlyBoys gives you the required pieces including a machined piece that shapes around the round bar of the frame and makes a squared attachment point. 

Now you have this part that hangs down and swings freely as you move the canopy forward and aft. The second part is a hook shaped piece that will act as a catch. 

This piece can be attached to the side of the cockpit rail just below the canopy rail anywhere along the length of it as you desire. First I followed Matt Dralles plans and added a piece of sheet aluminum under and on top of the hook to space it just right so it aligned with the teardrop piece and give it some strength. I used the predrilled holes to match drill the sapacers. 

After I had the them drilled I clamped it in place centered between the rollbar that is right behind the pilot seat. 

I match drilled all three parts to the rail side, debuted and screwed them in place. 

So how this latch works is as you slide the canopy forward the hanging latch goes over the hook at an angle clearing the hook. You stop sliding forward at that point and slide the canopy back allowing the latch to catch on the hook.  

To clear the hook and slide the canopy all the way you just need to slide the canopy forward enough for the latch to drop down on the forward edge of the hook. Then as you slide the canopy aft the latch will angle the opposite way and pass right by the hook. 

Here is a link to a video that Matt did showing the action of the latch. This works really slick and smooth.  I’m going to add another hook somewhere forward of the first on to allow the canopy to be held open 6″ or so for taxing or when it got out as the plane sits on the ramp. 

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