The Screw Chase…


The trim pieces on the canopy are missing most of their screws.  The screws used are a reduced head, “hi-torque” coin-slot fastener.  Finding these things has been one hell of a chore.


Fortunately, the fine folks that hang out on the EAA forum were able to point me to Genuine Aircraft Hardware (  The folks there were not not only able to help me, they had great prices too!  (Any time you hear maniacal laughter in the background, you know you’re at the right place!)

Next up is to make CAD drawings of the right side trim in order to fab a replacement for the left side that’s been damaged beyond repair…



St. Roger, the patron saint of wayward aircraft bits delivered unto me a windscreen and canopy last night!


As you can see, it’s pretty rough.  We figure it was either ejected or purposely damaged for whatever reason.  It CAN be salvaged however.

Finding a replacement glass section (lexan actually) is essentially impossible.  That is ok however, because since I don’t have the part of the fuselage where the hinge mounted, I really can’t make it an articulating canopy anyway.

What I’ll do is remove the broken lexan parts and then mount the canopy in the closed & locked position to the F-15.  Without the forward canopy glass there, you can just step over the rail to get into the cockpit.

The canopy is also bent a bit in the middle, but I’m sure I can straighten it out well enough to get it installed.  I’ll have to fabricate a replacement trim strip as the one on the left is broken where the canopy is bent.

The good news is that the mounts for the compass and lock/shoot lights are still in place.  The side handles are present as well.  I can’t wait to get this thing fixed and installed!  It’s gonna look kind of odd without the forward glass, but who cares!

Here’s a shot of the new windscreen:

The windscreen has a few gouges in it, but it’s actually in a lot better shape than the A model windscreen that came with the cockpit when I originally got it.  I’m going to test some Novus polish I have to see how well it works fixing some of the lighter scratches.  I think Novus also makes a fill that will handle the deeper gouges.

[Update: 20Nov12]

Thanks to Matt who sent me a link to a Craigslist ad for an F-15 canopy, it looks like I may get it.  I’m working on making arrangements with the seller right now.  How’s that for cool? 🙂

I also got the images resized thanks to a new plugin I found for WordPress called ImagePro.