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Old 08-03-2010, 12:34 AM
billnaz's Avatar
billnaz billnaz is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 238
Default Thank you!

As a devout sceptic, I thank you for providing us with hard data. Hammer it is! I love the VAF!
Bill Grischo, Phoenix AZ
Flying, thinking about polishing
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Old 08-03-2010, 03:20 PM
selhardt's Avatar
selhardt selhardt is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 113
Default The canopy was a Van's canopy

Just to follow up on a question - it was a Van's canopy.
Scott Elhardt
RV-8 N32SE -Finished!
Grove Gear, XIO-360-M1B
Whirlwind RV200
Dual PMags

Pitts S-1S Restoration in process!

Minneapolis, MN
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Old 08-03-2010, 03:52 PM
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Chino Tom Chino Tom is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Chino, CA
Posts: 740
Default great post

I have a tool similar to the pick. Fortunately I've never had the opportunity
to see how ineffective it would be. Just ordered the hammer.

Thanks for posting.
Tom Prokop
Chino, CA
RV-8A,180/CS/Carb, AFS 4500 EFIS/EMS
RV-6, sold, 820 hrs of fun.
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Old 08-03-2010, 05:50 PM
Sam Buchanan's Avatar
Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is offline
been here awhile
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 4,676

Since that little hammer did such a good job of breaking the canopy, I suspect the passenger control stick will easily blow out a huge hole. My passengers are briefed to use the control stick to smash the canopy if we ever come to rest upside down.
Sam Buchanan
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:43 PM
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db8 db8 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Jeffersonville, IN
Posts: 463
Default Thanks

Thanks for the test. I ended up getting one of the canopy breaker tools from Flyboy Accessories I think it can deliver about the same force as the hammer (at least I hope so). Dave
Dave Buntin RV-8, N 130YS, BOYS & TOYS
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:05 AM
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Top_prop Top_prop is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Mobile AL
Posts: 116

Awesome Post! I love VAF! Thank you Scott!

Now for some stories!

I used to fly P-3's... we had crash axes on them. One of my Flight engineers told me a story about when he got to go to the bone yard for a 'live test' on an old airframe... they chopped away for 30 minutes at the aluminum skin where the engineers had painted a dotted square for an "chopped out" emergency exit (albeit much heavier than what we use in a Vans) and barely made it across the top... of the about 18x18 square... the test was called complete.

They then hit the plexiglass side windows and it all went flying. The front windscreen (very thick) was a bit tougher but they got through in minutes...

On a side note, I have a friend who is also a Coastie Pilot, who was a cop prior to joining the USCG... he cares the hammer pictured in his side pocket of his truck and has used it, or one like it, numerous times to bust out car windows and effect rescues. He swears by them.
I Timothy 2:1-2 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

I Thesalonians 4:11-12 Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:57 AM
RVadmirer RVadmirer is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Kalifornia
Posts: 466
Default Thank YOU!

"Please send thanks to the RV guy who did this test from all the Long-EZ folks like myself.
It opened my eyes to real data.
EJ N36EJ Long-EZ"

Ditto here Scott!
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:31 AM
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smokyray smokyray is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: T38
Posts: 2,018
Default Bust it!

I have carried a S&W 911 on my person while flying my RV4 and HR2 for many years. I tested it on an old -4 canopy and the breaker pops a nice hole and the saw goes through it like butter. (use gloves) The fear of being trapped is a valid one (I flew F16's for 20 years, the canopy is 1/4 inch thick!) a good tool is priceless!

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Old 08-04-2010, 11:33 AM
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Mike S Mike S is offline
Senior Curmudgeon
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
Posts: 16,611

Way back a long time ago when I was still working, I was stationed at the crash station at John Wayne airport in Orange County, Ca.

I had numerous training exercises in aircraft rescue, and the best tool we had of opening plexi canopies was an axe. I have even cut through fighter jet canopies over an inch thick with an axe, it was a lot of work, but did the job.

The first unit in your photo, that you called a "pick" is listed as a "strap cutter" by the manufacturer. It is what we used to call a seat belt cutter in the fire service. Looking at the photo, it appears to have a screwdriver tip on the end of the handle, also a common thing in fire service tools.

The spring loaded center punch is very effective at removing tempered glass windows-----I carried one for many years in my turnout coat. As you found out, it is worthless on plastic.

Bob Brown has the correct idea, IMHO, the axe is going to do the best job.
Mike Starkey
VAF 909

Rv-10, N210LM.

Flying as of 12/4/2010

Phase 1 done, 2/4/2011

Sold after 240+ wonderful hours of flight.

"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it."
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:36 PM
thallock thallock is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Austin, Tx
Posts: 333


Thanks for doing the test. However, with the canopy pointed upwards, there really shouldn't be any problem exiting the aircraft, unless the darn thing was just stuck, or maybe if you were in the air and wanted to jump from a burning airplane, so thanks for testing that situation. Anyway, do you think you could get another canopy, turn it upside down, and try to break through it while standing or balancing upside down on it? That would really be helpful. Oh, and how about doing it under water.

Tracy Hallock
Austin, Tx
RV-7(EH) - Fuselage
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