Great story, Vern.
The fuel dump idea had occurred to me when
I was building (and probably several others on this list), but
I could not find a way to make it happen expeditiously,
especially from the header tank, so I did not do that. I did
make sure that if the tanks stay intact on a roll over, they
will not dribble fuel all over me, but there is no guarantee
that everything stays intact in such a circumstance that flips
you over. Exiting the aircraft is a bit easier in my
configuration, as the overhead console is very stiff (I have
had two people sitting on it without any deflection, so will
serve to keep the cockpit from being crushed. If you are
inverted, once you push the door over center, it stays full
open. Here is a photo of my configuration (taken immediately
after my first flight).
Ala.. Spitfire or
perhaps P-51? The addition of a carbon hoop "roll bar"
already was in my build plan. I would like to see your
split canopy method chosen. If in case of an unexpected
Frankenbird "inverted parking position" I also planned on
a simplistic fuel purge to be used prior to emergency
touchdown. Offloading all the fuel possible would offer
time to exit before a bar b cue event.
"enjoyed" an inflight fire. I had just soloed also. Had
about 6.5 hours in my student pilot log book.
The transponder was
removed for the inspection (the 152 was IFR equipped) and
the remover (my instructor at the time) unknown to me
failed to tie back the transponder co-axial cable behind
the instrument panel.
Mr. Murphy stepped
in on my solo flight (as he is quite apt to do in
aviation) after the removal of the avionic unit, and the
loose co-axial shielded ground cable welded itself to the
positive buss bar behind the instrument panel. Sparks
..LOTs of sparks! The carpet was set afire...so I had the
rather unpleasent experience of the WW1 "hot foot" and the
single fuel selector valve near the flames in THICK acrid
smoke. Opened the window and hit the main "off"
electrical..but still had flaming carpet only now with
more oxygen on hand!! Not a good situation.
Altitude was about
1500 ft since I had just departed runway 18 so I was
flying over a dense metropolitan part of North Little Rock
at the time. I had my E6B available ( 1980 Jeppesen..metal
and analog..no batteries required) and proceeded to stamp
out the flaming carpet. Obviously, I made it back to the
field. On roll out I un-buckled,exited the aircraft at
the point of a fast walking speed, and let her roll on.
Walked in shaken but
otherwise ok to the FBO and promptly called the local FSDO
office and the investigation later ended up being rather
unfortunate for my flight instructor since he was also the
aircraft owner. The co-axial was melted all the way back
to the antenna on the belly...close to the lowest point
fuel drain. Too close according to FAR's.
So some of the ideas
I intend to add are perhaps just stem from logic. Fuel
dumps on Biz jets and Airliners are standard industry
items for good reason..and for me this part of aviation
systems safety is something I learned at 6 hours in my
pilots log book. Should be included on my homebuilt
Experimentals. Cessna and Piper don't seem to think the
same as I do on this topic.
As the comedian Mr.
Richard Prior once said "Fire is Inspirational!" I'll
vouch that it is indeed.
The canopy drag
fairing and addition of the hoop are going in the build
also. To emergency exit I plan on cutting the canopy from
Any photos of your
I built a transition like you
describe into my forward canopy. It was partially to cut
that draggy transition you describe and partially to
facilitate my split canopy. The forward portion of my
canopy is permanently mounted, so that gave me the
option of modifying the transition area.
was reviewing the high pressure areas on the Q2
plot and perhaps an addition of a fairing in
front of the canopy/cowl location could be
worthy of the effort. Jim Patillo in his tour
video convinced me to rework the present forward
hinged canopy on my shells (purchased the
partial kit that way..but I was never
comfortable with the workmanship..a bit ruff how
the previous owner hinged it) to a parallel
mechanism..but perhaps by canting the aft
up..the canopy can fit behind a new blended
we insert a foot in a slip on shoe. The old
blonde joke.. TGIF.. Toes Go In First.
Anyway..that is the visual.
transition appears too blunt at present.