What's an RV?
We have an RV6A (see picture below) that we built and use
for transportation around the country. It takes us to races, to
visit relatives, air shows, and sometimes just to be up in the
air. We love to tinker around, always trying to improve
something. All of us that have built our own airplanes are
probably like this. We are "tool nuts", or "gadget hounds", as
well as "fliers".
UPDATE: June 2007
Please see our updates page to read about our new partnership with Aircraft Extras, a web site that many of
you have visited. We will now sell our product directly through them. We are exited about this and hope that
we will have a bit more time to develop our other ideas. We hope to see you at Oshkosh!
We are also still working on a "headrest System" that
compliments the "Tipper" system since now the headrest
will not block baggage loading.........the prototype will be
completed soon...we also have recieved a suggestion that
we offer the strut system only as a kit...we have added it
to our catalog....all existing customers will be recieving
FOC a new improved slide stop system that eliminates
potential interference with the forward roll hoop...just got
the parts in house and plan to trial fit them 11/12/06 and
ship if all goes well ...JW
What are we doing?
We have a list of projects that we will complete some day, but for now we are close to having our "Tipper" system
ready for sale. The prototype has been flight tested and developed, and production parts are being CNC machined.
We are producing the first batch of kits for this system. We don't do this full time, but we do enjoy it. To us,
designing and building things is FUN! We like to design race cars primarily, but there is not much of that going on at
this time, so the RV gives us an outlet for our spare energy. We tend to "tinker" a bit with the designs to get them
just right, and we only use first class components and machinery to produce the kits.
When we visited Oshkosh in 2005, many of you saw our airplane with its sliding canopy and tip up system. After so
many expressed an interest in it, we decided to build a few kits and offer them for sale. We’ve actually made many
improvements since you last saw it.
Here’s a little history about how this design came about. My wife loves to fly cross country with me, and, of course we
need to carry some luggage for that. RV6’s and 7’s have plenty of capacity (volume and weight), but it can be difficult
to get all that stuff into the baggage compartment of the sliders. We had seen other examples of a slider with a tip up
feature out there, but we wanted to do our own just for the challenge of it. We built our canopy with our own aluminum
canopy roller brackets, replacing the perfectly good welded steel versions as supplied by Van’s. These brackets allow
the canopy to tip forward, but we still only had a broomstick to hold it up! It took about a year of mostly standing there
looking at the problem of how to hold the canopy up, that it finally came to us. As engineers, we like the system now. It
looks good, is elegantly simple, and is as easy to install as possible. An added bonus is that it is now easier to access
the baggage area for maintenance and cleaning. My wife likes how easy it is to put all of our bags in. Now she wants
headrests for when she takes a nap! I guess that the RV Tipper means that we can have headrests and still have
access to the baggage area!
Here is how it should work when you get done. Stand on the left side behind the wing.
Lift the canopy slide stop to let the canopy slide all the way back so that the UHMW guide will lift off of the T-rail
Lift the back of the canopy up 8—12 inches
Slide the canopy forward to the stop and tip it up
Extend the strut straight up all the way and then tilt it forward
Engage the strut into the UNHW canopy slide and twist ¼ turn to lock
Since the strut supports the canopy in the center, no side loads are imposed. It is locked in place so that the wind won’
t pull it off of the strut.
The intermediate stop can be used to limit how far open the canopy slides when we are in taxi or run-up mode. It
keeps the charts in the plane!
Here's some pictures of the Tipper in action! Happy Flying!
Slid back to the first stop, nice to taxi like this on a
Slid all the way back past the aft stop, ready to lift
UHMW slider disengaged and canopy lifted , ready
to slide forward
Slid forward to stop and tipped up with support strut
in place...just a quarter turn of the strut locks it into
the UHMW slider so that the wind won't blow your
canopy off.......of course it wouldn't to wise to leave it
like this in very high winds.
Here's an illustration of the roller
assembly......this is the right hand
roller showing the stop...........when you
lift the rear of the canopy, the
assembly will meet resistance when it
slides forward to the stop........this is
your signal that the canopy is in the
correct fore and aft position..........in
normal canopy operations the roller
assembly will slide over the stop with
very little resistance
A couple of pictures of the strut system....the strut itself rests in the tubular
housing when its retracted......the baggage can't get in the way when you
retract the strut....when its extended as shown, it is locked such that it can't
extend further or retract....to retract it, just a quarter turn of the strut lets it
come out of the UHMW guide........rotate it to vertical and slide it down into
This is a complete kit....you get all the
parts you need.........all CNC machined
parts, the aluminum is anodized
black........the steel parts are
stainless...the hardware has its own
Strut and Housing
The NEW strut kit includes Bags # 2,
and #4 as well as the Strut and Housing
RV Tipper Instructions (retro-fit or for new construction)
Note1: Before you unpack the parts
Measure the distance as shown in the picture at right. Both sides must be greater than .88” for the tipper to work. Most RV’s
actually measure between 1.0” and 1.25”.
Remove all contents from the box and insure that all parts are there and in good condition. See the bag contents pages 2,3,
Step 2: Canopy Modification (short version)
In order for the canopy to tip, the canopy frame WD 640 and roller bracket WD-644 on an RV-6 must be modified to accept
the new roller bracket. For this, it is best to remove the canopy and place it carefully, front side down on a couple of pieces of
wood or other suitable material.
The new canopy bracket must keep the roller in exactly the same position
as the old bracket. This is a typical template that will work, made from scrap
With the original Van’s WD-644 bracket still in place, clamp the template
down and mark or match for the 1/4” dia hole thru template.
Remove the Van’s bracket and use the new roller bracket to determine
the cut-off point for the canopy frame tube. Ideally you would sneak up
on this, keeping the tube as long as possible.
Protect the canopy skirt with a scrap of aluminum and cut off the tube.
Trial fit the new bracket to check that the canopy frame tube is the correct
length by making sure that the new bracket lines up with the holes in the
template. See pages 4 and 5 for more pictures and illustrations. The
new bracket must be secured to the canopy frame. Thru bolts can be
used, but we recommend using the 4 socket head bolts provided
( #8-32 course threads). Use 2 bolts per side. Make marks on the
canopy frame where you want these bolts to be.
Here the bracket is shown installed. Note that our canopy had been
modified for another version of this bracket, and hence it has been
cut off a little too far. You should be able to leave a little bit more of
the tube depending on your exact canopy height.
Remove the new brackets and drill 2 pilot holes in the canopy frame (inside wall of tube only). Put the new roller bracket back
in place aligned with the fixture and mark or drill into the new roller bracket. The bracket can now be removed and be tapped
for the #8-32 screws. The canopy frame holes can also be enlarged with a #18 drill.
It is easiest to remove the new brackets to assemble all of the hardware to them as shown on page 7. Note that the right side
has a rounded slide stop and that some standard Van’s parts are used. A very sparing amount of grease can be used. Once
these mechanisms are installed and working smoothly, they can be permanently attached to the canopy frame.
Clean, de-burr, and bolt the new roller bracket in place using a low strength thread lock (Blue Lok-Tite or equivalent).