We decided it was probably sensible to have a means of escaping from the cockpit, should the unthinkable happen and we find ourselves upside down in a field.
Finding a suitable tool?
The readily available windscreen hammers are designed to shatter car glass, and are undoubtedly too lightweight to make much of a dent in an RV14 canopy.
Flyboy Accessories in the US sell a nice tool, which they call the Chisel Style Canopy Breaker. This describes it admirably, and was apparently designed by a former military F-100 and F-4 pilot. This one-piece milled aluminum tool, which weighs about 14oz (397g), has a short chisel blade and a heavy cylindrical handle.
Now we’re talking!
My hand in this picture gives some idea of the tool’s size.
An optional mounting kit includes two plastic clips to mount in the cockpit, and a safety lanyard to keep the tool from coming loose and flying around the cockpit during a crash. The lanyard includes a pull pin and 6″ of steel cable with a tab on one end.
I was concerned that the clips wouldn’t be up to the job, but they are made of a heavy duty material and anchor the tool very securely.
I decided to mount it on the F-01445A Flap Motor Cover Front, being readily accessible between the seats, but out of the way.
Since the attachment bolts extend into the flap cover, you need to ensure there will be no interference with the flap motor mechanism.
It wasn’t too difficult to find a vertical position which gave ample clearance.
I used a convenient screw on the F-01445B-R Flap Motor Cover Side to secure the safety lanyard to the cockpit structure.
All in all a well designed tool … which will hopefully live forever in its attachment clips!