Clear inspection covers?

Discussion in 'Fabric & Paint' started by IanJ, Mar 19, 2017.

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  1. Mar 19, 2017 #1

    IanJ

    IanJ

    IanJ

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    I've searched around a bit, but haven't seen anything like what I'm looking for: a clear round inspection cover. Just like the $5 ACS inspection cover (linked below), but instead of thin gauge aluminum with a spring on the back, it would be clear plastic with a spring on the back. The inspiration is from my Champ. It has an inspection cover for the rear strut attach nut, that I'd like to check on preflight, but never do, because it would mean sliding that metal inspection cover off every time.

    Anyone ever heard of such a thing? I'm tempted to just make one out of 1/8" lexan, and mill in a shallow groove to align with the inspection ring. I'd be appropriating the spring design from the existing cover, or possibly even just taking a spring off one of the old covers I've got lying around.

    These are the covers I've got on the plane now: http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/cspages/de-nonslipcovers.php
     
  2. Mar 19, 2017 #2

    cwilliamrose

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    There has been at least one discussion about clear inspection covers in the recent past. Did you try a search?
     
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  3. Mar 19, 2017 #3

    cgzro

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    Try Dick Blatter in Litchfield,IL

    I have a bunch and they are exactly as you describe except he has nutplates on the clip and two screws for security at higher speeds.

    Work great.
     
  4. Mar 19, 2017 #4

    ilikeitinverted

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    This link might be of help
    FWIW, I did purchase 2 of the clear inspection covers from AVIAT a month ago to the tune of ~$64 each...
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
  5. Mar 19, 2017 #5

    Randy

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    IanJ, if you find a supplier I would be interested in a few clear covers if it helps get the price down - even if it doesn't I'm interested. :)
     
  6. Mar 19, 2017 #6

    planebuilder

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    Does anyone have any pics of the clear covers?
     
  7. Mar 20, 2017 #7

    curtis

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    Ian, here are the ones I made. 1/8" lexan cut out and shaped. Beveled the edge on a disk sander in a jig I made then sanded the edges with fine paper up to 1500 to make them clear. I used 6/32 nut plates flush riveted in with soft rivets. I think this pic is the one before I beveled the edge. Total cost was what ever I paid for the lexan and nut plates.

    IMG_0652.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  8. Mar 20, 2017 #8

    ilikeitinverted

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    Here's the one sold by Aviat

    IMG_7928.jpg
     
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  9. Mar 20, 2017 #9

    Knight Twister

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    Might as well make some clear wing root fairings while you're at it.
     
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  10. Mar 20, 2017 #10

    IanJ

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    I did, but I didn't find anything. Possibly I used the wrong search terms, but I searched both with the built-in search and by doing a Google search limited to the Biplane Forum. I was surprised to find that it hadn't been discussed yet, so I'm pleased to see that my search results were wrong.

    Thanks everyone for the other replies, I appreciate it. I'll check into the links you've provided.
     
  11. Mar 20, 2017 #11

    planebuilder

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    Thanks for the pic Igorek82. I designed a replacement for this, will try to make one today. If it works I will post it.
     
  12. Mar 20, 2017 #12

    cwspilot

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    I have purchased covers from this guy. $25 ea. They are excellent. speedy@consolidated.net 217-556-2131.
    Call him. It takes forever for him to reply to email. You'll have your covers in 3 days
     
  13. Mar 20, 2017 #13

    cactusav8r

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    Would you post a Pic of them?
     
  14. Mar 20, 2017 #14

    cwspilot

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    This is the ad

    insp.jpg
     
  15. Mar 20, 2017 #15

    planebuilder

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    I made a cover today and I think it worked well. The latches are cut from 1/4" aluminum, If you look close at one of them on the cover, it's just plain cut by hand, just to show these can be home made and work. The others I CNC milled and cut down the tab thickness. The key to their operation is the drag on the screw from the nylock. I drilled a 3/8 hole 3/4 way through the latch and just pressed an AN365-832 nut into the hole. The open and shut "pins" are just 8-32 screws and nuts, cause that's the smallest I had on hand. Smaller, like #6 or #4 would be better. The disc I cut from 1/8 Lexan. I just did it quick, but the edge could be tapered by cutting with a "V" bit, or sanding, and polished. It installs very easily and holds much more secure than standard spring tab covers. I have a few locations where the spring type keep shifting, I think this system could be used on an aluminum disc also if the view is not needed and paint is preferred. If anyone wants the drawing let me know.

    Clearview insp cover inst.jpg

    Clearview insp cover extended.jpg

    Clearview insp cover retracted.jpg

    Clearview insp cover latch.jpg
     
  16. Mar 20, 2017 #16

    IanJ

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    Nice, that's a great implementation, Morgan. I was thinking of doing something like what the ad photo above shows -- a straight piece of lexan forming the "spring" with a couple of captive nuts or nutplates allowing it to be tightened and loosened. I am fortunate that the Champ has a 135 MPH Vne, and rarely surpasses 100 MPH in any phase of flight, so "high speed" is not so much an issue to worry about here. However, the three-fingered approach would very well, and might easily be easier to manufacture.
     
  17. Mar 20, 2017 #17

    PittsDriver68

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    "Speedy" is the inventor of the clear covers. Dr. Richard Blatter. Other folks here might recognize that he built a sister ship to Kermit Week's Solution, the Blatter Advantage, that when last seen was being rebuilt in Colorado.

    I have Aviat covers and they work really well. That said, I will suggest that for the covers shown in post #15, if you replaced those stop screws with short posts of clear round plastic stock solvent glued on end, those covers would be lighter and look sleeker.

    Oh, and I heard that Freddy Cabanas widow found that he had a stash of the clear covers and will sell them.

    Best of luck,

    Wes
     
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  18. Feb 8, 2018 #18

    dylanxpeters

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    Really nice! I've not seen nutplates riveted with soft rivets into fabric before. Really cool!
     

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