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Old 08-11-2013, 06:26 PM   #308 (permalink)
Stick your neck out...
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Essex UK
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Update 017

During the past few months I have been working on the upper cabin area. My original concept sketches have always been based upon the idea of a fully enclosed cockpit. In fact I have even procured a glider canopy to act as my upper bodywork. It fits the vehicle dimensions very well and when seated within it, there is a quite unique experience, which will make the finished vehicle even more “special”. However, the extra work (not to mention expense) of making this type of canopy comply with UK road regulations, means that I have to consider other options.
My vehicle will require as MSVA (Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval) test carried out by govt inspectors at an approved testing station. Acting upon advice from a ministry tester, I have decided to present the vehicle for test as an open-cockpit design. This avoids the complex testing requirements, and I can revert to a closed canopy at a later date when my registration has been approved. Note: I have abandoned my plans to circumvent the laws by claiming it is just a modified C90, on the advice of friends and viewing Allert Jacobs on youtube –

So here is a picture of the temporary “open cockpit” canopy, which I am making by the same method as my rear hatch (outlined in Updates 015 and 016). I have tried to copy the style of an open cockpit formula race-car, ie long flat body extending down to the nose, small deflector screen close to the upper torso. I fear that its looking a bit too “Star Wars” but hey, what can you do?

The canopy (either style, enclosed or open cockpit) raises vertically, hinged at the nose. Lifted by the side bars shown in this shot. The side bars are steel box-section fabrications which are designed to transfer loads from the front steering/suspension into the upper body section, thus completing the “monocoque” structure when closed. When open, they allow easy access to the interior. They assist in driver protection as both “side impact bars” and load deflectors in the event of frontal impacts. They are strong and rigidly mounted on substantial bearings, but have come out a little heavier than I intended, so a re-weigh is on the cards.

I have engineered a simple electric control, made from a power window motor, working against the twin gas-strut actuators, which can be seen in the image. It works great with the canopy off, but I fear it lacks the power to lift itself and the completed canopy, so I’m planning to switch to an alternative mechanism.
Next update should contain a youtube link to the canopy in operation – still images do not do it justice, it’s really very cool!
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