Sting Sport Canopy Gap

H. Paul Shuch is a Light Sport Repairman with Maintenance ratings for airplanes, gliders, weight shift control, and powered parachutes, as well as an independent Rotax Maintenance Technician at the Heavy Maintenance level. He holds a PhD in Air Transportation Engineering from the University of California, and serves as Director of Maintenance for AvSport of Lock Haven.

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JJay
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Sting Sport Canopy Gap

Postby JJay » Sun Jun 03, 2018 2:00 pm

I have a 2006 Sting Sport that is fairly new to me. I've read that it is common for Sting Sport owners to complain about how hard it is to latch the side latches on the canopy. So I'm not surprised that I struggle with mine, but I have a feeling my problem is a little more severe and I'm hoping somebody has some ideas.

I can always latch one side or the other but then the second side is ridiculously difficult. I push and pull, start all over, try different latch orders, and so on. It is difficult to get the latch down far enough to get under the pin/plate it latches to. Sometimes I waste 10 minutes trying to get it latched and It's really cutting into my enjoyment of the plane. I think my problem is that the front of the canopy, when closed has a very large gap (picture of my fat finger pointing it out attached).

N686N Canopy Gap.jpg
N686N Canopy Gap.jpg (158.24 KiB) Viewed 1477 times


It's as if the hinges are mounted too high on the firewall, but they look like they are where the factory put them. They don't look bent or anything. They don't appear to have any way to adjust them.

Am I correct, that doesn't look right?
Any ideas what to do?

(Thanks in advance - love this forum!)
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Warmi
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Re: Sting Sport Canopy Gap

Postby Warmi » Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:57 pm

Maybe try contacting Bill Canino at KORK -he should have some ideas since he is the one who sold every one of Sting planes in the US.
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Scooper
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Re: Sting Sport Canopy Gap

Postby Scooper » Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:58 pm

I'm not that familiar with the Sting Sport canopy hinge, but that gap doesn't look right at all. When compared to photos of the Sting Sport in flight at http://sting.aero/, it looks like the hinge is sprung somehow. Latching the canopy securely should not be an ordeal.

My Zodiac canopy has similar hinges and there is a watertight neoprene seal between the canopy and the cowling. Securely latching the canopy is a single lever between the seats operating a torque tube that simultaneously latches both sides with an over-center cam action.
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Warmi
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Re: Sting Sport Canopy Gap

Postby Warmi » Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:04 pm

Pretty much all marketing materials at sting.areo refer to Sting S4 ,which is their latest model, and has completely redesigned canopy ( probably in part due to complains from Sting Sport owners)
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Re: Sting Sport Canopy Gap

Postby TimTaylor » Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:30 pm

From here, it sure looks like those hinges should be lowered, IDK.
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Re: Sting Sport Canopy Gap

Postby dstclair » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:17 pm

My S3 has he same canopy structure. I plan on going out to the hangar tomorrow and will take a closer look at mine. Could you post pics of you hinges?

In the meantime, is the moulding bunched up any where that might cause some binding?
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Re: Sting Sport Canopy Gap

Postby MrMorden » Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:18 am

Definitely talk to the manufacturer reps, but if the hinges on the firewall can’t be adjusted, is it possible the latch mechanisms could have a small amount of material removed in some dimension to make clearance so it can be closed more easily?
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JJay
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Re: Sting Sport Canopy Gap

Postby JJay » Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:04 pm

My S3 has he same canopy structure. I plan on going out to the hangar tomorrow and will take a closer look at mine. Could you post pics of you hinges?

In the meantime, is the moulding bunched up any where that might cause some binding?


Here's the only picture I have of the left side hinge. The canopy is in the open position. Pretty simple construction. I plan to put a camera under there and get video of it opening and closing to see if I see anything unusual.

I don't see any bunching up or rubbing anywhere around the perimeter of the canopy.
Attachments
N686N Canopy Hinge.jpg
N686N Canopy Hinge.jpg (238.06 KiB) Viewed 1355 times
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drdehave
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Re: Sting Sport Canopy Gap

Postby drdehave » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:40 pm

Canopy Closed 003 (1328 x 747).jpg
Canopy Closed 003 (1328 x 747).jpg (99.29 KiB) Viewed 1318 times

I thought I recognized that N-number. That Sting was out here next to me, in Grass Valley, CA, for quite a while and has certainly been through some owners.

I think you have a definite problem, there. That gap is way too wide. It's likely been "sprung" (wind can do it!) or replaced (was that Sting ever damaged), and not adjusted correctly. I don't know the adjustment procedure, and it's not in the MM or "How Tos, but Bill Canino or Mark Miller at Sportaire should be able to tell you. He told me once 7 years ago--and I've forgotten.

Attached is the picture of MY 2007 (TLUSA145), just now, in the closed and latched (from INSIDE) position. My "gap" is 1/8th inch, at most.

You really should get this addressed before some weird wind suction event rips that canopy off when you forget to buckle down one of the side latches. I once forgot to latch one side and we had to hang onto the canopy to keep just that from happening.

Keep us posted of what you learn.
Last edited by drdehave on Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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dstclair
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Re: Sting Sport Canopy Gap

Postby dstclair » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:51 pm

I think the problem could be the attachment of the struts to the bracket on the floor. My bracket has two holes and the strut is bolted in to the top hole. My canopy has no gap so this is correct for my strut. My guess is that your struts have been replaced and are a slightly different size. If they are attached to the top hole, simply move them to the bottom. This would tighten things by a quarter inch or so.

Also, lube the latch with white lithium.
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drdehave
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Re: Sting Sport Canopy Gap

Postby drdehave » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:53 pm

What Dave just said makes sense--the struts.
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Re: Sting Sport Canopy Gap

Postby JJay » Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:05 am

My first thought was the struts also. I moved them to the lower hole, but it made no difference.

I'll strike up a conversation with Bill.

Thanks for all the input.
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JJay
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Re: Sting Sport Canopy Gap

Postby JJay » Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:27 am

I thought I recognized that N-number. That Sting was out here next to me, in Grass Valley, CA, for quite a while and has certainly been through some owners.

I think you have a definite problem, there. That gap is way too wide. It's likely been "sprung" (wind can do it!) or replaced (was that Sting ever damaged), and not adjusted correctly. I don't know the adjustment procedure, and it's not in the MM or "How Tos, but Bill Canino or Mark Miller at Sportaire should be able to tell you. He told me once 7 years ago--and I've forgotten.

Attached is the picture of MY 2007 (TLUSA145), just now, in the closed and latched (from INSIDE) position. My "gap" is 1/8th inch, at most.


Yes, this plane (TLUSA140) lived in CA for a good part of its life. Interesting that you recognize it! I don't know all of its stops on its way to FL, but I bought it from a guy near Ocala, and now it lives near Jacksonville. Nothing in the logs indicates it was ever damaged.

Thanks for the picture of your canopy. Now I have plenty of data to describe my problem to the guys in Little Rock. I don't really get how those hinges can be "sprung" since they're just metal tubes connected to a bracket. I hope Bill can shed some light.
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Warmi
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Re: Sting Sport Canopy Gap

Postby Warmi » Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:47 am

Flightaware maintains what amounts to history of the plane registration , not sure how accurate it is thought ..

https://flightaware.com/resources/registration/N686N
Flying Sting S4 ( N184WA ) out of Illinois

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Re: Sting Sport Canopy Gap

Postby ShawnM » Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:01 pm

JJay wrote:Yes, this plane (TLUSA140) lived in CA for a good part of its life. Interesting that you recognize it! I don't know all of its stops on its way to FL, but I bought it from a guy near Ocala, and now it lives near Jacksonville. Nothing in the logs indicates it was ever damaged.

Thanks for the picture of your canopy. Now I have plenty of data to describe my problem to the guys in Little Rock. I don't really get how those hinges can be "sprung" since they're just metal tubes connected to a bracket. I hope Bill can shed some light.


JJay, I knew the previous owner, Eugene, and even shared a hangar with him at X35 for a while until he bought his C172. Hopefully with the knowledge here on the forum you'll get this sorted out soon.


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