Is the canopy plexiglass?

I fly with a small sharp point hammer.

Can the canopy be shattered if crash landing and tip on back happens?

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Comment by Bob Pustell on September 10, 2018 at 5:20pm

Yes, Plexiglas. Military bubble canopies are also plexiglass but much thicker than ours. Some military planes had a pane of bullet proof glass (actual, for real, bullet proof glass) in the area directly in front of the pilot but the rest of the canopy was good ol' plexiglass. (Trivia - the planes with a small section of real glass in front of the pilot have some type of window pane or frame around the glass area, if it is all one smooth expanse of bubble canopy it 's all plexiglass).

Plexiglass, being plastic, does not shatter like glass. It cracks, it flexes, it melts, but it does not shatter. Therefore a glass breaker hammer such as those sold for emergency escape from cars do not work very well against our canopy.

When I was flying Air Force planes with canopies (way back in the 60's and 70's) there was a canopy breaker mounted in the cockpit. I expect there is still a breaker in modern fighter jets but don't know for sure. The canopy breaker was a very solid and heavy short bladed knife kind of thing. You used the sheer mass of it to stab a hole in the thick plastic canopy bubble. If you had enough power you could maybe draw the blade through the plastic and create a long cut. If you did not you made repeated stabs. I found one on an internet search, let's hope this link works......    I never flew the F-4 but this one looks just like the ones I did see in other planes. I expect the same canopy breaker was installed in all the miltary planes, why have a different one for each type?

Further internet reasearch found this little beauty. It looks like kind of the same idea but specialized for the thinner plastic of our little plane's bubble.

Comment by christopher fryatt on August 14, 2018 at 3:55pm

If you've ever seen a UH-1 Huey helicopter it features a plexiglass "greenhouse" window above each pilot.

If a certain person like a 160 lb. young soldier were to step on it it will crack. sorry no pics of the first case as its been 45 years

If you mishandle your canopy it will crack

Comment by Dick Miles on August 14, 2018 at 11:25am

Do you know of this happening? 

Comment by christopher fryatt on August 11, 2018 at 3:18pm
rest assured your plexiglass canopy will likely be destroyed if the airframe rolls over

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