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Canopy removal Link Trainer

Unread postPosted: 13 Mar 2021, 08:27
by nigelt
Hi Guys,

I recently acquired a Link trainer. The tag says "Trainer section, F-16 OCU simulator".


It has a full canopy and I want to know how to remove it safely.

I have a gantry with a winch and using it and the hand crank I have it up pretty far but im not sure how it''s attached at the pivot point. Can anyone tell me the exact procedure step by step?

Thanks in advance.


Re: Canopy removal Link Trainer

Unread postPosted: 23 Mar 2021, 01:06
by LinkF16SimDude
:shock: :shock: OMG!!! I worked on those for 11 years. The fact you got it intact and not a gutted mess is amazing! It even has the old Velcro strips that held the pup tent flaps in place. :lol: It also tells me that at one time the canopy was removed and put back on later.

The canopy was pneumatically actuated so if all the air is bled off and the hooks are not in the locked position, you and a few helpers should be able to pivot it up to the open position and prop it in place. It's quite heavy, BTW. That black & yellow tube on the back left corner is the canopy prop rod.

If your hoist has 4 hooks and a spanner bar you should be able to hook 2 into the corners of those 2 aft cavities under the transparency and the others into the 2 forward pyro cavities. If you don't plan to keep the canopy, a safer way would be to drill and attach eye bolts to the corners and hook in there and take up the hoist chain slack.

Then it's just a matter of disconnecting & removing any linkages behind the seat. If memory serves there was a big hinge pin for the pneumatic cylinder and a couple other smaller ones on either side for balance. There may be some cotter pins involved also. Once the canopy is up and chocked, post a pic of the aft linkage area and I can tell you for sure.

Special request: Can you also post a close up pic of the data plate? It should have the serial number on it. I'd like to see if I may have worked on it eons ago. Thanks!

Re: Canopy removal Link Trainer

Unread postPosted: 30 Apr 2021, 07:53
by nigelt
Sorry I just saw your reply, WOW. Here is the data plate. I have all the parts to upgrade it to a C-model, it is an A model currently. My last pit was a Fam trainer built at Wright-Patterson that I got working but now I'm starting over.


Here is how I got it:





Re: Canopy removal Link Trainer

Unread postPosted: 01 May 2021, 22:33
by LinkF16SimDude
The large black do-dad in the 5th image is the hydraulic actuator normally connected to the canopy main crossbar just behind where the seat would normally be. From the looks of it, it appears the main cylinder is already disconnected (and why the canopy is down in your first picture) but have a look back there and see if there's anything else that needs removing. If everything behind the seat is disconnected, and with the canopy still down, you should be able to disconnect the remaining hinge hardware at the aft end of each rail (they're covered by removable black cover panels) and just lift the entire canopy away (with the help of a few friends). If you need to open the canopy to get to the remaining hinges, remember to make sure the canopy is supported by something! Even tho it's mostly acrylic, the thing is deceptively heavy. If it's open when the hinges are disconnected it's gonna wanna drop.

I also contacted some of the old-timers about your sim and found the following:

- The data plate serial number makes this sim #5, known in the Link F-16 sim world as "TFS 5"
- It was a development test bed in Houston early in the program (early to mid-80's).
- 'Round about 1988 it was installed at McConnell AFB. The ANG unit there (184th FG) flew A/B and later C/D Vipers before moving on to other platforms and missions. Nobody knows what became of it after it's stint at McConnell. Probably went into storage as many ANG units except the one at Tucson were converting to C/Ds in the early 90's.

Re: Canopy removal Link Trainer

Unread postPosted: 04 May 2021, 09:19
by nigelt
That's great news thanks.I will check out the hinge area again but it looks like I have to lift it uo at the front till it clears the support rollers at the hinge. I know that thing is heavy and dangerous, I am being extremely careful. I read it weighs about 220 lbs. that will do some damage.

Thanks for the research. A friend of mine at LM sent me this pic, could this be it? I didnt get the velcro covers, but it sure looks like it had them. As you noted, the velcro strips are there but maybe they all had them.

WST f16_zpsi1eoukwz.jpg

Re: Canopy removal Link Trainer

Unread postPosted: 06 May 2021, 05:17
by LinkF16SimDude
Well believe it or not....I took that picture. LM prolly got it off the "Fake Falcon Fixers" Facebook group page that I posted it to.

That's TFS 13 being installed at Kingsley Field OR in 1989. I was on on the install team and stayed for a year after for maintenance support. It was the only ADF Viper sim ever built and was similar to your cockpit but had several ADF-specific items. The velcro strips on yours were to secure the "pup tent" that was part of the 3-screen Evans & Sutherland visual system. That system required the canopy be removed. Since 13 didn't have a visual at the time, its covers were there just to block ambient light. However the entire time I was there the canopy was never lowered. They always flew with it up. Shortly after I left they put the E&S visual on (incl. the pup tent). TFS 13 was prolly replaced by an F-15 sim in the late 90's but don't quote me.

I PM'd you about your canopy. I was kind of hoping a current mechanic-type would have chimed in by now about removal. 20 years is a long time to remember the details of that kinda thing. :D