Sliding Canopy

The Viper Mk II series aircraft are built with metal-framed “greenhouse” type sliding canopies.

Viper sliding canopy,

The canopy frame slides to the open position from back to front on glide rails embedded in the Viper fuselage. The following photo, from Lee Stringer’s Viper reference photos, shows the embedded rails in the “background” viper.

Viper canopy slide rail,

Viper aircraft canopy construction is typically made of bulletproof rated perspex held in position by a sleek aluminum frame.  This photo shows the canopy removed from the Viper air frame.

Viper canopy removed from air frame,

The aluminum frame of the canopy blueprint was drafted by Neville Conway. The physical canopy differs slightly from the blueprint shown below.

Viper canopy blueprint,

Kara’s Season 4 Canopy

At the beginning of Season Four Episode “He That Believeth In Me” Kara Thrace miraculously returns from the dead in a pristine Viper. The physical filming Viper Mock-up was modified to match the CGI viper which was used at the end of Season 3 for the same scene. This scene image is of the real Viper.

Return of Kara Thrace with new Viper,

A special overlay was constructed specifically for Kara’s viper which exhibited added detail compared to the standard canopy. The canopy is made from thin gauge aluminum flack stock and is expertly seam welded together. Some of the features that make it unique is that it is covered by round head washer self tapping screws.

Viper canopy detail,

Only the heads of the screws were used to add realistic detail to the canopy. Well, that’s not entirely true. Each corner of the frame has a hole for a self tapping screw to attach the “pristine” canopy to the frame of the existing canopy. The frame also features quarter inch isolation foam on the back side so as not to mar or scratch underlying canopy.

Close up detail of the screw heads on the canopy of Kara’s “Hero” Viper set from Season Four.

Kara's Viper canopy,

The modified truss head philps drive self drilling screw as used to add realistic detail to the canopy. A detail only seen on Kara’s Viper canopy.

Kara's canopy and screws,

† Viper photos provided by Lee Stringer.