Rear-view mirrors...in an aircraft? Huh? (You might be asking yourself) Well, way back when I first started learning to fly, I asked the same question to my flight instructor as to the Cessna 150's rear-view mirror. His response was to use it to help stay in line with the runway after departing an airport...and to see if you are about to be run over by a faster aircraft. OK...so that last one is not much of a factor now, but I have a few more reasons to install one too. First, and far most, is to keep an eye on the GIB (Guy or Gal In Back). It takes a good bit of effort to turn around enough to look face-to-face with the GIB, and it is quite impossible if you have the straps tightened down for "aggressive" maneuvers. Second, I wanted a few of the safely benefits that come along with it - I can see if I'm trailing smoke, see control surface movements, and see aircraft behind me (being left behind, of course). Seriously, it really is a useful tool.
I went shopping to see what kind of mirrors are available. There are actually quite a few - large and small parabolic safety mirrors, all kinds of baby monitoring mirrors, etc. etc. I didn't want something very big, as I was not willing to give up any existing visibility for a mirror either - so I ended up with a small plastic parabolic "stick-on" mirror from Wal-Mart for $3. I then made a simple mount from some scrap .020 aluminum sheet and painted it flat black to reduce any glare or reflections. I used the double stick tape that came with the mirror to attach it to the mount. It's so light that I just used some Velcro to attach it to the canopy. (Note: it is installed so that the mirror itself is only blocking my view of the top of the canard - so NO useful visibility is affected by it) Sorry for the blurry picture, but THIS is what I can see in the mirror from my point of view.
Cheap, easy, lite, and actually very useful – I’m actually thinking about adding a second to the other side. Good luck sneaking up on me from behind. ;-) Enjoy.