Canopy latch

Today I spent a few hours working on the canopy latch. I’m going with a latch from JDAir that is a nice machined aluminum.

I started by measuring and marking the side skin for the latch cutout.

It’s slightly different from the plans due to the thickness of the latch.

I then measuring and aligned the latch angles.

The notch in the top angle is for the ball joint that activates the canopy latch fingers. I’ll work on that tomorrow.

The thickness of the skin is 0.032″ so I installed the latch with that offset in order for the latch to sit flush with the skin.

Canopy latch

Canopy frame

Today I spent some time working on the canopy frame side rails and ribs.

Here’s the frame attached and pivoted forward to check the clearance. I then got the side frame pieces out and prepped those, along with the attach brackets for the frame.

Here you can see the side frame drilled and clecoed to the rib

And here is the side frame attached to the forward frame.

I then drilled the side brackets to both pieces.

The gap you see between the splice bracket and the frame on the left will be filled with a wedge.

This looks so cool!

Canopy frame

Canopy hinges

Today I spent most of the day working on the frame fitting and hinges.

I started out by clecoeing the skin to the frame and forward fuselage. I’m using a strap to tighten everything down.

Once I got everything lined up, I tightened the strap and some clamps to get the skins to line up.

Here you can see the clamps holding the frame down, and the alignment of the skins. I have a uniform gap all along the skins. I also ensured that my hinge spacers have enough clearance from the hinges.

Here you can see the spacing between the spacer and the hinge. I’ve read that this has caused problems for people, so I made my spacer 1/8th of an inch narrower.

I then lined everything up and drilled the splice plate for the frame.

Initially drilled to #40, this allows for some adjustments if necessary. I also drilled the hinge joints to #30, where the hinge meets the cross rib.

After everything was drilled I removed the canopy frame and the skin and prepped everything, primed required surfaces, and riveted the frame together.

I didn’t get any pictures of it, but i drilled the canopy hinge holes to 1/4″ and then enlarged them to 3/8th for the bushings. I then fit the frame to the fuselage and immediately had interference from the canopy seal supports.

This picture shows the gap between the frame (on the left) and the seal (wavy on the right) with the blue film in the gap. This is a nice gap, however when rotating the frame up the center portion of the frame hits the center seal. I will file it down until it swings freely.

Canopy hinges

Canopy frame

Yesterday I spent a few hours working on the canopy frame components.

I started by cutting the plastic bushing blocks for the canopy frame hinges.

I then fit the blocks into the sub panel. Then installed the top skin

I then got the canopy frame out and prepped it by drawing a line down the center tube of the frame.

This is used to align the frame skin for drilling into the tube.

Here’s the skin clecoed onto the frame at the forward end. I will drill the remaining holes through the skin into the frame.

Next up is to fit the frame and hinges to the sub panel and bushing blocks, then align everything and drill the hinges.

Canopy frame