Today I spent a few hours in the garage working on the canopy. Goal for the day was to make the big cut.
I started by putting the canopy on my work bench and screwed down some scrap wood to hold he canopy in place. The whole cut took about 15 minutes, mainly because I had to wait for my air compressor to catch up.
I set up some space heaters under the canopy to keep everything nice and warm. Temp was about 85 when I made the cut.
The cut was nice and straight and I finished the edges with my file and some sand paper.
I then put the forward section back in the plane to check the alignment. With the top rear section lined up with my centerline, the sides shifted forward about 1/8th of an inch. This should relax back when I make the final cuts along the front of the canopy.
Last weekend I started on my canopy. I did the initial trim cuts to get rid of the clamping flange.
Here’s the canopy on the benches with the rear flange marked for cutting. I cut all four sides off.
Today I spent the whole day working on the canopy, trimming it to fit.
Here’s the canopy sitting on the plane for the first time. The forward flange is still very large and needed to be trimmed significantly.
I then made the first trim cut, and the canopy fit much better. It took a few iterations before getting the fit nice.
Here you can see a small 1/32nd inch gap on the side of the front of the canopy.
Here’s the center where the gap is slightly bigger, about 1/16th of an inch. I’m really happy with this fit, but needed to pull the sides in a bit. I cut a more gradual curve where the sides started curving in.
I then lined everything up, and taped the canopy in place for final measurements. I then laid out tape along the cut line for the “big cut”.
I’ll do this cut tomorrow.
I’m glad the canopy is fitting nicely. I was worried that the shape of the canopy was going to be tough to get right.
I will say it looks super cool, starting to really come together!
Yesterday my friend Mina came over and helped me out with some canopy latch work.
We started by fitting the rear latch to the fuselage.
This is the latch spanning the width of the fuse. We clamped it in place and then back drilled the holes through the fuselage bulkhead.
Here you can see the two bolts through the bulkhead.
While Mina was working on the latch fingers and mechanism, I spent some time on the skin cutout for the latch.
This is the cutout beginning to take shape. I’ll need to finesse it a bit more to get everything to fit perfectly.
Here’s the latch lever attached to the rear latch mechanism.
Once I finish the skin cutout I will fabricate the push rod that attaches this lever to the latch.