Continued canopy fit and structure

July 14, 2016 – Once I had the canopy sikaflexed, I continued working on the next steps.

I glued the edges of the canopy into the side skirts, so I had to rivet the skirts to the frame. I countersunk the holes and installed the blind rivets called for in the plans.

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I tried the fit of the canopy in the fuselage. Since the canopy spread a little bit, like everybody finds out will happen, I had some rubbing when the canopy rolled back and forth. I figured out that if I moved the tracks slightly outboard, it helped a whole lot. I had two issues with this, however:

  • I had already drilled the tracks for screws,
  • The aft holes in the tracks were as far outboard as they could go, since they would interfere with the longerons.

I found that if I moved the forward ends of the tracks outboard, it worked very well. So I decided to commit to that. I repositioned the tracks about 1/8″ or so outboard at the forward ends, and redrilled. I filled the existing holes in the tracks with double-flush rivets. Now this does go against the manual where it states that the tracks should be parallel, but I’m happy with how the canopy rolls.

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So, lessons learned:

  • I’d read where people said the frame should be bent in about 3/4″ past what the manual calls for. I agree with that.
  • I shouldn’t have drilled the side tracks until this point.

Here’s the fit of the canopy so far. The side skirts stick about a little bit from the side of the fuselage, but the braces should help pull them in a bit.

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I started drilling the inner brace angles for the side skirts.

They need lightening holes drilled to 1 1/4″. I used a 1 3/16″ hole saw, and I think the holes came out perfectly.

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Slots are then cut off of each lightening hole to the lower side. This allows the brace to follow the curve of the square tube of the canopy frame.

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I laid out the rivet holes where the brace angles attach to the frame, and drilled them.

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Next I need to get some help to drill the brace angles to the side skirts.

Time: 5:00

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