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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I laid out the rivet holes where the brace angles attach to the frame, and drilled them.
Next I need to get some help to drill the brace angles to the side skirts.