Sunday March 5th, 2006|
Finished Trimming Front of Canopy
More work on the canopy today. Before I get started, let me say a big thanks to a friend of mine who is an RV-8 driver. Jaime and I had just finished up lunch when I heard an RV overhead (they do have a distinct sound) and it was my friend. I ran out to the driveway, he passed overhead and waved and then proceeded to put a NICE little airshow for us, complete with a couple of loops, rolls, etc. Man, the RV looks so pretty and smooth doing aerobatics. Anyway, he lands back at LZU and calls me on the phone: "What are you doing outside, shouldn't you be in your garage banging rivets?? Was just flying back home and thought about you couped up in your garage on such a nice day and thought I would inspire you to get that thing done." Thanks, Kahuna -- it worked.
Anyway, I decided to cut off the 'dove tail' on the back end of the canopy and remove the aft top skin so the canopy could rest down on the rollbar where it's supposed to be. That made the fit much better and much more accurate.
Oh yeah, having the aft top skin off was kind of cool because you could stick your head in and look around. Wow...it's soooo easy to imagine how this thing is going to look when it's done!
I continued cutting away a little on the front of the canopy where it rests on the deck. I discovered that I had a LOT of asymmetry here so I marked it (that's what the line is there on the canopy).
Jaime came out and took this picture of me cutting on the canopy. You really can't see it in this smaller photo, but the safety goggles are covered in plexiglass. It's helpful when working with this stuff to keep the little blower attachment for the air hose handy. It does a good job of knocking the plexi dust off of everything (including yourself).
Ok, here's after the cut. I didn't take this picture at the angle that would show that the plexi is sitting down flush on the canopy frame skin. Oh well...you'll have to take my word for it that it is.
And here's the center.
And the right side (again at an angle that doesn't show the nice fit).
I'm pretty happy with the fit so I went ahead and marked the centerline of the rollbar on the canopy. I was getting fairly tired so I decided not to cut it tonight. Will put it off to another day (probably Thursday since I'm going to be super busy this week -- the first week of each month is crazy for me).
Here's another show from the front. The first centerline that I drew on the canopy was a little of so I corrected it.
I have decided to put some access panels in the front skin. I'm doing this for a number of reasons, the main reason is my size. I'm a pretty big guy and consequently I would like to avoid crawling into the fuselage at all costs. I know I'm going to have to do it anyway, but if I can minimize the number of times I have to craw in there the extra work on these access panels will be well worth it.