Finishing Kit

May 1, 2011

The Aft Canopy Latch - 4.0 hrs.

Today I started working on the aft canopy latch. This involves installing a weldment behind the seats, and the related hardware and so on. The first thing I did was deburr the ends of the weldment. The ends are sharp and loaded with little burrs. This smoothed them right up. Next, on the right side, there's no need to have a hole in the bottom of the little arm. As per the plans, I removed the hatched area shown in Detail D below. I did this the old fashioned way... with my trusty hack saw and a lot of elbow grease. I filed it smooth, then deburred it on the scotchbrite wheel. And finally touched up the powdercoating with some touchup paint from Vans. Looks great!

Next, you get out these two little UHMW blocks, locate and drill one hole in each block (picture below shows both holes, later on in the evening).

The blocks are then pushed on to the ends of the weldment, and the whole assembly is located in the cabin right behind the seats. Before installing it, I used my #12 reamer to enlarge the holes in the F-705 bulkhead so the AN3 bolts would go through them easily. Using one bolt per side, through the hole already drilled in the block, it was easy to install. Then, I spot-drilled each block through the second hole. Then took it all apart, and used the drill press to drill the second holes. The picture shows it re-installed back in the plane, with both bolts on now. This is finished, so I torqued the nuts down. I consider this to be done.

Here's the left side after installing it. Next, I clecoed the two VS-411 brackets to the bulkhead as well. These are ready to rivet in place.

Now, you locate all the parts for the latching rod and mechanism and go to work on it. The long tubing will need to be cut to length as soon as I get the canopy latch installed on the side of the fuselage, but for now I can at least do the aft end of it. So I drilled out one end of the tubing to #3, tapped the end to 1/4 x 28 threads, and then primed it. I also deburred and primed the other pieces you see here as well. Then I got out all the appropriate hardware and put it all together.

And here's what it all looks like, put together:

The rod end bearing will be installed as soon as I get the canopy latch figured out, so I can then determine the proper length of this tubing.

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