Finishing Kit

May 18, 2011

The Aft Canopy Latch - continued - 3.0 hrs.

Guess what? I have some help this evening! Here's my willing accomplice:

I had the privilege of watching my sweet little granddaughter, Maya, for a while this evening. She's 5 yrs. old now (well, almost 6) and she's amazing. You've seen her before, if you have noticed her near the bottom of my home page and some others. She's been around my project quite a bit. She wanted to go outside and play some silly game, but when I asked her if she would come help me work on the airplane, her eyes got real big and she said "YES!" She actually was helpful. The step stool was just the right height for her. She held a light for me, handed me rivets and clecos, and asked lots of questions. She wanted to do the rivet squeezing, too, but I had to decline on that one.

Here's what we were up to. I finally got around to riveting these two brackets in place for the aft canopy latch. I was able to squeeze two rivets on the outboard bracket and all three rivets on the inboard one. The middle rivet on the outboard bracket can't be reached with the squeezer. So I pulled the rivet gun out for that one. Maya hung in there for that, too, in spite of the big ear muff hearing protectors being way too big for her.

Next, I decided to paint these parts white, to match the powder coating on the brackets and the canopy weldment.

And here's how it looks in the plane. Nice! I managed to twist the little steel connectors slightly as required, and get this all put together. It all works beautifully. On the forward end of the white pushrod, I'm still waiting on an after-market canopy latch that I want. It should be available any day now. UPDATE: Actually, it was much longer than I thought. My new canopy latch parts came to me in October and I started work on the latch in November. Read more by fast-forwarding to my log entry starting November 13, 2011.

Next, the correct size pins arrived from Vans today, so I put this stuff together for the canopy release mechanism. I also dug in, after Maya left the shop, and spent the laborious time needed hack sawing and filing and drilling to finish the pull handle setup. Here it all is, put together and ready to go. I'm still undecided about what I'm going to do with this, but it's ready to go in any event. One thing not mentioned in the plans or any of the drawings, is the apparent need to drill a hole for the longer pushrod to stick through, in the center rib that goes from the forward bulkhead to the firewall. I'll need to do that if I use this stuff.

Next, I'm finally getting back to work on the canopy frame and skin. You draw a line down the top of the aft tube on the weldment, then cleco this together and drill the rear line of holes to the tube. Here's the underneath side.

And here's the top side, all drilled and clecoed. There are a couple of holes on the outboard ends that have such a big gap under them, that I didn't drill them yet. Other builders have had this same issue. I'm not sure yet how I'm going to solve that problem. But for now, I pulled the skin off after drilling and deburred everything, then put it back together.

It's basically ready for it's first trial fit to the fuselage!

<< Previous | Home | Next >>

Contact me: swayze "at" (replace "at" with the @ sign... no spaces... you know the deal)