Finishing Kit

May 20, 2011

The Canopy Frame - continued - 2.0 hrs.

Today I put the canopy frame/skin assembly back on the airplane, and guess what. There's still a gap between the skins. It closed a little bit, but not enough, after trimming down the spacers in the hinge pin blocks. After investigating further, I saw that the gap seal flanges on the aft side of the bulkheads were hitting the canopy frame. They needed some slight trimming. So I marked them with a sharpie and slowly and carefully removed some material by filing it away a little at a time. Then it all has to be deburred before trying the fit again. I went through several iterations of this process, gradually closing the gap. It's all very time consuming, but the fit is gradually getting better and better.

While the canopy frame was on the bench, I took the skin off to remove the blue vinyl on the bottom side. I want the fit as accurate as possible. Then, I pulled the C-614 stiffener out of inventory, deburred it and marked it for the holes. After the holes were all drilled to #40, I decided that it would be easiest to drill one side of it to the canopy frame here on the bench, then put it back together.

Here it is, back on the plane a while later. The fit is getting very, very close. I have finally closed the gap between the skins.

Looking underneath, you can see the C-614 stiffener clecoed in place on one side. The other side, along with the big hinge arms, are almost ready for drilling.

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