Finishing Kit

July 28, 2011

Canopy Frame - Ready for the Canopy - 2.0 hrs.

Yesterday and today, I managed to squeeze in a couple of hours getting this together and back on the plane, in preparation for starting on the canopy. Here's the canopy frame, back on the fuselage with the skin clecoed on. I carefully positioned the curved bow accurately in alignment with the roll bar and clamped it down again. I used thicker spacers this time, with some .032" shims for a bit more spacing to get it just right. Then, I removed as many clecoes from the skins forward and aft of the canopy frame as I thought might be necessary to allow the canopy to sit on the plane.

I rounded up some help for a minute, and we lifted the canopy up and carefully lowered it down into position. I had to remove a few more clecos, then here it is!

A shot from another angle. I can't believe how cool this looks! I can't wait to start trimming it. Before I can do that, I need warmer temps and some sawhorses or something for a good setup outside.

Jamie snuck out with my camera and asked me for a nice smile. That was easy, seeing as how neat this looks. I was positioning it and trying to figure out how to get a centerline drawn accurately on the canopy.

As it turns out, getting a good centerline isn't that hard. There are some marks on the canopy showing where the center is, and you just line them up with the clecos in the center, fore and aft. As you can see below, the cleco that's right in the very center marks the spot. I put a string around that cleco, and tied it off to the center pair on the front, and used a straightedge under the string to mark the centerline with a sharpie. Easy!

I'm now ready to go with my first cuts on the canopy. Before I do, though, there are another couple of minor details I need to take care of. I need the sawhorse that the tail of the plane has been sitting on all this time. I never did make a good support stand of some kind for the tail end of the plane. I not only need that sawhorse that it's been sitting on, but I'm tired of walking around it. It's too big for the job. So I'm going to fab up some kind of stand while I wait on a good warm day for the first cuts. It's almost August around here. I hope we get some real warm days sometime soon!

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