Monday, August 10, 2015

Canopy Drilled Onto Front And Aft Canopy Bows

Drilling the C-1201 canopy continued today, but not without some issues. As the canopy was drilled and secured with Clecos onto the forward and aft canopy frame bows, the canopy began to bulge along the sides.  To gain more room the 1/8" spacers were removed and that allowed the canopy to migrate downward … eliminating the bulges so the drilling and Clecoing could continue. After a couple more holes were drilled, the bottom edge of the Canopy began barely touching the WD-1219 canopy frame so the bottom edge of the canopy received a little sanding to gain more clearance.
Sanding a little excess material off the bottom edge of the C-1201 canopy so the bottom edge of the canopy won’t ride on the WD-1219 canopy frame.
Drilling the next to the last hole on the left side of the aft canopy bow.

After all the holes in the forward and aft bows were drilled and the canopy secured with Clecos, the results were that the canopy was just barely touching the canopy frame … meaning I had lost all the 1/8" clearance called for in the plans. Marks were placed on the canopy so it can be cut when it is taken off to gain the clearance called for in the plans.
Here on the left side, all the 1/8" clearance is gone and most of it is also gone on the right side as well.
Marking the bottom edge of the canopy on the right side to remove 1/8" to regain the clearance.

This got me wondering … it looked to me as though the 1/8" specification is basically to allow the canopy to stay clear the welding beads. Now that the canopy is basically in place, as long as there is no interference with the canopy frame or welds, it may not be necessary to make full 1/8" cuts. A call was placed to Van’s builders support and the situation was explained along with my guess that the 1/8" clearance specified in the plans is really to clear the welds. Van’s confirmed that was correct and agreed … if the canopy is not resting on the WD-1219 canopy frame or pushing on the welds, I can move on. This was good news because now I only need to do a little sanding in a few places to establish some clearance … as opposed to making a 1/8” cut all the way across both sides of the canopy.

Moving on, the C-1202 canopy skirts need to be match drilled into the canopy frame. Measurements were made and marks placed on the fuselage skin so the skirt will come down 1/8" below the top of the fuselage skin. This will create a small overlap so when the canopy is lowered, the small gap between the canopy frame and canopy deck will be covered … plus it will aid in keeping water out.
Placing tape on the left C-1202 canopy skirt to secure it onto the fuselage and canopy frame after aligning it with the marks placed on the side of the fuselage 1/8" below the upper edge of the skins.

With the left C-1202 canopy skirt taped in position, the match drilling began using a #30 drill bit. The lower holes in the canopy skirt are used to match drill into the side of the WD-1219 canopy frame.
Match drilling the C-1202 canopy skirt into the WD-1219 canopy frame using a #30 drill bit.
The left C-1202 canopy skirt match drilled and secured with Clecos onto the WD-1219 canopy frame.

Will finish up the right side during the next work session.