Time to get this canopy finished. Waited long enough
to do this. I've finally made my decision as to whether I will have
extended side skin skirts. YES. I ordered two pieces of stock
from vans, I think they were 4.5" x 45". I'm holding off drilling the
side skirt holes through the plexi until the skins get here and I've had a
real good look at what I'm up against.
Today was a good day. Pops
and I banged out almost everything we could on the canopy. No
mistakes, no cracks. It was almost 90 in the garage so temperature was
a non-issue. Lots of pictures, maybe they'll help you.
Since the splice plate is behind the channels you can't drill it in place
so I made a plate and drilled the splice plate holes through it and placed
it on the forward side of the channels with the splice plate behind it.
One side of the channels is predrilled. This allows you to drill the
holes without disturbing the channels as you fit them up into the bubble,
clamping the crap out of everything so it won't move.
Make sure your sides provide clearance for the side skins. I will
be using a spacer on top of this skin to get clearance for the extended side
skins so they won't rub the paint off. I also intend to place a thin
strip of UHMW tape on the underside of the extended side skins just in case.
If you've drilled the holes for where the frame hits the channels make
sure the channels are low enough so the bottom holes have no clearance
The bubble is going to need to be flush with the tops of the rails and
the canopy channels where they meet.
Fit the channels under the bubble with everything just where you want it
and then clamp the hell out of the channels, remove bubble and drill the
Replace bubble, mark where you want your holes to be drilled. I
used Vans recommended 2.5" spacing starting from the top of the canopy and
working down. I drilled through the plexi with a plexiglass bit and
went clear through the canopy channels too. I used the smallest
plexiglas drill bit I had, it was a tad under #30. Later I would drill
the plexi to #30 for countersinking purposes. I clecoed each hole as I
went along and clamped fore and aft of each hole I was drilling.
Time for the aft window. Placed it where it seemed most likely to
go. Marked the aft canopy skin where the holes should be drilled.
Here I drilled all holes with a #40 cobalt drill bit. I didn't get any
cracking. Hmmm, must be my lucky day. Dad pushed up from within
and I drilled (slowly) from the outside with the leading edge clamped
firmly. We started in the front middle. Drilled a couple then
drilled a couple in the middle of the back. Then a couple on the
front, then the back, repeat...
I will have to do some final trimming along the back of the window as
there is just too much plastic for my taste.
Along the front I used 3" spacing to avoid the existing pop rivets.
I couldn't drill all the way down since the back window needs to be
trimmed to clear the top of the rollbar frame, the piece which you filed
down to match the curvature of the longerons. I waited to cut this
until I knew precisely where to cut. You can only do that if the
window is clecoed in place. Remove the window, cut, place back on the
plane. I cut a straight line all the way back. Sand all cut
edges after cutting too. Now the fit is great.
Long day but well worth it. Thanks pops.