Started sanding the canopy fairing

This is the first substantial project I’ve done that involved laying up fiberglass. I will be more judicious in the application of epoxy in the future. I figured I’d just hit it with some 60 grit and bing, bang, boom. We’ll not so much. Sanding fiberglass is a slow messy process. Three hours in and I’ve got the basic shape on three quarters of the fairing. Still not down to the tape on the forward line. This is going to take a while.

 

On a brighter note. I had an awesome flight today with Jared in his RV-14A. We had lunch at KGMU and then stopped by KVPC and hung out with Wes and I went for a ride in his RV-7A. Very similar in a lot of ways to the RV-14. A bit tighter in the cockpit but by no means uncomfortable. All in all a great day!

 

 

Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Finish Kit (hours): 79.0
Total Time (hours): 809.0

 

Laid up the fiberglass canopy fairing

Sanded the filler down and replaced the aft line of doubled electrical tape. It got pretty scuffed up. Then I added the layer of sacrificial masking tape over the electrical tape

 

 

Laid out the fiberglass cloth and cut the strips according to the cut list in the plans. Then cut out the sides using the provided patterns. Cut the peel ply.

 

 

Used plastic wrap as a backing for the bottom layer which is applied wet. Wet the A and D plies with epoxy that I dyed black so it would look right from the inside of the canopy. I wet the masked of canopy and skin with the dyed epoxy. I removed the inside plastic wrap carrier from the A and D plies, applied them, then removed the outer plastic wrap. I stippled the fiberglass down with a chip brush.

 

I let the inner plies set up until tacky then applied the B and C plies along with the first of the narrow strips. I continued to build up the forward part of the canopy with successively wider strips until I got to a 4″ radius curve. I used the gauge I had fabricated earlier to measure the curve.

 

I applied a thick top coat of epoxy. Then I removed the sacrificial masking tape and applied the peel ply.

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Next up… remove the peel ply and sand it to final shape.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 6.0
Finish Kit (hours): 76.0
Total Time (hours): 806.0

 

Sanded the filler and filled the low spots

Used some 60 grit sandpaper to quickly take down the filler to the profile of the canopy. There were a few low spots on the sides and voids around the canopy clips. So I mixed up a small batch of epoxy with micro and filled them in.

Today’s Time (hours): 1.0
Finish Kit (hours): 70.0
Total Time (hours): 800.0

 

Attached the canopy to the frame.

Riveted the side skins and canopy handles.

 

Tightened the screws and nuts holding the canopy to the aft frame in the middle section called out in the places. Tightened the screws and nuts holding the canopy and skins to the frame rails.

 

Fabricated and attached the canopy wear strips.

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Mixed up some epoxy resin with micro balloons and black pigment. Used the mixture to fill the void where the canopy and skin come together.

 

 

Today’s Time (hours): 5.0
Finish Kit (hours): 69.0
Total Time (hours): 799.0

 

Countersunk the canopy

Broke the top edges of the side skins with the edge roller. Sawed a kerf into a small wood block on the band saw and used it to tweak the edge of the top skin under the slot and aft. Dimpled the canopy attach holes in the side skins.

 

Countersunk all of the holes in the canopy with a zero flute countersink.

 

Fabricated that aft canopy seal with a hole punch and a razor knife.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 2.0
Finish Kit (hours): 64.0
Total Time (hours): 794.0

 

 

Work resumes on the canopy

Put the canopy back on the frame and clecoed in place. Peeled back the protective plastic on the forward edge of the canopy. Used a caliper to scribe a line for the aft of the fairing. Laid two layers of electrical tape along the line and put some masking tap above it to make sure the canopy is protected as I work on the fairing. I filed the outboard edge of the canopy to reduce the profile and make for a thinner fairing.

 

Fabricated a little 2″ straight edge tool and used it to scribe the forward fairing line into the top skin of the canopy frame. I cut out the side templates and used a sharpie to trace the forward outboard fairing line. It didn’t quite match up with the forward line I had scribed. So I split the difference and made a nice curve when I masked off the line with the electrical tape.

 

Scuffed the scrap out of the masked off skin and canopy with 60 grit sand paper. Went back and did another pass after these pics. It’s scuffed!

 

Arts and crafts time! I cut out the paper templates for the fiberglass cloth.

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Today’s Time (hours): 2.0
Finish Kit (hours): 62.0
Total Time (hours): 792.0

 

 

Finished Seat Backs (Section 39)

I bolted together the lower corners of the seat backs. I drilled holes in the top angles using the template provided by FlightLine interiors. I blind riveted the snaps to the angles using those holes. I attached the seat back cushions to the seat backs with the snaps and the velcro provided.

 

Love the way the seats came out.

 

I also repainted the aft canopy frame. I wasn’t happy with my first attempt. It was splotchy and had spots of pretty bad orange peel. I wet sanded it and reshot it. It still looked awful. So I ended up stripping it down using acetone and repainting the bare metal. It came out quite a bit better. I’m wondering if the problem is the P60G2 primer. I’m going to shoot the remaining interior parts over bare metal.

 

 

Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Finish Kit (hours): 60.0
Total Time (hours): 790.0