Drilled the canopy

The plans have you tape the template pictured below on to the canopy skin in order to locate the canopy. Rather than ruin the one in the plans I took the time to have a couple copies made when i went out to pick up Sophie from work this morning. When I went to tape it on, I realized that the scale was off. I assumed that it was the copy until I measured the original and found that the scale was not 1:1. Thanks Van’s! Not only is it not 1:1 none of the lines on the drawing that actually matter are dimensioned. I could have gone back and had it printed at 103% but decided the whole thing was a waste of time in the first place. I used the rivet locations on the drawing to draw intersecting lines at the centerline that corresponded to the canopy line on the drawing. Then used that spot to locate the forward edge of the canopy. It worked just fine.

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Put the canopy on the frame and fiddled with it to get everything lined up evenly on both sides and aligned with the mark on the skin. Sanded down the edge where it tucks under the skin to help it lay flat. Removed and reinstalled to do the sanding. Took a couple of attempts. Inserted the shims and clecoed on  the side skins.

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Realized I didn’t have anything to weight down the front of the canopy with. Tried using a ratchet strap but didn’t like the way it looked. I couldn’t get the forward edge to lay flat. So took a ride to Cabela’s and picked up a 25lb bag of lead shot. Made up two ten-pounders and one five and taped them to the canopy. Worked like a charm.

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Triple checked that everything was properly situated and drilled all the #40 holes. I used a plexi bit on the aft section. On the sides I used a plexi bit to get through the plexi and then switched to a regular #40 bit in a second drill motor to go through the shim and side frame.

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Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Finish Kit (hours): 44.0
Total Time (hours): 774.0

 

 

Drilled and countersunk rear window

I ground a #40 drill bit to a sharp point. I used this to drill the plastic without any cracking. I used light to moderate pressure on the drill and let the bit do the work. It took 6 to 8 seconds or so to drill each hole. For the holes on the roll bar, I chucked a regular #40 bit in another drill. I used the pointy one to drill through the plexi then switched to the other drill for the metal. I carefully started the bit; turning it by hand until I was certain it was on the metal and wasn’t going to grab the plexi. Worked like a charm.

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I final drilled #36 the holes in the forward edge of the plexi and roll bar with a regular bit. Had no problems with the bit catching the plexi after drilling with the #40 initially. I tapped the both the plexi and the roll bar for #6-36 screws per the plans. I think the plans have you tap both the plexi and the roll bar together despite the fact that we’ll final drill the plexi to #27 in the next step to help ensure good hole registration. This should help to avoid any pressure on the plexi when it is screwed down that might cause cracks later. After drilling and tapping each hole, I lightly set a crew in the hole before moving on to the next.

 

I placed some tape along the forward edges where the protruded beyond flush with the window shim to mark it for trimming. I removed the window from the fuselage and Final drilled #27 with a plexi bit and countersunk all the holes in the plexi using a zero-flute countersink. This gave nice smooth countersinks. I used a vixen file to carefully trim the forward edge back about 1/32 in a couple of spots and smooth everything out. I used the edge of a pare of scissors to put a bevel back on the inner and outer edges where I had filed and then finished with 400 and 1000 grit sand paper.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 4.0
Finish Kit (hours): 14.0
Total Time (hours): 744.0

 

 

Installed landing lights and lenses

Cut the plexiglass lens to 3/4″ larger than the opening in the wing using the Dremel with a diamond dust blade. Cut like buttah.

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Covered the lens with tape to protect it. Put in in place within the wing and traced the opening onto the tape. I lined up the backing places and marked the tape with the finished cut lines. I cut to final size with the Dremel and sanded the edges smooth with a sanding drum in the drill press.

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Set the lens into place and used the tape “leash” i made on the front of the lens to pull it tight against the inside of the skin. Drilled and clecoed all th holes with a #30 plexi bit.

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Remove the lens from the wing and removed the tape. I countersunk the holes with 100 degree zero-flute countersink bit in the electric drill. I deburred the back side of the holes with a single turn of the same bit.

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I used VHB double stick tape to secure the backing plates to the lens.

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I installed the landing light onto the bracket that I had riveted into the wing in an earlier step.

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I secured the lens in place with #6 stainless screws.

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And then repeated the whole process for the right wing.

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This completes section 17–Outboard leading edges!

Today’s Time (hours): 4.0
Wing Time (hours): 137.0
Total Time (hours): 348.0