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

 

Started the Seat Backs (Section 39)

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Picked and inspected all the parts. Peeled off all the blue vinyl and labels.

 

Cut the corners off the seat back angles.

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Separated the parts that needed parting. Deburred everything.

 

Fabricated the seat back and seat brace hinges. Match drilled the hinges to their corresponding parts. Machine countersunk the brace stiffeners and braces. Riveted the brace assemblies together.

 

Riveted together the seat backs.

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I’ll scuff and paint these along with the canopy.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 4.0
Finish Kit (hours): 51.0
Total Time (hours): 781.0

 

 

Riveted the canopy frame

Riveted the skin to the canopy frame assemblies. Riveted in the splice plates. Clecoed the closeout in place. Riveted the skin to the support flanges and riveted the support flange splice plate. Final drilled and then riveted riveted the closeout in place.  Riveted the forward rails in place. The plans call for a rivet in every hole and frequently checking to ensure that there is no twist in the structure. So the final drilling and riveting was pretty tedious. But the frame came out laser straight. So I can’t complain too much. The process worked.

 

Clecoed then riveted the side rails in place.

 

Riveted the aft canopy frame to the side rails. Riveted the switch mount to the frame. Machine countersunk and screwed the pin blocks to the aft side of the aft frame.

 

Installed the canopy jettison handle. Placed the assembled frame on the fuselage. In the full open position, it hit the ceiling.  I had to lower the tail so that I could lift the canopy enough to engage the hinge pins. But finally managed to get it in place. I carefully closed the canopy while watching to ensure that it didn’t interfere with the forward top skin. It fit perfectly and no filing was necessary.

 

I shimmed up the side rails so that they are parallel to the side skins. I cut four clamping blocks/spacers and taped them to the aft of the aft frame and clamped it to the roll bar.

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Tomorrow I’ll start fitting the canopy to the frame.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 6.0
Finish Kit (hours): 41.0
Total Time (hours): 771.0

 

 

Started assembling canopy frame

Riveted together the canopy handle and aft canopy frame.

 

Machine countersunk the side rails forward rails. Dimpled the side skins, the forward top skin, and the support flanges.

 

Clecoed the skins and forward rails to the substructure and reinstalled the forward and mid fixtures to the bottom.

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Today’s Time (hours): 2.0
Finish Kit (hours): 35.0
Total Time (hours): 765.0

 

 

Work on canopy frame continues

Riveted the rail bases to the forward canopy frames. Clecoed the skins and splice plates to the frame along with the rails. Clecoed the forward and aft fixtures to the bottom of the forward canopy frame.  Carefully leveled everything and checked for twist in the structure. Rolled a curve into each end of the canopy frame closeout and clecoed it in place. Match/final drilled the closeout.

 

Machine countersunk the aft ends of the canopy rail flanges. Fluted the canopy rail angles and match/final drilled. These are thick aluminum. Glad I ate my Wheaties this morning. Machine countersunk the holes in the bottom of the angles. Then riveted the flanges to the angles. The plans called for dome head rivets with the shop heads set into the countersinks on the bottoms of the angles achieving a near-flush shop head.

 

Bent aft half of the rails to match the curve of the fuselage. Match/final drilled the rails to the angles. You’ll note the tape on the clecos. The plans have you cleco everything together through the matched holes. Then add clecos as you match drill each additional holes. Then go back and remove the original clecos and final drill those holes. So the tape was a reminder as to which were the original clecos. Machine countersunk the holes in the rails called out in the plans and riveted the rails to the angles.

 

Clecoed and final drilled the skins to the rails. Match drilled the canopy handle to the assembly as well.

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Clecoed the the rail assemblies to the forward canopy frame assembly and final drilled.

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Disassembled everything.

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My Back-ordered nose gear leg showed up today. Still waiting on the mains. Fedex delivered package 2 of 2 but not 1 of 2. Hopefully it will show up tomorrow. Fedex tracking says it’s in Forest Park. Not sure why given that it was in Kennesaw with the other package last night.

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Today’s Time (hours): 6.5
Finish Kit (hours): 33.0
Total Time (hours): 763.0

 

 

Cut, deburred, scuffed, and primed the canopy frame parts.

Cut all the parts that needed parting.

 

Fabricated the canopy handles from aluminum angle.

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Deburred and scuffed all the parts.

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Primed everything.

 

Started assembling the canopy frame. Dimpled and rivered the hinge intercostals. Dimpled the skin. Fluted and fit the substructure. Started riveting the substructure together.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 6.0
Finish Kit (hours): 26.5
Total Time (hours): 756.5

 

 

Cut the pilot-side instrument panel

I used the fly cutter in the drill press to cut the round hole for the G5, I drilled small pilot holes for all the switches and the corners of the GDU 460 cutout. I final drilled all the holes with a step drill. Then cut the hole for the GDU with a Dremel and a cut-off wheel. Actually went through several cut-off wheels. That’s some thick aluminum. Used a file to clean everything up and tweak to fit. Then I painted the back to match the interior. I screwed the G5 mount in place. I drilled the screw holes for the GDU mounting bracket. Then screwed it to the firewall and match drilled the rivet holes, counter sunk the holes and riveted the bracket to the panel.

 

Mounted all the avionics and switches in the panel and mounted the panel in the plane.

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Today’s Time (hours): 4.0
Options and Miscellanea Time (hours): 22.0
Total Time (hours): 705.0