Completed the canopy fairing

More filling and sanding to eliminate low spots and pinholes.

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More filler/primer and sanding and a final coat of filler/primer and we’re done with the fairing. Finally!

 

This took forever but I’m happy with the result. Learned a lot about body work the hard way.    🙂

Onward!

Today’s Time (hours): 4.0
Finish Kit (hours): 93.0
Total Time (hours): 823.0

 

Filled and sanded the fairing

Removed the peel ply. Sanded everything to the proper shape and feathered the forward edges. Filled a few small voids with body filler and sanded everything smooth. Sprayed the skin and fairing with filler primer. The primer showed a bunch of imperfections. Sanded them out and shot another cost of primer. Looks like there are still a number of tiny voids and pin holes. I’ll sand the primer back and decide whether I need some more body filler at that point and then shoot another coat of filler primer. Overall I’m happy with the way it’s turning out considering I’ve never done body work before. Things I learned today… Body people earn their money!

 

 

Today’s Time (hours): 5.0
Finish Kit (hours): 89.0
Total Time (hours): 819.0

 

Work on canopy fairing continues

Sanded the rest of fairing to the proper shape and feathered the forward edge. I used 80 grit sandpaper and then a pass with 220. The shape looked really good.

 

I was going to shoot the fairing with some filler primer. I masked everything off and then wiped the surfaces down with some alcohol. After wiping everything down, I noticed that I had a few small voids and a couple of areas where I had sanded through to the canopy. So rather than filler primer, I decided to go with an additional layer of fiberglass. I used the “A” ply template to cut out some fiberglass cloth. I mixed up some epoxy with black pigment. I wet down the areas to be covered, applied the cloth, stippled it down, and positioned it. I also mixed up some epoxy and micro balloons and used it to fill the voids. I let it all set up for a bit then applied a top coat of epoxy and covered with peel ply.

 

Up next… More sanding. Yay.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 5.0
Finish Kit (hours): 84.0
Total Time (hours): 814.0

 

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

 

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

 

Fiberglass work on HS tips

Jared came by with all of his fiberglass stuff and showed me how to close out the horizontal stabilizer tips. I am so grateful to have someone who built the same plane as well as a couple of others that’s willing to help me out as I am learning to build my first plane. Thank you Jared!

We started by attaching the elevators to the hs on the bench. I drilled and clecoed the elevator tips that I had trimmed and fit yesterday to the elevators. Then we trimmed and fit the HS tips to the horizontal stabilizer. We drilled and clecoed them in place and trimmed the trailing edge to match the profile of the leading edge of the elevator tip with a 1/8″ gap.

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Then we trimmed and fit the HS tips to the horizontal stabilizer. We drilled and clecoed them in place and trimmed the trailing edge to match the profile of the leading edge of the elevator tip with a 1/8″ gap. We removed the tips and cut out a foam backer and sanded it to fit into the HS tip.

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I traced the inboard edge of the tip on some glass cloth and cut it out with shears.

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We used West Systems epoxy with the fast hardener. First we mixed up a batch of epoxy and incorporated glass micro bubbles into the resin to make a thick paste that we used to glue the foam in place.

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Then we mixed up another batch of epoxy and laid the glass cloth over the foam. I used a brush to impregnate the cloth with resin and set it into place. It’s rare that I get a picture of me actually building my plane! Photo credit to jared. I had the mask on to work with the micro bubbles. it’s powder fine and super light so it disperses into the air easily and probably isn’t very good to breath.

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And here are the HS tips setting up. Once they’ve cured I’ll fill them with micro and sand them to match the profile of the leading edge of the elevator.

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Today’s Time (hours): 4.0
Empennage Time (hours): 200.0
Total Time (hours): 200.0