Chapter 13/18 – Canopy hard points

I started off today by doing one final sanding of the aft nose cover –specifically where I added height by installing 1/8″ thick Balsa strips– and prepped it for glassing.  I then applied a bit more micro to do one final smoothing of the transition between the added Balsa wood and the originally glassed aft nose cover.

I also added some protective duct tape at the aft end to protect the intersection with the glare shield.

I then laid up the 1 ply of BID on the aft nose cover, which should do it for the major glassing on the cover.

I then peel plied the layup.

One last shot of the peel plied final major layup in the aft nose cover.

I took the leftover micro and knocked out another strake rib by filing in the mouse holes with the micro … almost!  I then realized I forgot the cutout in the middle part of the rib! That will need micro on the last 2 recent ribs that I’ve just done.

Jumping ahead a few hours –to stay on course thematically!– the layup on the aft nose cover was essentially cured.  Here it is after I pulled the peel ply.

A view from the nose (always nice!).

Moving on to the canopy, I then set the canopy structure up on saw horses.

And then spent a good while cleaning it up… a lot of dead hot glue and micro needed to come off!

I realized that I just couldn’t add the myriad of layers of flox and BID for the hardpoints with my canopy rails configured like they are . . . there’s just not enough meat to do it, nor is the shape of the side foam (mine are more vertical vs. horizontal) conducive to constructing hard points in the traditional plans manner.  Thus, I decided to add inboard sidewalls just for the hard points and for retaining, restraining & containing the BID and flox laid into each hardpoint.

I peel plied the underside (outboard) side of each BID pad for these 3 front left side hard points (from left: front canopy latch, canopy safety catch, and middle canopy latch) and also the inboard side so that I could add the normal glass layup schedule right over these pads.

I also did a bit of assessing on the right side canopy’s hard points for the 2 hinges.

Finally, I marked the thickness and did an initial trim of the the right side interior turtleback foam (I couldn’t easily get to the left side because it’s a bit too crowded currently on that side…. plus, it was late!).

Tomorrow my goal is to get all the hard points laid in and curing.  I also plan to get the canopy interior glass laid up by Tuesday so that after my next short trip to North Carolina I can get the canopy mounted in place with the hinges.


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