Sun Nov 22 2020

Sub panel top edge flanges

Temporarily put the upper, forward fuselage skin on to position the canopy skin in the fore-aft direction.

I made some little crossing marks from the canopy skin to the fuselage side (on both sides) in order to relocate this canopy frame and skin whenever it gets bumped around.

Time to add flanges to the top edge of the sub panel. Why not reuse the flanges from this center section of Van's sub panel. I cut them off with a die grinder.

Hrm...I don't really like the rivet spacing...particularly near the ends. Going to make my own.

Okay, after cutting and bending these flanges, drilling rivet holes (so far in the top leg only), and fluting the other leg to match the slight curvature of the canopy skin, they were looking pretty good. Of course, these are the easy ones...very little curvature. The side ones are going to be a lot harder, I believe.

As testament to that, I can see that I need to make these flanges over 13" long. Of course I only have a 12" shear. Sigh...cutting .032 with hand snips...going to get a workout.

Cut out these strips. Managed to get the width to within .010 of the desired width. Doesn't really need to be that precise, but that's just how they turned out.

Bent on the brake. Ready for forming a curve. Hrm...maybe I should make a test piece before I start fluting away.

So, yeah...making a test piece (shown here) was a good idea. Even with very closely spaced flutes (1/2" spacing), I can't get the curvature tight enough. I wonder how the shrinker will do?

Umm, much better. I can get way more curvature than needed using the shrinker. The resulting shrunk surface is ugly as hell, but using some emery cloth between the dies and the aluminum will improve that a lot.

Hrm...heavy shrinking on this -T3 alloy ended up with a fracture. I'm going to need to be careful if I go ahead with this method. I'll probably play around with it some more tomorrow before working on the actual parts.