Fri Oct 23 2020

Canopy forward skin

It looks like it's time to fabricate the skin that goes on the canopy frame weldment. Last month or thereabouts, I ordered a 10' long x 4' wide piece of 2024-T3 from Air Parts in Kansas City. I rolled it out on some cardboard on the driveway to cut a piece roughly the size needed.

The electric shears definitely make this easier.

Because the canopy frame weldment is quite fussy to fit to the fuselage, I decided to curl the skin so that it roughly matches the curvature of the frame, thereby reducing the likelihood of the skin pulling on and changing the width of the canopy frame. I used a couple different pieces of PVC pipe to curl the skin around. My dad is in town doing flight training with my brother, so he was nice enough to help curl the skin.

Okay...that looks pretty good.

This pancake drill was compliments of my friend Greg. He sent it to help with back-drilling the skin through the canopy frame. However, as I suspected, the nose of this tool needs ground down slightly.

So, I took it apart to grind the nose back somewhat.

Here, I've ground the nose of the main housing, but not the cover (yet).

Arg, while grinding or cleaning, I managed to drop about half of these little roller bearings out of the drive shaft bearing. Grrr.

After about an hour and a half of searching, I found all the little rollers, cleaned and greased them and reinstalled them in their housing. I also cleaned the rest of the parts. Here they are all laid out just prior to greasing and reassembly.

The nose now fits in the channel of the canopy frame weldment bow. I'll shoot for getting the skin drilled to the frame tomorrow.