Start Canopy 13th April 2008.

My first attempt at cutting with the hot wire was not that great , it cut through the plastic OK but left a horrible zagged edge that took forever to sand smooth I should never have left that bit on the site for so long.

27th April 2008

The canopy is almost to final size, it has been one of the hardest jobs for me and a bit out of my skill set. So far it's looking OK I just have to trim the rear to final size and sand it smooth (Again). Then install the frame, drill all the holes and rivet , all the time with my fingers crossed.

31st January 2009

Click me for a picture! Click me for a picture! Click me for a picture!

I left the canopy last year as it was getting too cold and there is plenty of other things to work on. It's 42 deg C (106 deg F) in my shed at the moment so out with the canopy. Not much to do really just a final trim and drill all the holes. The fit looks good so far thanks to Steve.

Last shot is the finished canopy cut to size, drilled and with smooth edges. I did not use the blunt bit in the power drill method , I put a 3/32" bit in my deburring handle and just wound it in , then the same thing with a 1/8" bit. You can feel when it,s about to break through so you just take it very gently. Then a few turns with a small tapered reamer to ream them out a few extra thou to allow for expansion and contraction. Then , a touch each side with the deburring bit and bingo , lovely clean holes that should hold for years.

Click me for a picture! Click me for a picture! Click me for a picture!

I had to use some spacers on the rear bow as it did not follow the same curve as the fuselage. The canopy locking mechanism , last shot Canopy almost there this is my second canopy . Thanks very much to Jim Lewis's help we almost finished this one in two days.

A gas strut for the canopy 27th of September 2009.

Click me for a picture! Click me for a picture! Click me for a picture! Click me for a picture!

I got fed up with the standard wire retainer on the canopy , apart from being a pain to open and close it's an accident waiting to happen once it gets out in the field , with a bit of wind it would be very easy to damage. Also if you dropped it during the opening and closing procedure it could be very expensive.

With the strut installed , opening and closing is a simple one handed operation that takes a fraction of the time.

First shot is inside the cockpit with the canopy closed. Outside with it closed. Next shot is the canopy open , it does not open as far as before so I can reach the handle in the fully open position. With the original system I had to fish it in by pulling the wire before I could reach the handle. Like wise when you open it you had to hold the wire to let it out the last 10 degrees or so.Last shot is the rear view of the attachment point on the canopy frame.

Some info for obtaining the strut Thanks to Dan Morehouse.

Mc Master-Carr. Click here for their on line shop.

strut 9416K15 , ball socket 9416K86 , ball 9412K98.


Canopy Number 3 , 12 Jan 2014

Two necessities a good helpful friend (Thanks Michael) and warm weather.

Click me for a picture! Click me for a picture! Click me for a picture! Click me for a picture! Click me for a picture!

I am getting more confident after doing 3 of them. I cut this one with an angle grinder and a 1mm disc, it works very well with minimal sanding required after each cut. Drilling is achieved first using a 1/16" bit in my battery drill then hand drilled up to 3/32" using a bit in my deburring handle. This allows me to cleco. Once I am happy with the fit I use a 1/8" bit in the deburring handle drilling half way from each side.. Then a tapered reamer to finish off to 9/64" also in the deburring handle. A lot of messing around but I am NOT taking ANY chances this time because to get these things to Australia costs more than the canopy.