Drilling the canopy

I’ve been busy over the last couple of weeks on consulting projects so I haven’t had the time to work on the airplane until this weekend. On Friday I finished adjusting the forward canopy skin to accommodate the canopy itself.

Frame drilled for canopy

Look at the little piece of green duct tape in the lower left corner of the picture above…that arrow-shaped opening is the final result of trimming the “fingers” in the skin so that the canopy sides transition smoothly to the side rails.

Canopy skin finger trimming

I spent the better part of the day laying out and pre-drilling holes that will eventually accommodate #6 screws that attach the canopy to the frame. After that Ellen and I put the canopy back on the frame, then taped and clamped it in place for drilling.

FAA proof photo 1

Here’s a pic for the Friendly Aviation Administration to show once again that yes, I’m actually building this thing…

FAA proof photo 2

Starting at the top of the canopy bow, we drilled #30 holes through the plexiglass into the frame using an Avery plexiglass bit.  We anchored the canopy down on one side and then the other by drilling and clecoing holes 6″-8″ apart, then went back and drilled the rest of the holes.

Canopy drilled to frame

This is a Big Deal…there are only a few minor adjustments left on the side skins, and I still need to trim the rear of the canopy to it’s final cut line, but those are small tasks that I can finish in a day.