Project Log - June, 2003 
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June, 2003

June 1, 2003 - 1.9 hours
I was a little bit more calm today so I didn't cuss as much but the bending on the canopy frame still progresses slowly.

June 2, 2003 - 1.2 hours
More bending and tweaking on the canopy frame. I am getting close but I am not sure where 'good enough' is on this thing. If it has to be perfect then I am going to be here for a while.

June 8, 2003 - 1.5 hours
More bending and scratching of the head on the canopy frame. I think I may have actually gone backwards today.

June 9, 2003 - 1 hours
Tweaked on the canopy a little more. It goes well for a while and then a little backwards then better for a while then backwards. I just have to quit working on it when I start to get frustrated. I think I have the front bow right and the side rails about at the right shape but it seems to taper out a little as it goes aft. I also cut a piece of hardboard to lay in bottom of the aft fuselage so that I can crawl back there and fix a few things. That'll give me something to do when I can't stand the canopy anymore. Maybe I just need to be less picky.

June 12, 2003 - 1 hours
Bending on the Canopy frame a little more. I just about quit on the whole thing and then after playing around with a paper sack I decided to try twisting the frame along a different axis, and it seemed to work better. I know have the canopy lined up excpt the aft bow is 1/4" off.

June 12, 2003 - 0.2 hours
The canopy frame was about to drive me nuts so I decided to start building my battery box. I got the parts out and marked the center of the lightening holes.

June 14, 2003 - 1.5 hours
Worked on the Canopy frame some more. I'm still bending it this way and that and it still does not want to assume the right shape.

June 15, 2003 - 3 hours
I think I may have the canopy frame close enough to work. The left side rail is a little low on the aft end but if there is a way to make it work like that then I'll leave it. I'm gonna give myself a couple of days and then maybe I'll feel like tweaking it just a little more.

June 16, 2003 - 1 hours
I messed up on locating the shoulder harness anchors in the aft fuselage. I only missed by a whole bulkhead. Anyway I have to fix it so I made a couple of parts and started gathering up the tools that I will need when I crawl back there.

June 17, 2003 - 1.5 hours
I crawled into the tailcone to fix a couple of problems. I had drilled the shoulder harness anchors to the wrong place and there was a low spot in my static tubing that I wanted to fix.

I cut a piece of hardboard to put in the back of the plane to crawl around on. I didn't want anything too stiff since the bulkheads are curved on the bottom. This worked really well.

Here is the properly placed shoulder harness anchor with the cable attached.

This is how I fixed my static port problem. I just moved the T up a little and let the slack gather at the top.

June 21, 2003 - 1.5 hours
I installed the last of the nutplates that attach the panel to the structure. I started working on the cabin vents and I replaced one of the bolts on the autopilot servo with a longer one.

These are the brackets that the panel screws into to hold it to the forward deck.

The panel screws to the upper two brackets and the one with the curve is where the air vent attaches.

June 22, 2003 - 4 hours
Today I was trying to get as many little things done that I could so I can get a bunch of stuff out of the way for the canopy. I finished the cabin air vents, replaced the other bolt,and put in those big washers next to the rod-end bearings for the autopilot servo and I ran the static line through the cabin and up behind the panel. I also took off the rudder and the elevators, getting ready to remove the HS and the VS so I can make some more room in the shop.

Test fit of the cabin air vent. Notice that you can see the white plastic inside the vent.

I didn't like the fact that I could see the white plastic inside the air vent so I painted them black.

This is where the air duct attaches to the NACA vent

This is where the air duct attaches to the eyeball vent inside th cabin. I have not attached them permanetly yet because I still have some rivets that have to go back there for the last fuselage skin.

This is where the static line transitions through the baggage compartment. I ran the line under the longeron all the way to the panel.

The static line comes along the aft canopy deck and through the panel substructure.

June 22, 2003 - 0.45 hours
I installed the little piece of all thread on the rear canopy track. This should help me fine tune the height of the rear of the canopy frame.

The forward bow of the canopy is not quite parallel with the roll bar but this will be covered with fiberglass later so it won't matter.

The rear bow of the canopy acutally fits pretty well.

This little piece of all-thread is there to support the overhanging slider rail. It also gives some fine adjustment on the height of the rear of the canopy.

June 24, 2003 - 1.5 hours
Drilled a couple of holes for the strobe / position light wires to pass through the aft two bulkheads and the VS spar. I called Van's before I drilled the hole and they said that it would be okay as long as I drilled the hole close to the bottom hinge bracket. I also removed the VS and the HS from the airplane. I was going to need to do that anyway and I am really starting to need the room.

It's a little hard to see but the black spot is the snap bushing where the strobe and postion light will come through the vertical stabilizer spar, and aft bulkhead.

June 26, 2003 - 1 hours
Primed the little spacers and attach pieces of the tail assembly, and riveted the VS attach plate to the VS spar.

This plate is how the vertical stabilizer forward spar attaches to the horizontal stabilzer forward spar.

June 28, 2003 - 2 hours
Drilled the slider rails to the aft canopy decks. Drilled the rear track to the top of the fuselage. Cleaned up the shop a little bit to make room for moving the big ol piece of plastic around.

Well there it sits. All ready for me to start carving on it.

June 29, 2003 - 5.5 hours
Started cutting on the canopy. I acutally got as far as making the Big Cut. I started by trimming off some of the excess around the outside of the canopy. This is more for practice than anything. Then I put the canopy on the table upside down and figured out where to drill the hole for the latch handle. After that I cut the canopy along the side bows (with plenty of extra) an then I clamped it all together to mark the line for the Big Cut. After taking a break I cut the bubble in two. It is exciting to have that part behind me with no cracks and the cut in the right place.

The frame is set in the canopy to determine where to drill the hole for the latch mechanism.

After drilling and smoothing the hole I put this home grown clamp to help me hold it in place while I mark other cuts. This is barely finger tight only, don't put a wrench on it.

Once the sides were trimmed sorta close the Big Cut is marked. This still needs some support before I start cutting it.

Well I did it! It had my nerves frazzled but there it is and with no cracks.

It even fits the frame, kinda.

June 30, 2003 - 1 hours
Positioned the canopy on the frame and clamped / taped it down. Layed out the places where the holes will go into the front bow and the top. I couldn't get the nerve to actually start 'drilling' so I read the manual some more and took another look at the plans and went to bed.

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This web site and the infomation contained within it are for entertainment purposes only. The opinions expressed on construction techniques are my opinions only and should not be confused with proper construction techniques. There is undoubtedly more than one way to build an airplane and some methods that I use may or may not work in any given circumstance. If there is any question please call the kit manufacturer. I love to help but I am not responsible for the misuse of any information contained on this web site.

 March 3, 2016
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