January 13, 2011
The canopy fit is looking pretty good. It looks like it has a bad gap here, but it isn't fully closed and this is the only picture I have of it for now (and yes, I'm too lazy to go back out to the shop and take another).
The line of the bottom of the canopy skirt can be seen here. I have covered it with micobubbles and resin as a filler. I think one more sanding will arrive at the proper surface smoothness.
Pre-cutting strips of fiberglass cloth will make the windscreen layup easier. Once this is started, you pretty much have to stick with it until it is done and you can't waste a lot of time cutting cloth.
To bridge from the windscreen bow to the canopy, heavy packing tape does the trick. the glass will separate nicely from it while it protects the surface and is easy to remove.
I began laying up the glass using black resin so that the view (what you can see sitting in the cockpit) from the inside will look clean and uniform.
In some places there will be up to six layers of cloth for strength and to maintain the proper couture. Trying to keep the cloth properly aligned and keeping the resin where it belongs makes this a long tedious process. Since I don't particularly like working with fiberglass, it seems even harder and more tedious.
One of these little stainless steel rollers (available from Aircraft Spruce and other places) with serrations around the roller itself does a nice job of forcing air bubbles out of the resin and ensures that the cloth is laying flat and properly contacting the surface. It takes a pass of the roller after every application of cloth and resin.
It has been a long day, but it was good to get back to work on the airplane.
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