Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Vans Aircraft RV-12 Airplane Build, Section 34: Canopy Installation (part 6)

Reference: Page 34-06, 34-07; 7.25 hours

Today is a big workday for the Vans Aircraft RV-12 LSA Kit. After heating the garage and canopy it is time to start installing the canopy skirts in the RV 12 airplane.

Reference page 34-06

Step 4: Position the canopy skirts as outlined by Van's Aircraft. Match-drill into the canopy frame with #30 drill bit and cleco as you go.

Step 5: After removing the canopy skirts from the RV-12 airframe, deburr the holes. Dimple the forward five holes in the skirt. Curl the upper forward edge to fit the contour of the canopy. Trim the aft edge of the skirt to leave a 1/16" gap between it and the rear fuselage skin.

Step 6: Countersink the forward five rivet holes in the canopy frame to match the dimples in the skirts.

Builder's note: Rotate the canopy up SLOWLY make sure it doesn't hit the instrument panel and damage the canopy! Mine just touched (no damage) and needed some additional trimming.

This completes page 34-06.

Reference 34-07.

Step 1: Ethan climbed into the cabin through the rear windows to help hold the canopy angles while drilling. Yes, he dressed for the heat inside!

Step 2: After the canopy skirts were re-celcoed in place we worked together to drill the upper set of holes through the skirts, canopy and into the canopy attach angles with a #30 plexi bit. Clecoing as we went.

Below you can see Ethan is holding a wood block for backing up the angles as I drilled them.

Step 3: After this Ethan was freed and all the canopy mounting holes where final drilled to #27 size with a plexi drill bit.

Next was the coutersinking of the front rivet holes. I used a electric screw driver and a deburring tool with the correct angle for this job as I was worried a regular countersunk would catch and crack the plexiglass. NOTE: See the RV-12 kit plans for the specific depth of the counter sunk holes on page 34-07! They are not the standard depth used in aluminum.

Step 4: Pilot drill the canopy handle #30 as directed by Van's Aircraft in the RV-12 plans. Then use it as a guide to pilot drill the canopy latch (inside handle). Final drill and tap the handle as directed.

This completes page 34-07 and today's work on the RV-12 airplane. But don't dispair there is more (a lot more) canopy work to come! So long until then.