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Canopy Latch Handle – 6 hrs

May 12, 2012 Leave a comment

Saturday May 12, 2012

I was debating about whether to use the standard canopy latch handle or to buy the JD Airparts handle that fits flush to the skin. The JD Airparts design is pretty cool but it is heavier and the Classic Aero Interior side panels would have to be modified for them. I have been watching the web site for the JD latch handle for over a month and they have been out of stock. So the decision was made this morning. I decided the stock handle is fine. Build on!

I cut out the drill template from the drawing and carefully aligned it to the skin using the designated rivets as the reference. Here it is taped in place.

After checking the alignment twice I drilled through the side skin at the fourteen holes and at the end of each slot.

Next I used my rotary tool and a cut-off wheel to make narrow slots within the lines I marked for the handle slots.

I removed the blue vinyl to give me a better view of the lines which I remarked and then started filing with a jewelers file. About an hour later I had both slots done.

I made the angles for the handle a while back so I clamped the upper angle to the lower and match drilled the holes for the AN3 bolts. I took my roll of UHMW tape and put a strip on the rubbing faces of each one.

Then I assembled the latch handle with the bolts and used the slots to align the angles to the skin on the inside of the fuselage. Then I drilled through the skin and the angles. Here it is clecoed in place. I also dimpled the skin holes and machine countersank the angle holes on the skin side. This is ready to prime and paint for final installation.

Well, canopy time is about to start. The anxiety of the trimming and big cut is almost here. I put the canopy on the work bench and marked a centerline down the middle per the instructions. I found some reference marks on the canopy ends that appear to be aligned to center. Then I ran a string from front to back centered on the ends. I used a fabric measuring tape borrowed from my wife to measure from the string to the mold marks on each side to confirm that it was centered.

I also taped up the roll bar and canopy frame to keep from scratching the canopy and I marked a centerline down the roll bar as a reference line for the big cut.

Then I pulled the plastic film back on the outside of the canopy and marked off potential cut lines with red electrical tape. These lines are just the initial trimming to remove mold bands around the perimeter.

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