INSTALLING THE CANOPY PAGE 8

 

RH skirt with coating removed Polishing started

The two photos above show the right canopy skirt with the protective coating removed.  The polishing has been started but is by no means complete at this stage.  The right photo shows that most of the gap between the skirt and the fuselage has now been removed.

Bottom of left skirt, forward end Another view of the bottom of left skirt

The two photos above show a minor problem I created.  The canopy skirts overlap the side of the fuselage for most of their length.  When I drilled the left C-791 canopy skirt brace I allowed the forward portion of the skirt to be positioned inboard over the fuselage longeron.  This condition probably wouldn't hurt any thing but it will make the junction between the canopy skirt and the forward fuselage top skin look a little odd.  

Double-drilled holes More double drilled holes

Trying to correct the problem of the skirt position resulted in the double-drilled holes shown above.  Obviously, these two parts need to be replaced.  Since Vans wasn't open on New Years day, I decided to make new parts myself.  I used .025 2024 T3.  The original C-791's were >020 2024T3.

C-791 "blanks" C-791's drilled and ready for installation

Above left is a photo of the old C-791's and the new C-791's after I bent them up on a sheet-metal brake.  (I did not photo the process-sorry.)  At right is a picture of the old skirt braces with the new ones after the lightning holes were installed and the slots were cut with a band saw.

Canopy junction after skirt brace replacement Left side skirt gap

Above left is the junction of the canopy and the forward top skin after the new C-791 was installed.  Above right is a picture of the LH skirt showing that it has minimal gap where it overlaps the fuselage.  The reason that I am trying to eliminate the gaps as much as possible is that I have read a lot of articles in the various forums whereby operators have had trouble with air leaks.  I am going to try to eliminate as many air leaks as I can during construction.