Less and Less time for the Garaggio…

More and more time studying and preparing to leave for a few weeks of Airbus training. I also had a bunch of things to do for the AirVenture Cup today, so I didn’t get to the Garaggio until Greg was able to come over in the afternoon. Having people come over to work with me on the airplane has been a god-sent. Not only do they contribute immensely to the workload, but having people in the workshop changes homebuilding from a solitary to a social hobby. Not only that, but on the days when I would be tempted to “skip it,” I have someone to keep me engaged.

The first task was sanding down the micro that was applied to the top of the longerons yesterday. There was not much surface area, and I put it on pretty thin, so it was a quick task. It left a true and flat top longeron surface. The 20 or 30 thousandths of an inch of filler was enough to misalign the mounting bolts for the roll over structure. So we had to remove all the micro down to bare fiberglass where it interfered with the roll over structure.

While I was sanding out the micro, Greg was prep sanding the bottom of the canopy frame in preparation for eventual fill. We decided to hold off on this until later as it is purely cosmetic and moved on to the canopy seals.

We wanted to see if there is room for the canopy seal with the current alignment of the canopy. So we took canopy seal material, it is a rubber v-shaped gasket about 1/16″ when fully compressed, and taped that on top of our newly flat longerons. Then we installed the canopy and fastened the hinges down. The force required to lock the canopy was certainly tighter than normal, but were able to latch it. A few minor adjustments and I think it will work well.

With all that verified we moved on to sanding on the exterior of the canopy and fuselage in preparation for micro. Nothing special here, just scratching up every square inch of airframe. Have to get rid of anything shiny that the epoxy won’t bond well to.

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Lastly, we started working on getting sheet wax into the seams around the canopy. This will give us our nice, consistent and parallel gap along the mating surfaces. Sheet wax still needs to be applied around the canard cover, nose access hatches, and front/rear of the canopy. We will reuse the aluminum seam forms on the forward edge of the top cowl.

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We missed on our goal of getting the top of the fuselage micro filled on this block of days off, but not by much. If I would be able to spend the day tomorrow on it, or have one more day off, I think we could do it. So it will just have to be next block of days off.

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