My buddy Steven joined me at the airport today. The initial plan was to fiberglass the outer area of the canopy to canopy skirt mating. However, on examining the canopy bond, I wasn’t comfortable removing the rivets. The Hysol 9430 data sheet says five days to a full cure at room temperature, or one hour at 180 deg F. Given the temps this week – that probably means 2 – 3 days for a full cure. The adhesive was certainly hard, but there was a small bit of tackiness to the touch, and I could dent it very slightly with a fingernail. No reason to push my luck. As a result, I needed a new project to work on in the interim. As I’m trying to tie up loose ends before mating the wings, this was an excellent time to work on the other landing light. I couldn’t immediately find the stencils for cutting out the landing lights, so we decided to use the other landing light to make the stencil. This was a little extra work, but ultimately I was glad to do it this way as it would make sure we had an exact match.
Steven setting up the stencil
Tracing the stencil in addition to making a new stencil, we also measured everything several times to have set reference points. Then we switched wings and setup for the cut.
Here you can see the results of the stencil being marked for cutting.
I used my dying dremel to make the cut. I thought my dremel needed new bearings, but Steven took it apart and found that the bearings were good (he cleaned and oiled them) but that I needed a new switch! Man this guy should come help in the shop more often!!!
After cutting I used the dremel and files to get the edges smoothed and the lines straight.
Interestingly enough, I found the original stencils after we completed the cut. It was validating to find that they matched both in shape and in measurements to the rivets. This meant two things – first that my original landing light was accurately cut, and that my stencil and second landing light was also accurately done! During the day we also had an EAA Chapter picnic and Steven was able to meet several other builders and see other planes. When the cut was finished, we stopped by Mike’s hangar. Mike asked Steven what time he had to leave for the day – I knew where this was going – but clearly Steven didn’t! He replied “well I have to leave basically right now.” So, Mike just laid it out, well if you can stick around I will take flying. Not surprisingly, Steven found that his 3pm hard stop was a bit more flexible!
When Steven got back – his excitement was contagious. Looks like he had an awesome time, and I’m glad Mike was able to give him a ride. Everyone’s first non-commercial airplane ride should be in an aircraft as cool as RVs!
A true “RV Grin”!!!