Canopy Framing Jig

Time: 1 Hour
My buddy Glenn has been using a jig he made for his first RV-8 and I decided that it was an awesome idea that made working on the canopy much easier. I ran to Home Depot and picked up the parts I needed and got to building. 
This will allow me to remove the frame from the rollers and put it on the jig and work away from the fuselage at a good height. So now I have a much better work platform to get the canopy to fit the frame. 

The Big Cut

Time: 2 Hours

My girl and I took this last weekend off went camping in northern Wisconsin to see the fall colors and relax. So I was excited to get back to build this morning refreshed after a great weekend. The big task at hand was to get the canopy cut since I received the back ordered parts from Vans. The parts that were in play for today was the two front rollers and the aft pin retention block. The rollers were easy to assemble and I put them in place pretty fast. 

The retention block was a little bit of work as you need to measure and drill for the two holes that will allow it to be screwed to the bulkhead. I used the pin to align the block as needed. 

After the block is in position with the frame all the way forward you make a couple measurements and drill aft from the bulkhead. Since the space in this area is pretty tight the plans call for you to counter bore the block on the aft side for two nuts to be pressed into. This will hold the nuts in place and you can screw from the front side. 


Now that I had these parts in place I could move on with the canopy. That means the big cut, separating the mind screen from the slider canopy. I used a cardboard cut out, slid between the roll bar and the frame, to help define the line that needs to be cut. 

So I sat and stared at the line for almost an hour double checking all the marks and measurements. Then I took a deep breath and started the cut. Like most things that seem extreamly scary ended up being not so. It took just a couple of minutes to make the two sided cut. It went perfect and was pretty easy. 

Wow now I have a slider! This was a big day! 

Skyview EMS

Time: 4 Hours

I played around with the Skyview for a while looking at different configurations and how I would like to use them. One great feature of Skyview is the fact that it is so customizable! You can have different variations of screens and sizes, for example you could have 50% PFD and 50% engine instruments or 60% PFD and 40% interest instruments as well as several other options like 40-40-20. My initial plans for now are to run 50% PFD 50% engine for take off and landing, and then switch to 80% PFD 20% engine on my 10″ screen for all other phases of flight.  That would leave the 7″ screen to handle only the moving map. So now the fun part, Dynon is an open source coding and they allow for manipulation of their widgets if you’re willing to spend a little time playing with their text file.  For example there widgets can’t be changed from bars to arcs to numerical numbers pretty easy, but let’s say the arc always starts and ends in the same spot as they have designed it. With the ability to manipulate the files I can start and stop the arc wherever I want. Look at this next photo, specifically at the MAP gauge and the RPM gauge. Look at the starting point and ending point of the arcs as well as their thickness. 

Now fast forward a couple of hours, there is a learning curve in here, and see what I did to all the arcs. Some I rotated, some I made longer and some way shorter. I also changed the thickness of the lines as well. 

I also added a boost pump light so I know when it is on. Here you can see how each of the lights looks when activated. 

Each of these indications is just off of the sensor it could be manipulated in a lot of different ways! For a geek like me this is a lot of fun changing these files. For now this is how I will leave it until I look at it more and see if there’s any other information I would like to have during the critical phase of takeoff and landing. This configuration is saved as one file on a flash drive, I can change his shop to look totally different and save it as a different name and have access to both (or as many as I want) iterations of the screens anytime I want with a couple button pushes. Now this is what I call fun! 🤓

Cleaned up Wiring

Time: 1 Hour

I spent an hour cleaning up the fuselage floor wiring once I finished running the passenger seat heat wires and switch. I’m all done running wires so I wanted to zip tie all my wire bundles to make them look nice. I will tell you it’s getting harde and harder to bend over the side of the fuselage now that it’s on its wheels. 

I also grabbed my 2″ black air vent hose and cut a chunk off to add to the pilot air vent and the elbow on the forward baggage door. 

Every little step is progress. 

Empennage Fairing Work

Time: 2 Hours

In between different tasks I work a little on the empennage fairing. Basically I sand and add fiberglass/balloons to sand the next day. Each time I get closer to a perfect fit and a complete fairing. So far I pretty happy with the shape and fit now. Today I did a lot of sanding followed by adding a layer of tape to the lower right side to beef it up a little. 

Make no mistake about it this thing still needs a lot of work to be complete. There is still some shaping to be done on the leading edge as well as a million pin holes to be filled.