More Canopy Skirt Work

Time: 3 Hours

I started back at the canopy skirts and the attempt to get them all smoothed out and looking presentable. First up was to fill all the rivet holes with micro and epoxy as well as the area around the canopy latch handle. 

After all of that setup and cured I sanded it al down smooth starting with 80 grit paper then 220 grit. I also sanded the invite skirt trying to remove all of the texture it came with. Once I was happy with that I applied 3 light coats of UV Smooth Primer to fill in any pin holes and imperfections. 

What’s the primer was dry I sanded it all down to get a fairly smooth surface. After that I cleaned up all the dust and taped off the canopy completely so that I could paint the skirts with gray filler primer to identify any low spots or pinholes. 

After three coats of filler primer I sanded with 400 grit sandpaper to get a smooth surface. When I was sanding I noticed a problem on the right side in the aft end.  As I was standing looking along the skirts I can see two rivet holes at the top moving as I applied pressure to the lower side. That’s not good and after careful inspection I noticed that the top of the canopy skirt was moving a little now, I went to the left side and noticed the exact same thing. It was mainly just two rivet holes on each side but the two holes on either side of those we’re also moving slightly for a total of eight rivets four on each side. After a discussion with Glenn we decided that most likely those four rivets, AACQ-4-4, were too short to go through the skirt, canopy and into the metal frame sufficiently. The fix? Well drill out the eight rivets clean up the holes, fill with epoxy/flox then redrill, countersink and rivet with longer AACQ-4-6 rivets.  So that I could redrill the holes I placed some painters tape and did the cross hair lines as I did before.  To prevent the epoxy/flox from going into the holes past the skirt I cut some card stock into strips and covered them with packing tape. I slid these in between the canopy and skirt and filled the holes. 

I ordered the longer rivets from Wicks Aircraft Supply as I didn’t have any on hand. One down side to this drilling out of these rivets is that the drill bit caught the black rubber bushings I made for the hole in the canopy and pulled them right out. I considered opening the holes up to 1/4″ and putting in new bushings but feared I would damage the canopy. So I decided that these eight hole would go without the bushings. Once the rivets arrived I re-riveted them and I’m a little happier with the fit. I think that I will cover these with a small strip of glass before finishing the surface. 

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