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  #1  
Old 04-08-2018, 10:21 AM
warbingtonmasonry warbingtonmasonry is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 46
Default Canopy installation

Dear group:
As an atheist I make no apology to the faithful for piloting a single-seat Zenith CH150 Acro, whose side-tilting single-place canopy was destroyed (by me)in the wind by inadvertent failure to latch after closure.

Airplane Plastics in Ohio built a new canopy to my frame and specifications in record time at extremely reasonable cost. I believe the canopy they made fits my frame perfecly. Included by Airplane Plastics were several hours of advice and instruction and opportunities to see their shop in action fabricating canopies. A picture is worth many words, and so was the chance to actually see skilled men shaping canopies. I am a very satisfied customer, and reccomend Airplane Plastics in Ohio highly.

My airplane has a canopy frame made, it appears, of round thin wall 3/4" steel tube (steel electical conduit?). It has a good latch/lock mechanism and alignment pins.
The canopy was screwed to the tube @ 4" centers. The #10 screws held, under finishing washers, an aluminum skirt. It had held up well, until I forgot to latch it.
My question is whether the adhesives used in canopy installations will attach satisfactorily a canopy to a steel tube frame. The tube can be stipped of paint and cleaned. The canopy is tangent to the tube at one point along the perimeter of the frame. The canopy can be shimmed out to accomodate any reasonable thickness of adhesive, and the adhesive could be filleted easily at least as wide as the diameter of the tube frame. Alternatively, a 1"strip of sheet steel could be welded to the exterior of the perimeter of the frame to provide adhesive surface. Such welding would be a big job. The gluing surface would probably be optimal, as the plane of the sheet would be parallel to the canopy.
I am reluctant to drill screw attach holes if there is a better way to attach the canopy to the frame.

The canopy is not yet trimmed.
Any and all ideas or advice are most welcome.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 04-08-2018, 10:41 AM
krw5927 krw5927 is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Wichita, KS
Posts: 1,887
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Search the forums for "sika" or "sikaflex". You'll find a treasure trove of information, links with photos, etc.

Short answer: many of us have used this product to attach plastic canopies to steel frames made of even smaller diameter tubing than you reference. It works great.
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  #3  
Old 04-08-2018, 11:04 AM
warbingtonmasonry warbingtonmasonry is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 46
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Thanks, Kurt.
That is exactly what I need to know. No screws/bolts through glass to tube?
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  #4  
Old 04-08-2018, 05:37 PM
Michael Henning Michael Henning is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Nashua, NH
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I used 3M 5200 fast cure on my canopy. No mechanical fasteners, remains flexible, single stage, recommended by Todd at Todd’s Canopies. 3 years, 190 knots peak speed, no cracks and no problems. I have a piece(5” Long) in my hangar with a standing bet- put one end in the vise, and with a pair of channel lock pliers, if you can get it apart $100 is yours. One cartridge will do it for about $25.
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  #5  
Old 04-08-2018, 07:05 PM
warbingtonmasonry warbingtonmasonry is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 46
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Thanks for the tip.
One cartridge to do one canopy?
Should the canopy be shimmed away from the frame to allow for some non-zero thickness adhesive joint? It seems 1/8" minimum joint thickness is what I am hearing.
Can it be applied with a common caulking gun?
Sounds like either it or the Sikaflex products would be a good choice.
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  #6  
Old 04-08-2018, 11:29 PM
Michael Henning Michael Henning is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Nashua, NH
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I used some thin aluminum washers as a spacer, and Clecos to hold canopy to rail until adhesive was cured. A regular caulking gun is all you need to apply it, and sandpaper to scuff surfaces, and Naptha to clean prior to applying adhesive. I did not use a full cartridge of adhesive on my -4.
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  #7  
Old 04-09-2018, 11:38 AM
warbingtonmasonry warbingtonmasonry is offline
 
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Location: Oklahoma
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Thanks again.
Is your canopy rail a round or rectangular section?
My frame is a round tube.
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  #8  
Old 04-09-2018, 05:45 PM
Michael Henning Michael Henning is offline
 
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Location: Nashua, NH
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Round. Roughly 1/2”
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  #9  
Old 04-10-2018, 06:22 AM
SgtZim SgtZim is offline
 
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Location: Crittenden, ky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Henning View Post
I used some thin aluminum washers as a spacer, and Clecos to hold canopy to rail until adhesive was cured. A regular caulking gun is all you need to apply it, and sandpaper to scuff surfaces, and Naptha to clean prior to applying adhesive. I did not use a full cartridge of adhesive on my -4.
So you drilled through canopy and frame (clecos and washers to hold) and just skipped the rivets/screws?
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  #10  
Old 04-10-2018, 07:09 AM
Michael Henning Michael Henning is offline
 
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That is correct. Not one mechanical fastener. The thin washers are between the canopy and the frame.
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