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  #1  
Old 04-10-2017, 08:20 PM
E. D. Eliot E. D. Eliot is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: San Pedro
Posts: 810
Default Canopy - how tight?

I'm pretty happy with the fiberglass work on my RV-12 - have found that fiberglass work is kind of an art. Much to learn and I appreciate all of the posts by others here on the VAF - especially Dan Horton and the RV-14 tutorial.

I'm almost finished and have a question for the brain trust here - how tightly should the canopy fit on top of the front fuselage aluminum cover? Mine is pretty tight - actually touching the top of the fuselage aluminum sheeting that covers the avionics shelf. I think that I should make some room for the paint so do I want 1/64, 1/32, or more clearance?

Don't want wind or rain inside of the cabin and don't want to scratch the paint. As it is now, when I put the weather strip down under the canopy front, it surely would remove paint when the canopy is opened and closed - it's too tight. Please advise.
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  #2  
Old 04-11-2017, 10:10 AM
scottmillhouse scottmillhouse is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Madison, AL
Posts: 112
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I also made mine very tight, touches paint. Just put a layer of the clear protective tape on underside and after a year no paint abrasion but I can not install the weatherstrip (canopy will not close). Without the weatherstrip I get no air leakage but probably would get water when flying in rain. So if I did over, I'd make same but probably cut a 1/16" channel in underside to fit in the strip of weatherstrip set back 1/4" or so from the contact point on the front. Probably could do now with canopy off and upside down with a Dremel sanding disc and a lot of TLC.
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  #3  
Old 04-11-2017, 01:58 PM
E. D. Eliot E. D. Eliot is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: San Pedro
Posts: 810
Default Thanks Scott

I really like your idea of the channel. I think that my canopy fit is too tight though. Unless I get counter intelligence from the group, I'll try to make the fit clear by about 1/64 or so. I really don't want to mess up my paint.

I really appreciate your answer, Scott. With the thousands of tilt-ups in the Van's fleet, I find it amazing that I received only one answer!!!! Amazing. Guess that I should have posted my question in the 'General" Section.
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  #4  
Old 04-11-2017, 02:10 PM
PilotBrent PilotBrent is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Hackettstown, NJ
Posts: 396
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E. D. Eliot View Post
I really appreciate your answer, Scott. With the thousands of tilt-ups in the Van's fleet, I find it amazing that I received only one answer!!!! Amazing. Guess that I should have posted my question in the 'General" Section.
That's because asking us to agree that "a tight fit is a bad thing" is too easy of a softball to hit. You've got to make it more challenging!

If you look around, many RV-12 canopies are not very flush across the top skin so its probably not a very common concern. Its just glass, so I guess you could add more layers on top for strength and then sand the underside if that helps.
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  #5  
Old 04-11-2017, 03:12 PM
DHeal DHeal is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Windsor, California
Posts: 528
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I built my canopy as per Van's plans -- keep the fiberglass layers thin -- more thickness is not necessarily better. It turned out very well and doesn't scratch the finish paint. A slight gap (@ 1/64" or less) results due to the layers of tape used during it's construction. Paint thickness reduces this clearance a very little bit. I installed Van's "reverse V" weather stripping along the front edge of the canopy fairing -- it works fine to seal out air and light rain (I haven't tried it in heavy rain yet.). Build on and don't worry.
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Last edited by DHeal : 04-12-2017 at 01:08 PM.
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  #6  
Old 04-11-2017, 09:30 PM
RFSchaller RFSchaller is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 1,984
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Mine is tight and actually wears through the paint on the avionics ba cover at a few points. I still like the tight clearance as opposed to wind and rain!
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  #7  
Old 04-12-2017, 08:27 AM
Phantom30's Avatar
Phantom30 Phantom30 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Coeur d'Alene, ID/Casa Grande, AZ
Posts: 501
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottmillhouse View Post
I also made mine very tight, touches paint. Just put a layer of the clear protective tape on underside and after a year no paint abrasion but I can not install the weatherstrip (canopy will not close). Without the weatherstrip I get no air leakage but probably would get water when flying in rain. So if I did over, I'd make same but probably cut a 1/16" channel in underside to fit in the strip of weatherstrip set back 1/4" or so from the contact point on the front. Probably could do now with canopy off and upside down with a Dremel sanding disc and a lot of TLC.
I like your suggestion of the clear protective tape...like the kind they use to prevent rock damage on autos.
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  #8  
Old 04-12-2017, 12:49 PM
rvbuilder2002 rvbuilder2002 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hubbard Oregon
Posts: 6,443
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If built as suggested (with enough gap allow for installing the fwd seal that is supplied in the seal kit, the canopy) and the entire seal kit is installed as directed, the canopy can be water tight in heavy rain (specific flight testing was done in actual heavy rain conditions while the seal kit was developed and tested)
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  #9  
Old 04-12-2017, 06:59 PM
scottmillhouse scottmillhouse is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Madison, AL
Posts: 112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom30 View Post
I like your suggestion of the clear protective tape...like the kind they use to prevent rock damage on autos.
I used the UMV? as specified for flaps in other RVs but found Gorilla thick clear repair tape 2" by 27' for about $15 as sold at Lowe's/Home Depot aviation supply to stick better, readily available and much cheaper.
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