Bonding The Canopy
We picked up the canopy from AkzoNobel this week! They painted the interior very nicely in anthracite.
We started by guiding all the cables for the cabin lights inside the canopy. For the front two lights + switch we used one 4 core wire. For the back, we're replacing the lights with (hydrogen) sensors so we pulled one 5 core wire through each hole. This process of pulling wires was quite a hassle but with the help of a metal wire pulling tool (and a bit of luck), we managed to get all cables in.
Then, we added a retaining strip to on the "canopy arch" to reinforce the composite there. We cut a piece of 6061 T aluminium to size, match drilled all the holes and glued it in place. This step is not in the Sling manual but we saw on Craig Maiman's blog that he did it and we thought it would be a good idea to do the same.
After this was done, it was time to glue the canopy in place!
We already had ordered the chemicals to bond the canopy to the fuselage, the ones we used are:
- Sika UV 295
- Sika Primer 206 G+P
- Sika Activator 205
These chemicals are quite nasty so we put on the proper protective equipment like a painting suit, gloves and a gas mask. After dressing up, we could start the process!
Good to mention is that we already fitted and pre-drilled our canopy beforehand.
First, we elevated the canopy from the fuselage with two pieces of wood to be able to clean the edges and apply the chemicals. We started off by cleaning the surfaces to be bonded with the activator and a paper towel and afterwards air drying it for 10 minutes.
Secondly, we applied the primer to both surfaces (canopy and fuselage) with a paint roller (worked great).
Thirdly, we applied the Sika UV 295 on the canopy and smeared it out such that the edge was entirely covered. Then, we removed the pieces of wood and put the canopy in place with cleco's. The cleco's will get dirty but that is not a problem, you'll still be able to use them afterwards.
And lastly, we riveted the canopy and cleaned up the Sika that got pushed out with a paper towel and a bit of acetone.
We let the glue dry over the weekend. On Monday we made a 1/4" clean edge with some tape and extra Sika UV 295 to finish it off.
We are very pleased with the final result!
This post is from Phoenix FS