Fiberglassing Canopy Fairing
I spent a lot of time prepping for the canopy layup. Viewed the four Van's YouTube videos on the subject multiple times. They were quite helpful in visualizing what needed to happen. Also spent much time reviewing the plans so I was clear since everything is time limited working with fiberglass resin. I bought Aeropoxie's PH3663 90-minute hardener to give me longer working time vs the 60-minute hardener I'd been using. The many strips of fiberglass cloth in varying widths were cut according to plans. I used the technique given in Van's video #1 cutting the strips completely parallel to the weave to reduce edge fraying but still had issues when applied to the canopy. Side Plys A, B and C were cut on the 45-degree bias. Care must be used because they easily distort in shape. I could manipulate the Plys back into the shape of the template if any distortion occurred. After some final sanding and thorough cleaning, I laid up the two side Ply A's and center section Ply D using dyed resin and plastic wrap per plans. This creates a pseudo pre-preg. The plastic wrap lets the Plys hold their shape which is critical for the initial layups so they fit correctly against the top row of tape. After getting them applied and adjusted correctly I let them sit until the resin started to set and became tacky. Per plans undyed resin is then used with multiple strips of cloth in varying widths and lengths to fill in the center section to match the 4" radius template. The sides get only 2 more Plys since that area is flat. Once you get the center section close to the radius tool and the sides where you want it, Dacron peel ply is applied over a thick final coat of resin. The peel ply absorbs the excess resin through capillary action. When removed it should leave an easier-to-sand final finish that's also ready for further application of fiberglass strips should that be required. I spend 7 hours in one work session laying up the fairing.