Chapter 18: Forward Canopy Deck

Step 14:  Provision for Removable Top



After waffling back and forth, I thought at first that I'd just go ahead and glass the forward deck permanently in place.  But after even MORE waffling, I decided to back track and make it removable as per plans. 


I basically followed the plans with two exceptions. 


First, I did Step 15 and cut off the forward deck before Step 14. I was after all, originally going to skip Step 14 altogether.   But in retrosepect, it's still far easier to fit the forward deck and install all the hinges with it cut off from the rest of the canopy.  Just make sure you have tick marks and center lines drawn everywhere so you can retain your parts alignment. 


Second, I used full-length hinge halves for the underside of the removable deck.  I did this because it ensures proper alignment of the smaller hinge halves riveted aft of the IP. 


I pre-drilled the 13-inch hinge halves and installed them between F28 and the IP as per plans.  I pre-drilled the upper hinge halves and attached them to the 13-inch hinge halves with the hinge pins.  I positioned the forward deck onto the plane and temporarily clamped it in place so it wouldn't move.  I held the top hinges against the underside of the forward deck, then used the predrilled holes to locate and drill through the bottom skin.  I drilled as many of the holes as I could reach, being careful to install a cleco for each hole drilled (so the hinge halves wouldn't move).  I removed the hinge pins and removed the forward deck to the work bench.  I finished drilling the remaining holes and riveted the top hinges to the forward deck. I again positioned the top onto the plane.  I pre-drilled the 4-inch hinge halves and installed them to the top hinges aft of the IP with the hinge pins.  I held the 4-inch hinge halves against the the top longerons and used the pre-drilled holes to locate and drill the holes into the longeron.  I finished up by riveting the 4-inch hinge halves to the longerons.