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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

DG300 Canopy

Last year I bought a DG300 fuselage and with it came a new bright blue canopy(I suspect Michel was the original owner of this glider) , anyway I dropped the new(old) canopy and it shattered , probably due to years of storage making it brittle.

Now I will be the first to admit that I have never considered making my own clear canopies, believing that it was a difficult process, however my need outweighed my fear, so I gave it a try. I can only say it is rather easy and I was surprised at the results.

I salvaged the broken canopy and glued and taped the pieces together, then I waxed the inside a couple of times, no polishing off between layers, it,s the shape you want. I layed up a glass canopy form inside the old canopy.

It was smoothed and filled and final waterpapered with 600/800 grit .No paint.

The form was placed up on a block and lightly coated with some cooking oil.(Virgin olive oil if you are health conscious).

This is my mini how to thread based on the materials I had (I was not allowed near my wife's eye level oven) and equipment available. So I had to go and buy a new heat gun , this one has 3 speeds/settings upto 370 deg c.

The test strip of acetate was to see how it reacted and softened .

A wooden strip frame was attached to the acetate sheet with a sandwich, using dry wall screws, it must have an overlap of material.

Now carefully heating the acetate evenly and keeping the heat on the move, two people pull down on the frame, you will see the softening acetate conforming over the form.

As a precaution we wore leather gloves, hot plastic can burn.

If you have a wrinkle you rework the tension and heat and it will pull out. Next you hold it in place and let it cool a few minutes. I then left it outside to totally cool for an hour.

It was popped off the form and put over the cockpit base , marked and trimmed. I then washed it with some warm detergent/water
to remove the cooking oil.

I have glued it on with silicone, and it seems ok
next time I would have masked and roughed up a strip inside for better adhesion.

Its ready to go onto the glider, oh BTW I did do some instrumentation and fitted a pilot.... His name is Captain McFear and he is already stocking up on tranqulisers.

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