Canopy Latch

Decided to paint the canopy latch parts in yellow for better visibility and nice contrast.

Front top deck parts primed.

Some more work waiting.

Visitors to the workshop. Gotta take advantage of the extra manpower...

Set some remaining rivets for the canopy latch.

Installed the rudder cables / snap bushings.


One of the Van's brake reservoir mounting brackets simply broke off when trying to gently align it with the firewall angle. So fixed that with some scotchweld. Certainly holds stronger now than before!

Part of the canopy latch mechanism in place. Slightly twisting the small link plates was a non-issue and they formed nicely.

Also, attached anti-chafe UHMW tape as per Van's instructions to the canopy latch angles.

Special order item from lovely Spruce with another hefty pricetag, but it shines with smooth operation now.

The moving parts of the latch assembly.

Of course the angles needed paint as well, once installed.

With the UHMW faces masked off.

Removed the flaps from the wings in anticipation of the temporary removal of the wings.
Intending to trim the inboard flap skin to better mate with the fuselage belly. Right now the forward skin overlap is quite large, resulting in a "trumpet" when rectracted.

As the quickbuild fuselage is for both canopy layouts, some rivets for the tipup had to be set that were left open. This involved some tight quarter bucking.

No bucking bar would fit except for an old hammer head.

With the rudder at max deflection, the cable fitting will slightly chafe at the snap bushing. This will require some attention, yet.

Torqued and sealed several primary flight control bolts.

Temporary fitting of the interior to check the canopy latch as well to quickly fabricate the rudder pedal / rudder cable links.

At least that was the plan until the horrible ergonomics of the default Van's rudder pedals showed. This is worsened by the slightly elevated floor from the interior carpet. There are currently active threads about this issue on the forums. Without modification, it is impossible to put in right rudder without stepping on the brakes. Notably a takeoff situation where lots of right rudder is required comes to mind.

Several cures have been successful.
- Mounting the assembly higher in total. (The wooden blocks are spacers and will be replaced by an aluminum bracket)
- Increasing thickness of the bottom weldment bar. One technique that works quite well is slicing various hoses and sliding them on.
- Modifying/replacing the default brake pedals. Cleaveland sells some nice pieces at $200 a pair, we think we can do cheaper, though. But the design principle will be somewhere along these lines.

The two different hoses that fit amazingly well overall.

Bargain at the local hardware store and they don't even require special installation as they hold themselves in place just fine :-)

Experimenting with modding one of the existing brake pedals.

The idea is that the heels will only touch the weldments while the tip of the feet will actuate the brakes when required. The current design does not leave enough space, looks like a clean-sheet approach is in store.

Sourced Sikaflex 295UV from a local distributor (Bucher & Walt) and even at a pretty good price. This will be used to attach the canopy to the frame.


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