Tuesday was on the shorter side (1.5hrs) but accomplished the two goals that were set out for the evening, cutting the canopy and securing the pilot in place.
The first task was to cut the canopy. This may sound like a simple task, but the thing to remember is that I only have one and if I screw up we have to order a new one. That said I took my time. It initially was curved such that it was flat with the ground all the way across and had an edge/lip all the way around. This would make it easier from a manufactures perspective as they just put it on the mold and walla! Every plane is a little different in how the top deck curves, etc. so this allows you to cut it to your aircraft. Peter mentioned some come with the canopy cut to size, but guessing there is more precision in the top deck and where it needs to sit?
I had John’s canopy to use as a guide to get me started, but even then if I’d of cut it exactly like his it wouldn’t have fit my aircraft. First I lined up the front ‘band’ you can sorta see in the pic with John’s and marked where the back of his canopy was with a pen that I could clean off. I then cut out the enclosed part of the back and worked my way towards the pen mark taking out chunks, or as John likes to say hack-choo. There was a process finding the right tool to cut the molded plastic as Peter had no suggestions and I don’t know what others use (please comment and let us know!). What I ended up finding worked best for me were metal cutters with the straight blades, not the funkily curved ones (sorry I’m no Tim the Tool Man Taylor 🙂 ).