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  #1  
Old 11-19-2013, 01:24 PM
Wiley Wiley is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Brownwood TX
Posts: 89
Default my skirt is too short!

Looking for some advice from the composite gurus.
I had the canopy skirt nice and snug, then after riveting on the canopy, it is too snug. both sides rub just enough to make it difficult to close and obiously scratches the skin. After much contemplation, I cut a few slots in the aft sides and closed the canopy over a spacer on the skin and floxed in the slots. Didn't help. So.... Any recommendations. I thought the next step would be to cut the aft portion of the skirts off an inch below the rivets and rebuild the skirts from scratch, attached to the remaining portion of the original skirt. That sounds over my pay grade but I don't know what else would salvage the current situation.

http://tinypic.com/3ia3s192
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RV-8 finished 9/15
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Last edited by Wiley : 11-19-2013 at 01:28 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-19-2013, 01:45 PM
Allan Stern Allan Stern is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Cape Coral, Florida
Posts: 297
Default canopy skirt

The skirt looks perfect from your pictures. When you finish the canopy you might put a piece of the flap tape on the inside of the canopy which would help prevent scratching of your paint. Or mark the bottom edge of canopy and put a piece of the clear poly tape over the paint to protect it when canopy is closed. On my 8A I put a piece of edge molding on back part of skirt to make a better seal at the back of the canopy. My opinion and suggestion to problem. Hope it helps.
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  #3  
Old 11-19-2013, 02:30 PM
Wiley Wiley is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Brownwood TX
Posts: 89
Default

thank you for the reply.
The skirt looks OK but it is under alot of pressure against the skin. You have to essentially slam the canopy shut to get it to seat. When you do, you can see the skirt flex outward. I would really love to leave it as is, but I don't think it is funtional. (Not to mention it would bother me every time I get in.)
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Brownwood TX
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  #4  
Old 11-19-2013, 03:49 PM
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RV8RIVETER RV8RIVETER is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: 1T7, Kestrel Airpark , Texas
Posts: 780
Default

My problem was that the skirt did not match the contour of the fuselage very well at all.

I ended up making vertical cuts about 1 inch apart all the way around the rear of the skirt, except for the rear 4 - 5 inches where the rail is. That section was perfect as I had glassed the rear together. Then floxed the cuts and 3 layers of glass over. Keeping all of the pieces down against the fuselage was more difficult than expected, so I drilled 2 holes for clecos and cleco'd a strip of aluminum to hold it all down. The fit came out perfect.

I would assume cutting a reglassing would be about the same work load and would not need the flox.
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  #5  
Old 11-19-2013, 07:02 PM
Kato's 8 Kato's 8 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Carl Junction, MO
Posts: 172
Default

Wiley, I sem to have the same problem as you do. I haven't done anything yet because I decided to move on to other thing and then work on this problem when I got back to glass work. Anyway, In my case the fit is real snug and the back end wont drop down and seal like it did before riveting on. Like yours, I have to slam the thing for it to sit down. What I was planning to try when I get to it is to drill out the rivits along the bottom of skirt from back to front until pressure is relieved. If it does, I would install nylon washers to expand the skirt from frame some and re rivet. I haven't tried this yet but thought Id share my plan. If you do something like this, Id be interested to know how it worked for ya.
Good luck!
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  #6  
Old 11-19-2013, 07:26 PM
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Snowflake Snowflake is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Sidney, BC, Canada
Posts: 4,278
Default

It looks good, so if it's pushing really hard against the fuselage in spots, the solution may be to slowly sand off the edge at the points where it touches. At some point, the skirt will stop touching the skin when the canopy closes, but if you go slow you might be able to find the point in between where it closes snug but doesn't leave a gap.

If it does leave a gap, you'll just be like 99% of the RV's out there... Most owners fill it with a foam wedge of some kind.
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  #7  
Old 11-19-2013, 08:05 PM
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whittfic whittfic is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 131
Default

Difficult to see exactly what is happening from the photos, but similar to what has already been suggested; you could cut/sand the tight fitting edges of the skirt back until there is clearance i.e. no pressure or even a small gap between the skirt and the fuselage. Then apply a moderately generous bead of resin/flock mix to fill the resulting gap and form a new, contour following edge to the skirt.

Before it cures follow this up with a couple of layers of cloth (preferably a nice flat forming twill) and peel ply. Applying the cloth and flock mix together reduces the need to sand the flock mix smooth. Just don't get too aggressive with rolling the cloth or you could end up squeezing the mix out. Cut the cloth reasonably wide and allow it to lay onto the fuselage and inch or so. Trim and fair as required when cured. There will be some finishing work to be done on the inside to tidy it up but try and avoid sanding the edge that is in contact with the fuselage. This will have formed a tight sealing edge that hopefully won?t need any extra work.

Oh, and be sure to apply a release agent (wax will do it) to the aluminum surface of the fuse and mask off any areas where you don't want resin.

Clive Whittfield
Auckland
New Zealand
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  #8  
Old 11-20-2013, 10:04 AM
RichWilson RichWilson is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 22
Default

I had a couple of fairings on my plane that had fit problems and I applied heat with a heat gun (a hair dryer won't do it) and the fiberglass released a bit and then hardened back up just in the right place. Use the heat judiciously, you can burn the fiberglass. You just want to soften it up a bit and then it will form very nicely for you.

Rich Wilson, N707RW
Flying since 2003
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  #9  
Old 11-20-2013, 12:51 PM
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gnuse gnuse is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Georgia / 0GE5 / KSSI
Posts: 411
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichWilson View Post
I had a couple of fairings on my plane that had fit problems and I applied heat with a heat gun (a hair dryer won't do it) and the fiberglass released a bit and then hardened back up just in the right place. Use the heat judiciously, you can burn the fiberglass. You just want to soften it up a bit and then it will form very nicely for you.

Rich Wilson, N707RW
Flying since 2003
What he said. The epoxy will soften and reset. During that transition time is your chance to manipulate it as you require. DAMHIK.
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  #10  
Old 11-20-2013, 04:17 PM
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ppilotmike ppilotmike is offline
 
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Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 2,013
Default Darn!

That is NOT what I was expecting to see when opening this thread!
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