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Hi James - installing the canopy was definitely one of the most challenging aspects of completing the fuselage. I needed to reshape all three aluminum hoops to some extent to match the curve of the canopy and to match the fuselage width. The latter was important, as you mention below, where the aft hoop shape dictates how well the latched line up. What worked well for me was to take a curved piece of 3/4" plywood (used to be a form for an aft fuse bulkhead) and screwed to the surface of my workbench, with a 1x2 board screwed down adjacent, leaving enough room for the tubing to lay in between. The radius of the curved plywood was slightly less than the hoop and allowed me to put the needed pressure to reform as required without deforming the tube. Make many small adjustments creeping up on the fit you need to match both the curve of the canopy and the fit to the sides of the fuselage. Don't cut the ends of the hoops to length until you are satisfed with the fit. It will be critical to be sure the shape of the aft two hoops are identical, otherwise once you cut the canopy there the canopy edges will not line up. Regards //Dave
I am building a 650 from a kit. I have completed the basic canopy installation but have not fastened it to the air frame yet. I struggled tremendously with the canopy, the middle hoops and trying to get the canopy to fit at the back, the front and onto the two hoops all at the same time. After much discussion with Todd Silver at Todds canopies and Roger at ZAC, and an e-mail from a fellow builder, Phil Barnes in Australia whose canopy and hoops did not fit either, I decided that ZAC parts were not correct. ZAC reviewed the middle hoops and sent me new hoops. This made a big difference in the fit and I was able to get things to where I am fairly happy. Granted,I am a sick perfectionist and can always find fault some where. I would suggest you call ZAC and see if they can help you make corrections. Once my canopy and hoops were all clecoed together and positioned correctly, I did not have problems with flimsyness or misalignment.
The canopy has been very challenging and stressful as big ticket items are involved and one wants it to look "marvelous".
Best of luck Jerry
Thanks for the responses and morale support. As Jerry says this is a big ticket item and you could do without the misalignment issues. It would be fair to assume that ZAC have a template/jig on which they bend the hoops therefore all of the hoops must have this problem...grrrrr
Michael - on the build in general I have what I call a "pile of shame" which is essentially is a large rather expense pile of all the pieces that I have buggered up on the build to date...it is quite an impressive size (thanks for sharing yours!)
I think that I will add an additional cross brace to the hoop that supports the rear edge of the lifting portion of the canopy. Also looks like it doubles well as a handle to pull down the canopy before flight.
BTW - Michael your canopy looks great...must have been worth all the blood sweat and tears.
My aircraft is also a 601xl with 650 canopy. As I explained to Jerold when he was having trouble with fitting his, I plotted out the hoop coordinates from the plans onto a board. The supplied 650 hoops did not match at all and where as the original 601xl hoop were perfect and the hoops were a smooth bend unlike the 650 ones. I very carefully adjusted the 650 hoops by hand which although turned out successful, took me the better part of a day to do so.
Hoops should match the marks in the purple circles. My XL canopy hoop matches perfectly.
We all have our pile of shame as you put it but i'll bet that no ones is bigger than ZAC's. I would rather call it my learning heaps so be proud of you have learnt heaps too.
Please take a look at my site and if I can help some more, don't hesitate to ask. http://www.mykitlog.com/users/category.php?user=ch601xl&project...