Canopy Door Locks Finished

Time: 2.25hrs

We’ll I thought this was going to go pretty quick, but like anything on the plane it didn’t. The tool I was waiting for arrived so I wanted to put the rods in that connects the front and rear latches on the doors. I was looking at how I needed to bend the rod and noticed that it was a bit too long… well actually it was because I put the rear latch (only on the right side door) in the wrong place. I measured the 590mm from the 0 point (the line that lines up with the window frame edge) and not the center of the door handle hole. That put the latch about 100mm more forward then designed which would probably cause the door not to seal well. So I drilled a new hole for the rear latch and installed the M5 rivnut.

Now what to do with the rivnut in the incorrect position… well I had an extra knob handle so I put that on the rivnut. The sucky part was that the left door was correct so then the thought was do I leave it or do the same to the good door? I decided to make it the same and add the rivnut with the knob on it. It looks kind of cool I guess. Maybe I can come up with something better or more useful.

This is the tool I was waiting for. It makes putting in the roll pins easier because the jaws stay parallel to each other so it applies even pressure on the pin. You could probably use a C-Clamp as well, but I figured I’d use these around the house as well. The pliers are a bit pricey. I think these were around $50 on Amazon. This is the 10″ one, they have larger pliers, but these were large enough to get the pin in.

The latch connector rod installed. You can also see the fix for my mess up… the anodized knob above the rod.

Pin installed on the rear latch.

I had to drill out the hole in the front latch to 1/8″ so the roll pin would go in. The hole in the rear latch is already the correct size.

Front latch pinned and rod connected. I’m missing the small anodized knob on the handle (note the blue tape). I’ll have to get that from TAF. I’ll wait to loctite the nuts on the latch rod after I put the door on and install the pins in the side of the fuselage that the latches lock down on to, just in case I have to make some adjustments. I also need the left handle M5 nut that should be here in a day or two.

Oh yeah. I almost forgot to pin the square block coming out of the handle. I noticed it because I kept having o tighten the knob on the end and eventually it just pulled out. I just used the same roll pin used on the latch rod connections. TAF only supplied 4 pins, but I cut two of them in half for the latch rod and then used the other two for this (on each door).

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Canopy Door Locks (Almost) Finished

Time: 4.5hrs

I had some time today to almost finish the work on the canopy door locks. I finished up a few things on the left door and also completed all the work on the right door. I think the left door (the first one I did) came out a little better, but still happy with the way they came out and that they are done.

I wasn’t able to install the bar that connects the front and rear latches because I need to wait for a tool I purchased to install the roll pins. Also TAF gave me 3 right hand threaded M5 nuts and 1 left hand threaded rather then 2 of each so I just ordered more of the left hand threaded nuts.

Since the fiberglass/carbon fiber is so thick here I was able to recess the rivnuts a bit using a larger reamer to drill in a little so that the rivnut head would sit flush with the door frame. I also uses a little epoxy when installing them. I did this for these 2 M3 rivnuts as well as the 2 M5 rivnuts that hold in the inside handle. I didn’t recess the one holding the rear latch since there didn’t seem to be an aesthetic reason to do it.

Almost got everything in the photo… the main latch with lock, the inside handle, and the rear latch are all installed. Just need the bar to connect the front and rear latches. I’m also missing the small knob that goes on the main latch so I’ll have to get those from TAF.

Canopy Door Locks

Time: 3.5 hrs

Since I really wasn’t looking forward to doing this part I decided to see if I could get it over with and install the locks in the canopy doors. I’m a bit nervous about drilling holes in plexiglass, however the process went fairly well. There was quite a bit of messing around and it was good I had some left over plexiglass to test drilling, etc before doing it to the actual window.

I purchased a 3/4″ (19mm) foster bit that I used to cut the large hole for the door lock handle. This went well, no chipping of cracking of the plexiglass. Also I found that drilling using standard drills was fine. I initially drilled a 1/16″ hole all the way through from the inside through the plexiglass as a pilot hole. The first try put the hole a little too low on the outside so I had to redrill it at a little bit of an angle to get it were it needed to be on the outside. I then used the 3/4″ foster bit to drill through the plexiglass and through the outside layer of fiberglass. I then enlarged the inside hole and used a 7/8″ step drill to enlarge it. I finished it by using the dremel with a sanding wheel so that the large half of the lock fit. Then came the tedious part of cutting out the hole so that the lock would fit flush in the door frame. With that done I lined up the inside cover plate to make sure the mounting holes would line up on the inside ridge of the door and then marked the 5mm holes to drill through the plexiglass to mount the lock. To get the positioning of these holes I used the inside lock part, lined it up with the 19mm hole, and mark the holes. This worked OK and the holes almost lined up, I needed to slightly adjust them as I increased the drill size to finally get to the 5mm hole.

19mm hole drilled in the plexiglass. I later use some 320 grit paper to smooth it out. I will probably need to do a little more sanding since the handle is a little tight to turn.

3/4″ foster bit drilled the 19mm hole very well.

Inside marked and drilled. I then used the step bit to enlarge it to 7/8″ and finished getting the inside lock part with the dremel and a sanding bit.

The inside part of the lock fits, now the next step is to cut out the hole so that it sits flush in the door.

This is what I ended up with for the cut out. I tried to make the top fit tight since that’s the part you’re going to see. The bottom portion I just squared off. Of course I slipped with the sander right when I was finishing and of course I don’t have any touch up for the canopy… well I do, but it’s epoxy paint and I don’t have the resin.

Piecing together all the parts for the lock/ltach. The manual says to use M3 screws to fasten the plate to the door, but they don’t show rivnuts being used. I assume that’s what is needed, but then the plate isn’t going to sit completely flush on the door. I’m thinking maybe I need to get some countersunk rivnuts for this.

This is the handle side of the lock. I still need to do a little adjusting here because it’s a little tight to turn the handle. Also still have a bit to do with connecting the rod between the front and rear latches and a few other holes to drill. Then I get to do it all over again for the right ┬áside door.