I started by finishing up the “Hat Section” on the forward deck. This part shipped with the finish kit and really was the first thing I needed to get out of the kit to continue working. This section went together pretty quick and is there to support the Canopy Jettison mechanism. I am not sure if I will create a complete jettison system, but building this in now gives a quick way during the build to get the canopy on and off quickly. More work will happen on the jettison system later… For now the next step per the plans is drilling out the canopy frame mounting blocks. These need to be drilled very carefully and the directions tell you to drill the 2 mounting bolt holes and the ¼ inch canopy pin holes right now. I chose to wait on the canopy pin hole until I am able to get a better idea of how this all goes together. Some builders have missed the center of the goosenecks when drilling the canopy through this pin hole down the road. My goal is to see if there is another way to guarantee that I hit those guys dead center. If they are off a bit, it’s not the end of the world and the canopy is designed to accept some imperfection here, but my goal is it hit it right. The problem with drilling the goosenecks is that you install and can’t see them when you are drilling so as you drill them you are drilling blind. I will probably be drilling them in a couple weeks so stay tuned. With the mounting holes drilled I assembled everything so that I can drill the internal ribs. You have to have the top skin on and everything in place to do this.
Here is a quick shot of the canopy frame wedged in between the blocks.. Just a foreshadow of what is to come.. ;-)