Canard top cap and skin

At this point, I was finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It was exciting to know that after a few hours of work, I would have a somewhat 'complete' canard.

With everything prepped, it was time to glass the canard top cap and skin.

Before glassing the spar cap, I taped all foam areas off to protect them of any run off...




I also made sure I taped off enough overhang to protect the leading edge...


And the trailing edge...


Similar to the bottom canard surface, I applied a bead of micro along the edges spanwise...


I used dry micro to fill the canard lift tab voids...


I then painted the shear web with plain epoxy, getting it ready for the first UNI tape ply...


Just in case you haven't read my previous posts, this is 3" UNI tape (NOT the normal uni fiberglass used throughout the rest of the build). This UNI tape is special for spar caps and is thicker than normal UNI fiberglass.

After it is put in place, the red locking thread is pulled out..


It helps to have another set of hands.. Elle was holding the UNI tape in place as I pulled the crossing thread away...


The plans do not specify how many plies of UNI tape to use. It just states to fill enough in order to be flush with the airfoil surface. The first two plies ran full-span.. I then kept adding plies (4" to 6" less on each end) until it was flush... it took me about 10 plies. Notice this is a few more plies than the bottom spar cap - this is because the top surface is under compression loading (not in tension loading like the bottom surface).


I tapered the ends as stated in the plans to give a smoother transition...


That is pretty darn flush with the airfoil surface!


After completing the top cap... we took a 5-minute break and proceeded with the top skin. I removed all the masking and slurried all foam surfaces. I should also note that I painted plain epoxy along the trailing edge for a good glass-to-glass bond.


I also filled any voids with dry micro...


The top skin is easier to deal with since the lift tabs are not in the way... here is Elle helping me wet the plies out... we found it was easier to spread the epoxy with a brush and then squeegee it out with a plastic card...


Notice the dry micro under the first UNI ply to help transition from foam to spar cap...


I let the leading edge hang. I would then cut it spanwise before tucking it under with a brush..


Here I am tucking the underside. I did this for every ply..


The second ply is BID at 45. This requires 4 sections to cover end to end with each section butting up (not overlapped).




Here is a good shot showing the butting up..


After the BID ply was wetted out... I proceeded with two more UNI plies full span (one at a time of course).


Last UNI ply ready to be wetted out...


Top canard skin complete! I was very happy with this layup and how smooth everything turned out. It was exhausting! It took 8 hours from start to finish, including the spar cap - and that was with Elle's help. I wouldn't dare do this layup solo!




With everything cured, it was time to trim things up... here I am trimming the ends flush.




I then sanded things smooth...



I placed the top template and marked the trailing edge line. I marked a dot every foot or so and then used a straight edge to connect the dots.


Using my multi-tool, I trimmed way...


I purposely trimmed the trailing edge long so that I could fine-tune trim it later by sanding it to the line, since it is difficult to be so precise with the cutting tool..  


Here I am sanding the trailing edge exactly up to the line...


With all the trimming complete, I removed the canard from the 2x4 jig...



I then knocked out the supports that were bondo'd to the canard...



Removing the trailing edge pipe was a bit tricky.. I had to use a scraper and a hammer to break the bondo blobs... being extra careful not to damage the canard's trailing edge...


Presto! Pipe removed...


I then sanded all the bondo blobs off...


Bondo blob...


No more bondo blobs!


Super happy with the way this layup turned out!


Trailing edge... very good glass-to-glass contact along the entire span!


There she is... the canard is "complete"!


Ok, obviously not complete.. and still a lot of work ahead before the canard gets installed onto the fuselage. The canard's tips do not get installed until the elevators are installed - that takes place in Chapter 11. The installation of the canard is a whole chapter in itself - that is Chapter 12. Since I am waiting on elevator hardware, I decided to shelve the canard for now and move on to Chapter 19 - the wings!

I want to make sure the canard does not get damaged while in storage, so I wrapped it in foam, taped foam to the leading and trailing edges, and also put foam pucks over the lift tabs.





2 comments:

cessna438 said...

Nice work Ary, as usual. Are you going to put any comms or nav antenna in the canard? Can't wait to see the wings come together.

Ary Glantz said...

Thank you! Comm antennas need to be vertical so those will go on the winglets. I did not want to mess with the canard so I will install the nav antenna on the wing.