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Old Sep 26, 2012, 01:28 AM
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Svizzera, TI, Bellinzona
Joined Oct 2005
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Phoenix 2000 FG/Carbon canopy

I own a Phoenix 2000 that needed restorations.
One of the first thing i wanted to do, was to make a mold for the canopy, because who know what will happen in future and i want the possibility to make another canopy if this will break. Finding spare parts is very hard for this aircraft.

So, here is my steps to make a mold from original canopy (not perfect, because the original was already damaged), and then building another one in Fiberglass, and also one in CarbonFibre, just to experiment a bit with this material

This is my first time doing mold from existing object, maybe i made some wrong steps, but the result satisfies me so it's ok.


I have removed the pins from the original canopy, i want to use another way to fix the canopy to the fuselage, i don't like those pins.

First thing i've done, is to cover the area around the canopy seat, that should'nt be touched by the resin. For this part i've used food wrapping paper and 3M scotch. When the fuselage has been covered, i've put 2 layers of PVA :

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Description: Covered with 2 layers of PVA

Next step, making a paper pattern for cutting the fiberglass. Simple way, using baker paper wrapped around the canopy seat and tracing. Then i needed to fix the canopy to the fuselage. As i've removed the pins, I used spray glue to temporary fix the canopy while making the mold :

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After this, 3 more coats of PVA where applied to the canopy. (no pictures)

At this point, i start the laying of fiberglass. I don't remember how many layers i've used, but something like 1 layer of 18gr , 3 of 163gr, and other scrap pieces i've around, just to make volume

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After 24h , this is the cured mold, pretty satisfied with the result

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Now start the canopy lay up process. I've used the same paper pattern to cut many pieces of fiberglass. Used in sequence : 1 layer of 18gr , 2 layers of 163gr
I've just realized that i didn't taken many pictures of it :

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After 24h curing time, this is my first canopy !! nice and shiny :-)


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But is not finished here. Taken by the enthusiasm, i've made the same process as before, this time with carbon fibre, and this is the result !
Some places are rough because the original canopy was damaged, but doing this with a new canopy should give you a perfect carbon copy of it.

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Last edited by FlyDave; Sep 26, 2012 at 02:24 PM.
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 04:41 AM
Registered User
Australia, VIC, Chadstone
Joined Dec 2011
136 Posts
Nice work there FlyDave. You've inspired me to give this a try myself one day.

How much do the new canopies weigh compared to the original?
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 02:22 PM
Crash proof pilot
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Svizzera, TI, Bellinzona
Joined Oct 2005
380 Posts
Thanks maca55 !

About the weight... my aim was only to make experience with fiberglass and molds, not to reduce the weight of the model, but here is the results :

1. Original canopy : 19.3gr (0.68 oz)

2. Carbon fibre canopy (2 layer of carbon and 1 of fiberglass) : 20gr (0.70 oz)

3. Fiberglass canopy (painted) : 15gr (0.53 oz)

I forgot to say that when trying to hide some imperfections on the carbon fibre canopy, i've painted with 2 coats of clear lacquer. So i think the weight before the lacquer was 1 or 2 grams less.
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Old Oct 14, 2012, 07:40 PM
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United States, MA, Medfield
Joined Jul 2010
830 Posts
Can I ask a few questions--

The PVA, is that Poly Vinyl Acetate? Is that a glue or some other product? (What's the UHU stuff?)

I assume the glass is laid up right over the stock canopy. I take it some sort of release agent was used. Was that the PVA? Or something else?

What kind of resin did you use?

Was it possible to clean the stock canopy for reuse when you were done?
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 12:17 AM
Crash proof pilot
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Svizzera, TI, Bellinzona
Joined Oct 2005
380 Posts
Hi !

PVA is : Polyvinyl Alcohol Release Agent

It is used to form a barrier for the epoxy resin, so you can remove "easily" the piece from the mold.

http://www.eagerplastics.com/pva.htm

UHU Glue is almost the same thing as 3M 77 , it's a spray glue.

Exact, the PVA is the release agent, so you can use the original canopy

Resin used : West System resin 105

The stock canopy was cleaned just using warm water and some soap it's intact.

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Dave
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