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DIY canopies

#1
Hi all,

I'm building a T-6 Texan from the design that Alp made. I just can't figure out how to make the canopy. I can't seem to find any templates for the Texans canopy and the only plastics I can get my hands on are basically from pop bottles. Does anyone have any tips on making a canopy design? This is the last step that's really holding up the build. This being my first full foam scratch build I'm not that experienced with this problem.

Thanks,
Brian
 

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Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
Mentor
#2
They are supposed to be simple if using PET bottles by finding one with smooth sides and large enough in diameter.

First you will need to make a positive sculpture of the canopy you require. Shape the "Plug" on the plane in position so that you can get the fit and shape you require.

When the plug is done you find a suitable PET bottle and cut the bottom off of it. Slide in the plug and some packing to make the plug firmly in place against the bottle side. When ready and with the plug secured you run the bottle under hot/boiling water. start on the side of the bottle furthermost from the plug and work your way around until the whole bottle has shrunk sufficiently to be molded around the plug. If extra shrinkage is required cooking oil heated to slightly hotter than the boiling water will give a greater shrinkage amount.

Do not rush it or use very hot oil or there could be a risk of oil burns or fire if the bottle splits/explodes.

When the shrinking has been completed allow the bottle to thoroughly cool and then remove first the packing and then the plug.

Trim the bottle to give the canopy as per the plug used. Clean thoroughly before using the canopy!

The plug can be made from almost anything but it must have a hard surface and be resistant to crushing. I use either wood or wood covered in "Air Drying" modelling clay.

What works for me!

Have fun!
 
#3
Hi
Thanks for the tips, my wife arrived home last night and promptly solved the canopy issue by making one out of a plastic sheet she found, some toothpicks, a pop bottle and electrical tape. I'm making it for her since she got to fly one back in 2003. We printed up the decals yesterday now just have to wait for the electronics to finish it off.
Cheers,
Brian
 

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#5
Looks great, how did she get it to look so good?
Hi Merv,

She's great with shapes and creative solutions, it took her about an hour to make that canopy, I had been trying to figure it out for days. She is now the official canopy maker in the household.