Suppliers, Tooling and Techniques for Canopies

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wsimpso1

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Hi, I am new to the forum, but have been involved in airplane design for a bit. Fascinating topic. I am posting here because there does not appear to be a better place for it. I hope that it draws suitable attention.

I am building a one-off fiberglass two seater and need a windshield and canopy. Part of the deal is that it has to be the canopy for my ship. And the plug for the upper half of the fuselage is one the table now, so I should be building the tools for the canopy and windshield now. Given the article in Sport Aviation and the info from the KR builders site, I am even giving some thought to doing it myself.

First off, do you folks have any recommendations for canopy suppliers willing to work from my tools? I am willing to build the tools anyway that the supplier says, but I want to supply the shape, and preferably the tools too.

Next, can you folks fill in the blanks on the methods. I know of several:

Male mold in wood or plaster, covered in felt, and the sheet of acrylic and mold is placed in the oven and warmed until the acrylic forms over the mold;

Male mold wrapped in felt and kept out of the oven, sheet of acrylic mounted to a frame and warmed in oil in the oven, then pressed over the mold;

Female mold, vacuum formed to the mold;

Frame only, free blown;

Does anyone know of any others? How about the drawbacks and advantages of each. Any websites or books to recommend on the topic?

I can build my molds in fiberglass, but they won't likely stand the oven... I can build my molds in plaster, but standing shipping will be a trick...

Anything that anyone can add will be helpful.
 

wsimpso1

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Thanks for the input on Todd. I had been looking for suppliers and had not found him before.

Does anybody have any experience with the folks listed in the Aero Crafter? They are:
Aiplane Plastics in Tipp City OH?
Cee Bailey's in CA?
Thermo-Tec in CA?
Great Lakes Aero Products in MI?

Any other suggestions for folks to check out?
 

N2T18S

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Sep 7, 2003
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Evansville,IN
Canopies

This is from memory, so consider the source. The Tipp, Oh guys manufacture for NASA. Excellant quality,quoted $1400 for T18 canopy.
I have a Todd's RV8 Excellant quality, looks to be 3/16" $350 to $500.

Bob
 

John Slade

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Jan 5, 2003
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157
Location
West Palm Beach, FL
Airplane Plastics have been the designer recommended canopy supplier for Cozy (and LongEz?) for years. My canopy came from them before Todd got started in business. Its excellent quality, but it wasnt cheap.
 
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