|This photo is of the prototype during the
earlier phases of construction.
October 21 2016 2.0hrs - 3015.5 total. Finished sanding MDF canopy forms. Dug
out cutoff saw and used it to cut the notches in the form pieces. Used band saw
and Dremel to clean up the notches and trial fit it together. Picked up windscreen
frame from welder. Its complete, but needs to be cleaned up and primed. Fits
perfectly! Starting a three day Stewart Systems class today.
October 24 2016 2.0hrs - 3017.5 total. Met with the welder today, he's working
on the engine mount brackets and is concerned about getting the positioning of the
mounting bolt holes symetric and square. I wasn't sure how close it turned out, but
I promised to check. So I leveled the fuselage and marked the vertical centerline of
the firewall as well as the tops and bottoms of the main longerons on the front of the firewall. Turns out everything is aligned within
about a 1/16th to 1/32nd. I had forgotten how much time I'd spent getting them all level and square. But measuring them brought
back memories of those efforts. Anyway, good news in that we won't need to worry about any compensating re-engineering of the
engine mount brackets! Went ahead and temp mounted the windscreen bracket in place and got some thick paper and started laying
out for the windscreen Plexiglas.
October 27 2016 1.0hrs - 3018.5 total. Laid out and made cardboard template for windscreen frame base. Made up some other
cardboard pieces to help position windscreen form. Lots of pieces and angles here. This is a part that is critical to the correct look of
the airplane so I need to get it right.
October 28 2016 3.0hrs - 3021.5 total. Continued working on the windscreen frame. Glued another piece of cardboard to the back,
trimmed bottom profile to match top of fuselage. Glued a strip of aluminum and a couple strips of wood to the back to keep it flat and
straight. Have the bottom template pretty much set now. The plexi that goes behind the windscreen to make the sides is a compound
curve. Don't know how I'm going to make it?
October 29 2016 5.5hrs - 3027.0 total. Bought a heat gun, spent some time looking at availability of different thicknesses of plexi
locally. Experimenting with the heat gun and a piece of .080 plexi. Much easier to work with than I thought it would be. Among other
things, also stretched a piece of felt across the bottom of a metal bowl and presses the softened plexi onto that. Definitley left marks,
as I was warned it would, but was able to melt the marks out and get it pretty smooth. Gives me hope that a male plug mold will be the
way to go. With that in mind, continued working on defining the shape of the side parts of the forward windscreen. Made up a paper
template of the windscreen frame sides. Rough cut the paper form for the side pieces.
glued to 1/4" MDF
|Canopy template and finished
windscreen frame sitting on
fuselage cockpit rails
|Centerline and longeron
locations marked on firewall.
|Starting to work on template
for windscreen Plexiglas.
|Starting on windscreen
frame base template.
|More work on windscreen
frame base template.
|Here's a photo of a MKII so you
can see what I'm trying for.
|Side parts of frame and side
window forms taking shape.
|Playing around with melting
plexi with a heat gun.
October 30 2016 1.0hrs - 3028.0 total. Worked on the windscreen template some more. Added some 90 degree cardboard braces to
the inside of the frame. Marked and trimmed back the bottom angle. Still need a little more. Its taken some digging to find photos to
verify that this piece actually does angle inwards towards the centerline of the fuselage. Found a place on-line that makes custom
canopies. Sent them an e-mail. Exploring my options...
December 24 2016 2.0hrs - 3030.0 Hi guys! I'm back!! Sorry for the long break. I've done zero work on the Spit other than
researching different possible sources for a completed canopy, and wing rib and spar materials. Tonight I got an e-mail from Steve
showing progress on the Throttle quadrants he is sourcing. See the photos. They look fantastic! Got me motivated to give up on
outsourcing the canopy and give it shot myself. If I spend the time to make the blowing frames, and they turn out properly, I'll be able
to make a bunch of canopies and windscreens for Steve to keep on hand for other builders. Dug out some reference materials and
started sketching out some ideas for canopy blowing frames that I've been mulling over for literally months! Next step will be to build
some paper and/or cardboard mockups before I try to make them out of aluminum or steel.
December 25 2016 3.0hrs - 3033.0 total. Worked on finalizing the shape of the windscreen sides and forward windscreen frame
templates. Took lots of measurements and made up a parts list for materials to build the blowing frames.
December 26 2016 5.0hrs - 3038.0 Picked up a bunch of sheet steel, aluminum and aluminum extrusion. Also bought a bunch of
rivets and some JB Weld. Started working on the frame for the forward windscreen sides.
|Bottom edge trimmed and
angles inward now.
|Absolutely beautiful throttle
quadrant under development
by a friend of Steve's.
|Starting to sketch out plans for a canopy and windscreen blowing frame.
|Beginning on the forward
windscreen side frame.
December 27 2016 3.0hrs - 3041.0 total. Made three trips to the hardware store today to get aluminum brazing rod, a small stainless
steel brush and a metal cutting band for the band saw. I was lamenting how much trouble I was having creating nice cuts with the
hand held jig saw and wishing I had a metal cutting band saw, when it dawned on me that they might make a metal blade for my
saw. Sure enough they do! Spent about an hour getting it installed and all the guides aligned properly. Used it quite a bit today, and
its amazing how well it works! You can't tell much from the photo, but one of the angle braces is now brazed to the piece of strap.
Two pieces of additional angle are riveted onto the plate and need to be brazed or JB welded onto the strap. Also, after re-measuring
the kitchen oven, trimmed an inch or so off of each side of the base plate.
December 28 2016 6.5hrs - 3047.5 total. Attempted to braze two new angle pieces onto strap. Tried with butane torch first, then
with MAP gas torch. After several attempts I managed to get them both brazed on, but burnt and warped the strap in the process.
Decided to give up on the brazing idea. Drilled out rivets on brazed angle pieces and discarded warped strap. Cut some new angle
pieces, pre-drilled and sanded them down. Cut new strap piece. Cleaned up base plate and riveted larger angle in place. Taped some
blocking to bottom side of plate and clamped the whole thing to a piece of plywood. Clamped strap in place on larger angle pieces.
Prepped contact areas then mixed up some JB weld and glued three smaller angle pieces to strap. Had some extra glue so went ahead
and glued angle pieces to plate also - even though I still plan to rivet them on - if needed. Laid out paper pattern of windscreen sides
on 22gauge steel sheet. Marked and cut out first piece. Sanded to final shape then taped it to remaining steel sheet, traced 2nd piece,
and cut out. Sanded to final shape.
December 29 2016 6.0hrs - 3053.5 total. Prepped longer angle pieces that were riveted onto to base plate yesterday and glued them
to the strap. Traced windscreen front plate shape onto steel sheet and cut out, then sanded to final shape. Made up a joint plate,
prepped and JB welded front plate onto forward windscreen frame piece with joint plate. Used extra strap piece as spacer then added
full length strap piece onto inner side of frame plate. Marked and sanded down inner plate piece till it fit inside against inner strap with
spacer in place. Prepped inner plate and strap. Made up some angle pieces, prepped and JB welded them to strap and inner plate.
January 1 2017 0.5hrs - 3054.0 total. Removed all the clamps. Sanded down some of the JB weld that extruded out of the joints.
Trial fit the lower frame piece and windscreen plate onto the frame plate piece. Bent the lower frame piece as needed and started
getting the final position and distances on the frame piece figured out.
|First brace brazed on, two more
riveted and awaiting brazing
|Difficult to see but large piece burnt out
of top of strap and severely warped.
|New strap and angle pieces
being JB welded to plate.
|First piece cut, laying out for second.
|Both forward windscreen frame
pieces cut out and final shaped.
|Trail fitting one of the lower
windscreen frames on plate.
|Front windscreen plate being glued
onto forward windscreen frame.
|Inner plate being glued to inner
strap - while clamped to outer
strap with spacer strip in between.
|Set the assembly on the fuselage to give
an eyeball check of angles and alignment.
|Coming together surprisingly
like the initial sketch!
January 2 2017 2.0hrs - 3056.0 total. Every attempt to get the frame aligned properly was coming up just slightly off kilter. Finally
found where one of the reference points I had been using on the fuselage was off by about 1/4". After some panic and concern I
would have to start over on the large curved steel frame strips, I went back to the start and re-measured, re-marked, and re-aligned
everything. It all lines up now, but I still need to make the arc of the bends consistent from side to side. Even though no visible
progress today, its still good progress.
January 7 2017 4.5hrs - 3060.5 total. Cut and riveted some angle pieces onto the front and center of the frame to allow for
alignment and final positioning of flat windscreen plate. It sits at a 50 degree angle from horizontal, but trying to get the plate to that
angle is not proving to be easy. One of the regular readers of this site sent me some photos he found of the original Tally-Ho
prototype that I hadn't seen before. It shows the windscreen and canopy under construction. This matches photos I've seen of other
windscreens and molds that do not have a flat forward section. It appears more like they just cut the section out of a curved forward
section? I thought about doing it that way, but you need the plate at the top to create the proper "bulge" when the plexi is blown in
that area. Another issue is the Tally-Ho plans for that top forward area don't match photos of real aircraft. I think Terry might have
made a small compromise here to make it easier to make. And most other detailed photos or plans that I have show the later MKs that
have the flat section on the inside, and several other significant differences in this windscreen structure. So I'm having just estimate
some of the measurements.
January 8 2017 4.0hrs - 3064.5 total. Spent some time digging through books and on-line trying to determine the angle of the small
section between the windscreen frame and the flat plate. Finally settled on an angle and distance. Also figured out I was failing to
compensate for the 15 degree forward angle of the windscreen frame when I was measuring the angle of the flat plate. With that
added in, things lined up much better. Drilled and mounted some angle to fix the gap and angle. Mounted angle on the sides of the
form frame and started working on building the rest of the frame box, but ran out of material. Sunday night, drove to Lowes and
HomeDepot, but they were closed already.
January 9 2017 3.5hrs - 3068.0 total. Picked up some more angle aluminum. Finished making box frame for female portion of
windscreen blowing frame.
January 11 2017 2.5hrs - 3070.5 total. Installed piece of bracing at front center of frame. Finalized angle on front plate and attached
to new frame member. Still not quite right on the curved pieces, but getting closer. Re-measured several lines and angles and
determined center line of front plat was off about 1/4" on top edge. Drilled out rivet, repositioned and re-riveted in correct position.
Need to figure out how to make a test piece out of some material to try in place on the fuselage.
January 12 2017 2.5hrs - 3073.0 total. Quite a bit more measuring and fooling around with the fuselage top shape and paper
template for windscreen. Found a couple more small errors, 1/4" here, 1/8" there, also verified that the shape of the curve across the
top of the fuselage - just above the instrument panel, and under the windscreen is slightly asymmetric - by less than a 1/4", but still
another variable. Figured out how to use the paper template to get things lined up on the frame. Have it real close now. Need to work
on locking the correct shape in place. Cut pieces for two more braces on the front of the frame and attachment pieces to connect up
leading edge of flat windscreen frame. Ran out of time, so just clamped in place right now.
January 13 2017 3.0hrs - 3076.0 total. Located and riveted two new front braces and attach pieces in place. Final aligned the steel
curved pieces, drilled and riveted them in place. Now just need to brace the steel curved pieces.
January 14 2017 5.0hrs - 3081.0 total. Installed bracing on the sides of the frame and made up some connector pieces to brace the
long curved steel arms of the form. Mixed up small batch of JB Weld and glued support pieces on steel arms. Will still need to attach
support pieces to new side braces. Ground back a couple of areas of the frame and bracing that might be touched by the Plexiglas if
it sags far enough during heating. Experimented with scrap piece of plexi in the new frame using a heat gun. Its surprisingly easy to
get the plexi soft enough to bend and bulge into even very tight angles.
January 15 2017 6.5hrs - 3087.5 total. Measured, aligned and riveted support pieces to frame. Clamped upper steel arm piece into
place, with spacing material to simulate thickness of plexi. Measured, marked upper frame piece and ground down overlap area so
strap will sit flush at the surface. JB Welded upper strap onto upper frame piece. Used extra glue to start sealing up air gap around
upper frame pieces. Made up cardboard template for upper strap plate that will create air tight enclosure. Transferred to steel stock.
Cut out, started shaping, bent to match needed curve. Need to wait for glue to dry before I can remove clamps and finish shaping the
January 16 2017 2.0hrs - 3089.0 total. Borrowed a precise air valve and bought some high temp gasket silicone and a copper pipe
pressure sensor kit. All this to be used to put air pressure inside the plexiglass when its in the oven. Removed clamps form yesterdays
glue job, removed upper frame piece, sanded down glue joints and extrusions. Re-clamped everything back into position and final
shaped the steel filler plate. Prepped contact areas with wire brush and acetone. Clamped in place and glued in with JB Weld. Had
enough extra glue to go all around the seam on both sides, as well as fill in the outside of the other upper plate piece.
|Great photo of Tally-Ho prototype
windscreen under construction.
|Working on trying to get the
angle of the flat plate section
correct. Have a protractor, angle
and level clamped on to help.
|Hard attached flat plate top at fixed angle
and distance from windscreen frame form.
|Box frame for lower portion
of frame complete.
|Front center bracing installed
and plate attached.
|Two more braces and attach pieces cut
out, clamped in place, ready to be installed.
|New side braces installed, side
connectors being glued on.
Experimenting with scrap plexi using
heat gun. Might be hard to see, but
there's a small piece of plexi in there.
|Starting to build top piece that will create
air tight seal to allow plexi to be "blown".
|Air valve, copper pressure tubing
and fittings, and high temp silicone.
|Top filler plate glued in and sealed all around.
January 17 2017 3.0hrs - 3092.0 total. Cut piece of angle aluminum long enough to
go across the seam of the two plates. Had to "open" the angle a little to get it to sit
flush against both plates. Also had to grind away the ends of some of the existing angle
pieces to get seam piece to sit flush. Prepped surfaces, JB welded thoroughly and
sealed all edges and seams.
|Top form frame plates and seam
finished. Still need air fitting.