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Old 09-04-2011, 12:36 PM   #1
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Vac Form Canopy

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A Question - anyone have any notions as to how I can go about getting a one-off largish canopy vac formed? I'm comfortable vac forming smaller stuff, but this has to be basically perfect - and I don't think the oven at home is going to hack it size-wise.

It's for a possible 1/2 sized Turbulent - and before deciding if I want to proceed, this potential stumbling block needs to be dealt with. Attached is a shot of my previous 1/3 scale version as an indication of what I'm talking about, canopy-wise.

I would prepare a suitable form, just need to know if there are any commercial, or whatever, vac formers out there that anyone's run into that won't fall about laughing over a one-off like this!

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Old 09-04-2011, 01:25 PM   #2
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Re: Vac Form Canopy

What are the approximate dimensions of the canopy, and is it going to be
one piece or two ?
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Old 09-04-2011, 02:33 PM   #3
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Re: Vac Form Canopy

log on
go to Forums--Scratch Build
go to Canopy and Cowl molds, this is at the bottom of page 3. There you will find a series of 14 videos on large scale cowl molding and great videos on making a plug/ vac forming a large canopy for a 1/4 scale Starship. This fella made the plug and frame, heated the plastic in a kitchen oven and pulled the canopy using a built in vac system to pull the plastic. I cant send the link to the videos because you need to be logged in for access. These videos are very interesting. Hopes this helps.. The audio is kind of crappy. It sounds like he used .060 plastic sheet for the canopy.
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Old 09-04-2011, 02:47 PM   #4
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Re: Vac Form Canopy

The dimension (approx) are 26 1/4" length overall both front & back bits, top to bottom is 10 1/2, and it'll be around 11" wide.
It could be made as two. The original 1/3 scale one I had was a one piece moulding, but 2 pieces might well be simpler & less risky?
I've attached a pic of the profile as an idea.

Don't want to even think about doing something this size domestically. Can't chance dust specks etc., so while thanks for the RCSB info - I've been there, done that....

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Old 09-04-2011, 04:26 PM   #5
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Re: Vac Form Canopy

There was an article in the EAA mag a while ago detailing what one member had to go through, including the requirements and technique for completing an optically correct vac-formed canopy.

Cannot remember the issue, but from what I remember from quite a few articles over the years it took many first-timers more than one try to get it right.
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