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REFLECTOR: Re: Window Installation


> Having cut all the openings as marked for
> the windows, it was time to linish (yep! - don't trust myself with a saw
> with perspex) the windows down. Boy did it take alot of material removal!
> Anyway, I have the back windows in shape and commenced sanding the last
> remnants of blue foam from the recess made earlier for the windows.
> Now pushing the windows up hard against the outer skin does not make the
> outer skin completely flush  with the window.  The reveal of outer skin is
> quite flexible and I am now curious how you get a good fit so that the skin
> is hard up against the perspex. I also seem to remember you mentioning that
> it is possible to get the windows completely flush?? How was this
> accomplished? I can see 2 ways of achieving this:-        
> (1) Sand the outer edge of the outside skin to a point so that it meets the
> window like a knife, or
> (2) Chamfer the perspex window to meet the outer skin along a defined 
> line...but this would take some doing to get accurate...

I installed mine by the method in the Manual -- method #1. The trick is to
make little wedges out of stirring sticks and use these to force the window up
against the outside skin. You rough up the mating surface of the perspex,
brush epoxy on the surfaces, than hold it in place with the wedges. This works
with the .125" perspex, but may not with the .25".

However, if I were to to do over, I'd go with flush-mounted windows (2). It
gives the plane a very professional look. These must be the thicker .025"
perspex. I believe it was HANGAR 18, in Melbourne, FL who perfected this
method. I do not know the tricks of the trade, but the concept is to use a
router to recess the perspex at the mating surfaces instead of beveling the
outer skin. The outside window surface becomes flush with the skin. You can
try the wedge method for holding the window in place while the epoxy sets, or
if you need more strength, you can install temporary screws and nuts through
the skin and perspex in the troublesome areas. Such holes fill easily in the
finishing stage. 

> I took a look at the way the factory installed the windows in Leon's fast
> build and was surprised to see how little overlap there was in places
> between the fuselage and windscreen and side windows. Having cut my
> windscreen out according to the factory markings I am a little disappointed
> in the way the windscreen is going to fit....I would have liked at least
> 5/8" contact ALL the way round.

I used my entire windscreen. Having previously discovered that the markings on
the fuselage showing where the windows and doors go are only a crude
suggestion, we put the windscreen in position and worked out a cutting pattern
for the hole in the fuselage. Our cutout generally stayed within .5 inch of
the suggested location, but left overlap of between apx .50" and .75" all
around. This should provide a secure mounting.

You can flush-mount the windscreen in the same manner as the side windows, or
you can bevel the outer skin as I did. As on the side windows, I'd definitely
opt for flush-mounting if I were doing it again.

I've taken the liberty of posting your questions on the Reflector in the hope
that builders with flush-window experience can share a few tricks. 

Dave Black
SW RG TopDoor (Classic)