Mar 30, 2015

Don’t fight your canopy!


You’ve finished your build and are ready to slide that shiny brand new canopy into place and you find out that while it may look great… it fits horrible! Maybe it rubs the main gear? Maybe it’s a chore to get your quick release mounts to lock in?  Maybe it rubs your servos on the inside or the front of your flight battery?  Well no fear because there’s a cheap and easy solution!

First, find yourself a hair dryer (preferably not your wife favorite one) or a heat gun. Wrestle the canopy into place and get those mounts either clicked in tight or tightened up good with thumb screws. Here’s where you get to be creative. If you’re canopy rubs then you need to shim it out a bit from the object it’s hitting with something soft and not too flammable. A sock or washcloth works great. Fold them over each other twice if you need to. Once you get all of your shimming items in place go ahead and start slowly heating the canopy up in the culprit areas. I try to keep about 12″ of separation from the end of the heat gun to the canopy itself. Depending on the quality of your heat gun even the low setting its enough to do the job.  Work an area of about 6″-8″ around with the heat.  You’ll feel it get a bit soft, pliable, and quite hot.  That’s where we want it.

If you apply too much heat you’ll cook the clear coat and while it won’t destroy the canopy you’ll start to see fiberglass weave marks in the clear coat. Work each problem area individually and also don’t forget to focus around the canopy mounts as well. A lot of canopies are angled at the area the rear mounts are and getting a quick release to snap in tight is a chore. This will allow the canopy material to stay more in the “locked in” position when it’s released. When you’re happy with your work simply let the canopy cool down first then pop it off and remove your shims.

Done!  You should note you canopy now slides on and what would normally take your canopy 50 flights or so to break-in and fall into place consistently now drops right in like it should! – Nick