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Cost to install a canopy?



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 8th 05, 03:40 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Cost to install a canopy?

Our club is looking into a new canopy for a Grob 103 Twin Astir. We received
an estimate from a well-known repair shop: $2,000 for the canopy and 50
hours of labor to install. I'm new to this field - I fly 'em, I don't fix
'em. But I'm having a hard time imagining what steps must be involved to
consume 50 hours. Hinge, latches... what am I missing?


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  #2  
Old December 8th 05, 04:10 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Cost to install a canopy?

Gluing, sanding, gelcoating.

  #3  
Old December 8th 05, 04:13 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Cost to install a canopy?

Roger Worden wrote:
Our club is looking into a new canopy for a Grob 103 Twin Astir. We received
an estimate from a well-known repair shop: $2,000 for the canopy and 50
hours of labor to install. I'm new to this field - I fly 'em, I don't fix
'em. But I'm having a hard time imagining what steps must be involved to
consume 50 hours. Hinge, latches... what am I missing?


First you have to remove the old plexy hopefully without any damage on
the original frame. Than probably fill the surface to provide smooth
contact. Glue the plexy to the frame. Cut it to fit and probably fill
and send before paint. Than you still have to sand and polish the new
surface. You shouldn't damage the new plexy during the whole procedure.
I don't say it's 50 hours, maybe more

/Jancsika
  #4  
Old December 8th 05, 04:23 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Cost to install a canopy?

I think your estimate is pretty close to correct and what you may
expect.......labor rates may vary from one repair shop to another but
generally you can expect to pay something near the cost for the canopy equal
in labor costs....or between $2000-$2500 (estimated)
the labor involved is rather extensive if done properly.....removing all of
the old acrylic (Plexiglas) breaking chipping and grinding off where the old
canopy was glued in place, repairing and preparing the canopy frame to
accept the new acrylic, fitting the new canopy (really good canopies like
Mecaplex or similar will be factory trimmed pretty close to fit, others
might require a lot of extra trimming (and time) then re-gluing the new
acrylic to the frame, all quite fragile work as well.......then repainting
(gelcoat) the frame (a portion of the acrylic is also painted where it is in
the frame work) and then re-fitting to the glider.....Most repair shops also
want the glider in their shop to do the work since the frame will take a
different set if not mounted on the glider when the new acrylic is
installed..so you can see that the work is a bit intensive and deserves the
time and effort .........you also want to be certain that the canopy you are
installing is the proper one and of the highest quality, since an inferior
canopy will cost the same labor (or more) to install and since the acrylic
is (should be) protective coated, even the repair shop won't know what the
optics or quality of the canopy is until the job is 99% complete and they
then remove the coating.......I, BTW do not do the repairs.....but do
support many of the better glider repair shops in the USA.....I hope you do
too...we need them!
Best regards
Tim
Wings & Wheels
www.wingsandwheels.com

"Roger Worden" wrote in message
. com...
Our club is looking into a new canopy for a Grob 103 Twin Astir. We
received
an estimate from a well-known repair shop: $2,000 for the canopy and 50
hours of labor to install. I'm new to this field - I fly 'em, I don't fix
'em. But I'm having a hard time imagining what steps must be involved to
consume 50 hours. Hinge, latches... what am I missing?




  #5  
Old December 8th 05, 05:21 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Cost to install a canopy?

Since you state that you are "looking into" a new canopy, can we assume that
the old one is not broken?
If it is not broken, it may be possible to revive the old one with one of
the repair kits like Micro-mesh. Available from aircraft supply place,
possibly Tim Mara.

--
Hartley Falbaum


"Roger Worden" wrote in message
. com...
Our club is looking into a new canopy for a Grob 103 Twin Astir. We
received
an estimate from a well-known repair shop: $2,000 for the canopy and 50
hours of labor to install. I'm new to this field - I fly 'em, I don't fix
'em. But I'm having a hard time imagining what steps must be involved to
consume 50 hours. Hinge, latches... what am I missing?




  #6  
Old December 8th 05, 09:36 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Cost to install a canopy?

Tim has provided a pretty good summary of the process. Some notes on
canopy transparencies in no particular order:

* As Tim pointed out, mounting canopies takes time and experience to do
right. As with most things, the best results are had the second or
third time you do it. Your best bet is to find a shop that's done it
before so you don't end up paying for the shop's education.

* Though the work is fussy, takes rather a lot of time to do properly,
and requires a good eye and somewhat delicate touch, it can be done in
the home workshop environment. If you've done good-looking bodywork
with Bondo and paint, you can probably mount a canopy. At very least,
you can probably do some of the prep work. But consult with your A&P
before starting. If you've done owner-assisted annuals (the best kind,
I think) and have a good relationship with the A&P, they might be OK
with it. Or, they might not. Ask first to avoid surprises.

* Usually the preferred bonding techniques and materials are shown in
the maintenance manual. You can also pick up some general hints by
looking at the tech notes for different gliders. The DG tech notes in
particular show a neat trick for using foam tape for controlling
squeeze-out of the bonding resin.

* Bonding the transparency onto the frame without having the frame on
the fuselage is very risky, and I've seen it result in an
embarassing-looking assembly that barely fit onto the glider at all. I
definitely don't recommend it. Canopy frames tend to be fairly
lightweight parts, and a lot of the strength and stiffness of the
canopy assembly comes from the transparency. Also, the frame is often
painted black so it sometimes gets hot and takes on a warp that only
shows up when it is separated from the transparency. All the big
companies have tooling that emulates the cockpit rail that they clamp
the frame to when bonding in the transparency.

* Acrylics are much more crack-prone when they're cold. If you feel
tempted to work acrylics such as Plexiglas, don't do any cutting,
drilling, or filing operations unless the plexi itself (and not just
the room it's in) is warmed up to at least 70 degrees F and preferably
in the 80s F.

* If the preferred bonding resin isn't shown in the tech notes and you
have to choose your own, I suggest _not_ using an epoxy thinned with
butyl glycidal ether (as are most laminating resins) - it crazes the
acrylic. George Applebay has recommended Epon 828 kicked 2:1 with
Versamid 140. I haven't tried it myself, but I will.

* Last time I checked, the manufacturers were paying 500 to 1200 Euro
for transparencies of various sizes in lots of ten or so. Contrary to
popular belief, Mecaplex quite often has the best prices in Europe for
the raw transparencies. The big markups start when it leaves Mecaplex
or wherever, and the glider manufactuer and all the middlemen and the
shippers and insurers get their cut. That's just the way commerce
works.

* Right now acrylics sheet prices are spiking to follow oil prices, so
be prepared for some degree of sticker shock.

* Anybody who wants is welcome to develop their own tooling and place
an order for ten or so and become part of the game themselves. But I
don't think that you can contact Mecaplex directly and order Discus or
ASW-27 canopies. Usually, the glider company develops the canopy
tooling and then hands it off to the transparency company with the
agreement that they will only make transparencies on that tool for that
glider company.

* Anybody who ever thinks of making their own canopy transparencies
should count on not getting usable results until somewhere between the
third and sixth attempt. It's a tricky business, and the major players
guard their trade secrets jealously. Way more often than not, the most
cost-effective way of getting a good transparency is to buy it from a
reputable firm such as the sailplane manufacturer.

Thanks, and best regards to all

Bob K.
http://www.hpaircraft.com/hp-24

  #7  
Old December 8th 05, 11:51 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Cost to install a canopy?

I just finished putting a new canopy on my Phoebus and it took about 60
hours to do. I know it can be done quicker by a more experienced
technician, but it is labor intensive. A lot depends upon how difficult
it is to remove the old canopy and any required prep work to repair the
frame when the old canopy is removed.

Mike

  #8  
Old December 9th 05, 02:25 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Cost to install a canopy?

Hi Roger,

I have recently installed a new canopy on my Phoebus C and it took
about 60 hours. Im sure if I did a second it would require less time.
Im aware that 40 hours is about standard for an installation if the old
canopy has been removed.

If you are thinking of a new canopy due to cracks, you may be
interested that there are ways to repair cracks that removes the crack
and the repaired area is much less apparent.

Good luck,

Mike

  #9  
Old December 9th 05, 06:11 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Cost to install a canopy?

Shows what I do NOT know! I was assuming a new canopy would include the
frame, hinge, latch etc. so it could be installed as a unit. I haven't been
out to look at the Grob since this issue came up, but I seem to remember it
as a fairly simple structure. I'm wondering whether Grob sells a new
canopy-frame-hinge-latch combo for less. Factory labor to assemble new
things in an repetitive process is usually less expensive than a craftsman
in the field repairing a similar unit... whether it's a television, a car
engine, or whatever, major repair is usually more expensive than replacement
with a factory-assembled unit. But maybe such assemblies are not available
from Grob, or maybe the typical economics don't hold true in this market.


"Jancsika" wrote in message
...
Roger Worden wrote:
Our club is looking into a new canopy for a Grob 103 Twin Astir. We

received
an estimate from a well-known repair shop: $2,000 for the canopy and 50
hours of labor to install. I'm new to this field - I fly 'em, I don't

fix
'em. But I'm having a hard time imagining what steps must be involved to
consume 50 hours. Hinge, latches... what am I missing?


First you have to remove the old plexy hopefully without any damage on
the original frame. Than probably fill the surface to provide smooth
contact. Glue the plexy to the frame. Cut it to fit and probably fill
and send before paint. Than you still have to sand and polish the new
surface. You shouldn't damage the new plexy during the whole procedure.
I don't say it's 50 hours, maybe more

/Jancsika



  #10  
Old December 9th 05, 09:04 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Cost to install a canopy?

Hi Roger,

I would not bet on buying a completely new canopy from Grob, because:

1. First of all I do not think that the economy of scale holds for
glider manufacterers since the number of aircraft built is quite low.
Next to that, the canopy-glass is made by Mecaplex another company. The
glass is said to be especially difficult to make and thereofre it is
expensive.

2. Furthermore, Grob will most probably also need your fuselage when
installing a new canopy because of fit and new, or other, hinge
locations

3. Grob is not out of business as an aerospace company, but my guess is
that they haven't built gliders for over 15-20 years now. Spare-parts
come from LTB Lindner now (southern Germany).

I am very sorry for you, but I have to agree with the posts above.
Replacing your canopy will not be cheap. But if you have just one clean
crack or a piece that has come out then I would suggest to glue it
back, although making that pretty is not at all easy

Kind regards

Diederick Joosten
The Netherlands

 




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