Has anyone here ever morphed a two liter bottle into a windshield or canopy for your plane?
I'm sure I'm not the first person to do it,but I couldn't find any threads on it.
Recently I was given some kind of 71" J-3, I think it’s some kind of Arf judging by the glue and/or lack thereof in various places. It had been crashed, top of the cabin and the windshield destroyed, tail wheel ripped out and mount broken, wing bolt mounts ripped out, bulkhead for the front wing dowels ripped out, landing gear and mounting blocks ripped out, wing broke in half at the joiner, which was a good thing, evidently wasn't glued that well, which made repairing it a matter of making a doubler for one rib and making a new joiner. I didn’t include any pics from before, as I figure no one here is really that interested in a routine airframe rebuild.
I've got it fixed and ready to fly and for now I’ve thrown on a spare .46 ax that I had laying around. But it still had no front windshield. I once used a couple two liter Dr. Pepper bottles for a canopy on a .60 sized T-34, but that was fairly simple, I just cut the bottom out of two bottles and slid them together, cut to fit, and glued together. >>
This time I had to deal with that compound radius that Cubs have in the top of the front glass. I cut out the bottom of a two liter Dr Pepper bottle, sliced it from top to bottom, and cut the neck off, but left about 1 ½” of the part where the radius starts decreasing towards the neck. This part worked well for the center portion of the top of the windshield, the problem came trying to form the top corners which have kind of a “bubble “ contour with compound radius. I was able to use a trim iron and get most of the “bubble” contour formed into the windshield , but I got a slight wrinkle on the left side that I cannot seem to remove. If I do manage to get it smoothed out, a couple small concave bubbles appear around the edges. The first pic shows what it looked like about halfway through working on it with the trim iron on the outside while pushing a small spoon up against the bottom side. The last pic shows the current status except I have removed the RTV that was leftover from the previous windshield, it worked well for a guide while I was cutting the new one.>>
It is good enough now that you can’t see the wrinkle from more than four feet away, but if anyone has some suggestions for getting it perfect, I would appreciate it.>>