Canard Forward Deck & Install
(2-piece Canard Deck Replaced with Single Piece)
Updated 10-9-04

The completed 1-piece Canard Deck.

Well, to take you back a little bit - I first installed the Canard Deck over 4 years before writing this section. I never included it on the website, but I thought I'd share the re-installation process as it is a Berkut exclusive. See, the old deck had one piece bonded to the canard, and the other bonded to the longerons. This worked, but it severely restricted access to the back of the Instrument Panel. Now with a single piece deck, it all comes off with the canard - giving 100% access to the Instrument Panel! A major plus when it comes to installing and maintaining the panel - just ask an EZ owner about that!

As you would expect, the first step is cutting off the old 2-piece Canard Deck. I think it physically hurt taking a air-saw and slicing off chunks of the very thing you are trying to put together - but it all turned out great in the end. Once the old decks are removed, the longerons and canard are cleaned up and sanded to shape. However, this time the deck is only bonded to the canard. This allows the whole assembly to be removed all at once. Next, the longerons are covered with duct-tape and the new 1-piece deck is trimmed and shaped to fit smoothly onto the canard. The interfaces between the nose, deck, and front canopy should make for a smooth arc - no problem. The deck is then bonded onto the canard. Once cured, the front edge of the deck is cut back to be bonded to the forward deck bulkhead. The forward canard bulkhead is also cut back to allow micro to be placed between it and the deck. Once installed, the forward section of the canard deck is very sturdy.

Hefty plys of BID are placed over the tapes on the longerons to form a 'C' shaped lip just like what is on the canopy sides. This will allow the aft end of the deck to be attached to the longerons via a set of screws and nut-plates - more on that later. Finally, the whole canard deck assembly is replaced and bolted back into position on top of the front bulkhead and the new 'C' shaped side rails.

The structure is complete, but still needs to be faired into the fuselage sides and the canopy. The canard deck's longeron channels are covered with packing tape and dry West flox is added just below the part-lines. The tape acts as a mold release and the flow provides a very strong and crisp edge. Once the flox has a chance to semi-cure, dry micro is applied to the whole area and let cure. When everything is carefully sanded, the result is a crisp part line and a smooth transition to the side of the fuselage and the elevator fairing. Here is a picture of the part line with the deck separated from the fuselage a little for a better view.

Finally, the aft ends of the new deck are attached to the fuselage. 5-holes on each side are match drilled into the longerons. Nut plates are riveted to the underside of the longerons with Cherry flush rivets. Screws and tinnerman washers finish the job. This type of attachment really holds the canard in place. There is NO movement of the canard even without the main bolts installed. If making this modification to your bird, BE SURE you re-install the main canard bolts before flight. This attachment is not meant to carry flight loads, it just adds rigidity back to the fuselage and connects the two sides.

The canard deck modification is completed. The tinnerman washers will be countersunk at a later date - after the final fill and primer is completed.

Completed instrument panel fairing

UPDATE 10-9-04: The plane is almost through it's 40 hours of testing, and the interior is still not complete! So, I took some time to finish up some details I had left open. One of these details is the gap betweek the canard desk and the instrument panel. Easy enough to do, I just have not committed the time to do is the time. I started by digging out the foam between the upper and lower canard deck skins at the aft lip. I filled this area with a little flox to help attach the new fairing plys and give the lip some strength. I use poster board to cut a template for the correct shape and covered it with packing tape as mold release. Then layed down 2-plys of glass BID from the flox lip over the instrument panel mold. I'll let this cure and apply 2 more plys of BID to the lower side. Once removed from the mold, I trimmed the cover back flush with the instrument panel. The edges of the cover overlapped the longerons by half an inch or so to make sure that any water getting past the seal is routed to the outside. This overlap, however, required the canopy lips to be cut down and re-contured - leaving two raw micro patches. So, I whipped out the masking tape and newspaper and extended the black canopy rail paint a little further, making it it look a little more "planned". The cover itself I left as raw BID weave (to match the other black covers in the cockpit), shot it with primer and the same black paint. Ta-da! The interior is now COMPLETE!

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