Last year we claimed that the plane was completely painted – that was maybe not completely accurate!
At that time the rudder was not finished. Also, the canopy and the cowling were missing. The rudder was as previously reported redone to meet our lightweight construction requirements and could now be painted. The rudder is still overbalanced by the integrated lead, so we can save some weight there again. Before the painting work, the rudder and especially the mass balance, which is located at the upper hinge, had to be fitted exactly into the tail contour. Afterwards it could be finished to match the aircraft with PU paint.
For the canopy frame we actually planned for a long time to build a new one in the molds at Diamond Aircraft, which could be built lighter with the use of carbon instead of glass fiber. Due to amount of planning and coordination required, we have now discarded this idea and restored the old broken Dimona frame instead. This was first completely gutted and sanded down to the outermost layer. We then reinforced the frame from the inside with carbon fiber reinforced material and started to restore the contour with polystyrene and microballoon resin. In addition, we had to manufacture some parts of the canopy lock mechanism and replaced the heavy steel push rods in the frame with lighter ones made of carbon fiber. The weight of the frame was decreased by 2 kg! Together with the rudder we started to paint the frame. The frame will get a white PU-paint first and a NEXTEL-paint on the inside. We are now about to glue the glass from MECAPLEX onto the frame and then finalize the frame with a final coat of paint on the outside.