Matching the Tank and Leading Edge   September 23rd, 2007

In order to make sure the fuel tank and the leading edge match up as perfectly as possible, I assembled the baffle and tank skin on the spar (with no ribs), and moved it up to mate up with the leading edge. When they matched nicely, I drilled the baffle to the first two Z-brackets and put clecoes in.

I then removed the skin and drilled the rest of the baffle/Z-bracket holes.

Not too many pictures of this process; I have been busy helping with stuff around the house, and decided to focus my free time on building and not so much picture taking.

Posted in Tanks, Wings | Comments Closed

Drilling Tank Z brackets   September 22nd, 2007

The tank is attached to the wing with a bunch of screws around the edge (both to the spar and to the leading edge). In addition, there are 7 aluminum brackets that hold the tank secure to the spar. These come undrilled, so you have to measure and drill the holes that will hold the bracket-to-spar screws, as well as the bracket-to-tank rivet holes.
The first step is to mark a line down the center of one of the flanges:

Once the first hole is drilled, you use the holes in the spar as guides to drill the other two holes. Rather than place the bracket on top (where it should be) and drill from the bottom, I placed the bracket on the bottom, and drilled it from the top. This way I had better control of the drill, and I could clearly see the centerline. I used a big C-clamp I bought at Harbor Freight for about $1 to hold the bracket in place…

The result is a bracket with the holes nicely matching the spar holes..

And here is the spar with the first z-bracket drilled and clecoed to it… 6 more to go on this wing..

Posted in Tanks, Z-bracket | Comments Closed

Leading Edge Joint Plate   September 4th, 2007

The leading edge rib on the edge closes to the gas tank also has a strip of aluminum where the gas tank screws into the leading edge. This rib doesn’t come pre-punched, so I had to mark where the rivet holes would go before fluting it. I just put it next to the leading edge and marked the approximate location of the holes.

The next step is to insert the rib and the strip into the leading edge. Sounds easy, but the skin is so tight it’s a real bieatch to get everything in there lined up and straight! Even so, I managed to get it in there after a lot of trying…

Finally, once everything was straight, I drilled through the skin and into the rib/strip.

Now I just have to do the other wing…

Posted in Joint Strip, Leading Edge, Wings | Comments Closed

Still Fitting the Leading Edge…   September 1st, 2007

I got my trusty Redneck ratchet straps and put them around the leading edge. I used some cardboard to keep the straps from scratching the skins.

By the time the holes line up, those straps were TIGHT!

With the holes all nicely lined up, it’s just a matter of clecoing all the holes to make sure the skin remains tight when the straps are removed. Later I removed every other hole for drilling.

Posted in Leading Edge, Wings | Comments Closed