Fuel Tank Prep (3h 30m)

And now for something completely different: the fuel tank. And this really is something totally new, I have no idea how these things work (other than fill with fuel, fly plane until empty).

The fuel tank is held in place inside the wing by sticking cork strips to the edges so that it is wedged in firmly, with no metal part touching metal.

I kept adding cork until the tank fit snugly into the bay.

The open end of the tank is held by a fuel channel which needed to be positioned tight against the cork strips and then, using a very long drill bit, holes were drilled through the channel into the bottom skin.

The edges of the channel are attached to the rear ribs via l-angles riveted to each end.

First bracket pilot drilled in place

Enlarging the holes in the other bracket to their final A4 rivet size

The final task for fuel tank placement is to drill holes through the top skin into the fuel channel. So I had to put the top skin back on

and to determine the placement of the holes I drew an extended line down the middle of the fuel channel and then used a ruler to join them up on the top skin. I marked some rivet locations on the skin and started drilling.

I’ve done all I can do on the fuel tank now until I can get a tool for cutting a hole for the fuel sender. This requires a 59mm hole to be drilled and I’ve been putting this off because (a) it’s scary, and (b) the tools for doing this don’t fit my drill.

As two final acts for the day, there were two l-angles to rivet to the ends of the spar tip and rear channel. These were simple l-angles cut to size, rivets holes marked, drilled, back drilled to the wing and then riveted.

The spar tip

and the rear channel

I suppose these will act against the wing tip when it is inserted.