7.8.12 Fit right fuel tank to wing

It feels good to reach mile stones, not just because I’ve been working relentlessly on the fuel tanks week after week. It feels good because, frankly, it’s the most fun part of building a plane. Assembling parts of the plane is a small reward for all the hard work. Mind you, equally as rewarding is colouring in another section green on the progress meter.

I’ve coloured the right fuel tank green in this picture because, in today’s session, it passed last nights pressure test. So I applied JC5A jointing compound to all the mating faces where the tank would be touching the wing.

Once that was done I carefully placed the tank on the right wing and gently lined it up with the screw holes in the leading edge and spar.

I didn’t force it in place but instead seated all the bolts that hold it on the wing.

I systematically tightened the bolts only so far as they just touched the metal work. I didn’t want to tighten them all the way yet. Next I started at the leading edge forward screws and screwed the tank skin to leading edge and spar. Working from leading edge to inboard rib.

In both cases I used my electric drill set to screwdriver mode with the torque and speed set as low as possible. Once they were all in place I went over all the bolts and screws again with the torque ratchet set to 15″lbs for the AN509-8R8 screws and 25″lbs for the AN3 bolts.

Once the torques were double checked I popped the fuel cap in (so I don’t lose or break it) and took a step back to admire nearly a years work!

The wing is starting to look like it might actually fly one day!

Later this week I plan to spray the left tank with primer like I did the right tank so I looked for anything else I could spray with primer at the same time. I spotted the wing walk doublers which would be perfect for primer so I degreased and washed them. I hung them up to dry.

Once the left tank is ready I will spray it all together with these doublers.

That’s all for today.

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