Been over a month since I've updated the blog, but that doesn't mean I haven't been very busy in the shop making tons of progress!
Second fuel tank went together very quickly. Using the 2 part sealant enough times now, I've become used to best methods of applying it.
Outboard side of 2nd wing tank. Rivets on the lower seam are held in place with masking tape. This allows me to apply the sealant bead, insert the tank wall and then squeeze the rivets in one (almost seamless) process:
With the edges closed up and rivets squeezed, another layer of sealant is applied to all outside edges and seams. I learned from the 1st tank to make things cleaner by masking off the edges:
Waited the required 6 days after the last of the sealant was applied before leak testing the tank with water. Like the 1st tank, a couple of small weaping leaks required some re-work of the seams and some more sealant.
While that cured (for another 6 days!), I got some work done on some of the smaller parts for the controls and fuselage.
Some of these templates are ones I created a few years ago using CAD, a PDF conversion program and then printed out on cardstock using a laser printer.
Lots and lots of small parts from aluminum plate and aluminum sheet:
More recently, I've been using the CriCut Maker machine more as it has the ability to not only cut my templates from card stock direct from the CAD file, but I can also print on the templates as well - handy for part numbers and drawing centre marks for holes etc.
Some of the last parts I needed were from 063 aluminum sheet.
Some templates don't need to be the full length either. For example, these flapperon control rod covers are 890mm in length, but the same width at both ends. A short template serves dual purpose for both end cut measurements:
I laid out several of the pieces I have made for the cabin and fuselage - including seat pans upper and lower fuselage doublers and more. Like I said, I've been very busy! Here they are in an animation using the online gif maker Kapwing. My animations skills won't have me working for Pixar!
With the tank sealant cured and tested again (this time no leaks!), I got it installed in the wing. Fuel line and fuel tank wiring is done:
Wing is sealed up again:
Fuel cap and filler neck fit perfectly! Wing is ready for storage!
Next I started final bending/fabrication on some of the parts I've been cutting out from sheet.
Seat pans require lightening holes, so I drilled those out:
Then I used the flanging dies and some large C-clamps to form the lightening holes:
Same for the seat pan supports:
Major milestone completed with both wings now complete and ready for storage. Next, we'll get this wing into the storage barn and start the process of laying out the rear fuselage.
Thanks for following along! More to come soon!
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Husband, father and 911 dispatcher. Long time pilot with a licence that burns a hole in my pocket where my student loan money used to be. First time aircraft builder. Looking to fly my own airplane.