Tue Nov 7 2006

Fuel vent clip fabrication; drilling fuel filler

I decided to fabricate up the little clips which get riveted to the fuel filler flange and hold the vent tube. The vent tube is 1/4 inch in diameter, so I used a 1/4 inch piece of dowel to wrap the clip around.

A view from a different angle.

Now it's time to form the bend which will lead to the attachment tab. You can see I'm using another piece of dowel here to do this bend too. I tried just bending this with the seamer, but the aluminum just cracked right through. It obviously needed some bend radius rather than just bending around the sharp edge of the seamer.

After two or three tries, here are the clips. I think they came out pretty nicely.

I decided to cleco the other leading edge together. Here I've got my leading edge cradle laying down and am stripping the blue plastic from the inside.

After clecoing it all up, here it is on the right wing.

Next is to lay out the joint plate.

Once both it and the inboard rib were positioned, I drilled the rivet holes.

Now working on the right fuel tank. I clecoed the tank stiffeners in place. But dangit, I forgot to strip out the plastic from the inside surface of the tank skin.

I'm such a dork. After removing the plastic covering, I re-clecoed the stiffeners in. I dunno where my brain was, but about every other one was facing the wrong way!

Ahhhhh. That's much better. :-)

Here's a shot of the inside of the tank as I'm getting ready to match drill the fuel filler flange to the tank skin. This time I used a spring clamp to hold where I'm gonna drill the first hole.

Once two of the holes are drilled, the rest are a piece of cake. With the clecos holding it, I don't have to worry about the flange shifting around on me as I drill.

...drilled the Z brackets to the right tank baffle...

...and installed the ribs.

Once the whole shebang was clecoed up, I set it on the wing in preparation for back-drilling the Z brackets through the spar. This tank has the exact same problem where there's a gap between the trailing edge of the tank skin and the leading edge of the main skins. I bought a second strap clamp (the orange one) so I could apply more even pressure to pull the tank down to close up the gap.

Crappy picture here, but it's a shot looking up at some of the holes that I back drilled the Z brackets through.

After the Z brackets were drilled, off came the tank.

I actually have no idea why I took this picture. *shrug*