November 28, 2007

Closed up the tank! - 6.0 hrs.

Today was a big day... one I've been anticipating and looking forward to. The final details before closing the tank were taken care of first. This included priming the z-brackets, and deburring and cleaning the baffle plate in preparation for riveting. Then, the final riveting got underway.

I'm about half finished riveting the baffle plate in the picture above. The remaining clecos tell the story. I'm able to squeeze all these rivets, so it goes quickly, easily, and accurately.

Here's a shot from another angle, showing the z-brackets in place and the rivets on the other side of the baffle plate. Only half of this side to go, and this tank is together!

Here it is after cleanup, all finished. This is the top of the tank, showing the fuel cap. A close-up shot below. The rivets look so good, I'm very happy.


Here's the aft end of the tank, showing the z-brackets all riveted in place. These bolt to the wing spar, of course, but I can't get ahead of myself.

Here's the bottom of the tank, showing all the rivet lines to the ribs and stiffeners.

The above picture shows the outboard end rib all sealed and finished. This tank will have to cure for several days before I can do a pressure test with a balloon and see if I have any leaks. The waiting is gonna kill me. But you can't rush this step. I think I'll take the tank inside the house. The warmer temps should hasten the curing time of the sealant. I can't describe how good it feels to be done with one tank. I'll feel even better when it tests negative for leaks.

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