February 2, 2008

Lots of drilling - 4.0 hrs.

After all the excitement yesterday of seeing the wing all together for the first time, it's time to go to work drilling the tank's rear baffle plate to the z-brackets. The time has also arrived to really dive into getting this tank finished. That means more pro-seal gunk, messy riveting and all of that. But not quite just yet. The prep work comes first. That means lots of drilling, deburring, removing vinyl strips, dimpling rivet holes, deburring and smoothing the edge of the skin, and oh yeah... those stiffeners for the bottom insides of the tank. Nothing has been done with them yet, either.

The first step today was to drill the inboard end rib to the z-bracket underneath. It's on the right side above, with 9 clecos holding in firmly in place. Then the leading edge was removed and the end rib on the outboard end of the tank was drilled. Finally, the rest of the tank skin and ribs were taken off, as you see above, so the rest of the brackets can be drilled through the baffle plate. I'm about half finished drilling in the shot above, as you can see by how many clecos are in place.

Here's another shot from the other side.

All finished drilling! Now to take it all off the wing, clean everything up, and reassemble the tank in the cradle.


Here's the tank reassembled in the cradle, baffle plate back in place, and I'm busy drilling all the rivet holes out to full size. Before finishing for the night, I managed to get all the drilling done, some of the vinyl strips removed, and I got a start on smoothing up the edges of the skin.

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