Archive for the ‘Wings’ Category

Fuel tank manometer test

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

John loaned me his fuel tank leak testing kit a couple weeks ago, and I've been using it to do some extended testing of my fuel tanks. It's a simple water manometer that plugs into the tank outlet – you cap off the vent line and then use a Schraeder valve threaded into the drain flange to pressurize the tank.

I filled the first tank to 27 inches of water, which is about 1 psi, and marked the height of the water column.

Then I left it alone for a week. The water level fluctuated up and down with local pressure and temperature changes, but at the end of a week the tank was still holding approximately the same amount of pressure. After that I did the other tank, and it tested fine too. Hooray!

You can buy the fittings to make one of these setups from Van's, but you have to supply the plumbing and yourself (or borrow a buddy's).

Wing insurance

Sunday, September 17th, 2006

After reading this story of how a guy knocked one of his wings off the stand and dented up the leading edge, I went out to the garage and stuck a couple of bolts (actually they are the drift pins I made earlier) through each spar at the root end:

This should keep the wings from sliding onto the floor if someone bumps them. Whew. One less thing to worry about in the middle of the night.

Decided not to hang the wings yet

Tuesday, June 13th, 2006

Never mind what I said about planning to hang the wings this weekend – I changed my mind. It occurred to me that the main reason I was planning to fit the wings to the fuselage was to locate the points where the fuel plumbing and electrical wiring go through the fuselage sidewalls, and also because that's the next step in the instructions. But, there's really no need to do it now: the fuel plumbing passthroughs are marked with prepunched holes, and I can just measure where the electrical conduit needs to go. Just to be sure, I called Van's and they confirmed that I can wait to do this until the airplane is nearly complete and in the hangar. This is great news, because I wasn't really looking forward to having one of the wings sticking out into the driveway.

Sealed up the right fuel tank

Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

Today's mission: Finish out the remaining fuel tank. First order of business: safety wire the fuel pickup tube. Oh wait – I put the safety wire on backwards! Arrgh.

Ahem. Here it is again, properly safetied this time.

Mary took a bunch of photos while I was doing the proseal part. First the fuel sender gets gooped in place:

…with a nice seal all the way around the hole, plus a blob of proseal on the back of each nutplate.

Then I laid down a bead all the way around the access plate opening:

…which I then spread out with a popsicle stick.

If you are referring to this website during your fuel tank construction, take note! The float on the fuel sender in the photo below is on backwards. I discovered my error after I got all the proseal applied and was about to seal up the tank, but luckily was able to reverse the float without having to re-bend the wire (by popping the plastic float out of the wire loop, flipping it, and snapping it back in). That was a small moment of panic. If I'd paid closer attention in the first place, I would have noticed that the float was hitting the stiffener inside the tank.

Done! Sticky fingerprints everywhere, but it looks like we got a good seal all the way around. I'll know in a week after this cures and I perform a leak test.

Installed right randing right rens

Saturday, June 3rd, 2006

Mary helped me swap wings, and then I trimmed and installed the other landing light lens, same as this morning:

This one took a quarter of the time and fits even better.

Okay, so as soon as I get more proseal I can goop up the other fuel tank, and that's the last real task before mating the wings.