Fuel tank

Today I had some free time so I decided to work on the fuel tank. I spent a fair amount of time taking the tank off the wing. When I got to the final main bolt holding the tank on, I realized it was stripped! I spent nearly 30 minutes trying to get the bolt out. 

I finally got the tank off and onto the bench. I spent some time checking all the seams and proseal used. The quality of the QB tanks is really good. I then worked on getting the access panel fitted. I also did a preliminary check of my leak test setup. 

It consists of some plastic tubing attached to the vent line. I have it taped to the lower edge of the tank. Once I seal the access panel I can then pressurize the tank to the recommended 1 psi, and check for leaks. If it holds pressure then I will be very happy!

I am going to take the second tank off before I do any more work on this one. I feel better doing both in parallel instead of sequentially. 

Looking into the tank through the access panel. The fuel level sensor will be located in this bay of the tank. 

Fuel tank

Fuel Tank Work

I got an order of ProSeal adhesive for my fuel tanks and did a bit a work on them today. I’m using the float type fuel level sensors and they need to be attached to the fuel tank access plate. 

I attached the platenuts and then covered them with ProSeal, once those cured a bit I then attached the fuel level sensor with ProSeal between the plate and the sensor as well as around all the corners. 

The screws were then covered with ProSeal and let to cure. Once I bond this to the tank it shouldn’t be a source of any leaks (if there are any at all). This process was mirrored for both sides. 

The float wire on the right side broke when I was bending it per the design spec so I need to call vans and see if they can send me a replacement. Otherwise, these will get installed soon. I still need to ProSeal the AN fitting for the fuel pickup. A bead of glue will go between the access plate and inboard rib when it’s installed. 

I also (finally) got the wing wire conduit installed. I went with a pvc conduit for its simplicity of installing in the QB wing. 

It’s held in by adel clamps attached to the ribs. I will also add a safety wire to each clamp to make sure it can’t come loose. 

This is the clamp that I modified to be able to attach to the rib. There are provisions for wiring a heated pitot tube if I decide to go that way, for right now it’s unheated. 

Hopefully work will slow down a bit in the near future and I can get more work done on the project. It’s been far too long without time to work on it, till next time! 

Fuel Tank Work

Flap hinges

Had a little free time today so I finished the flap hinge modification. 

Similar to what a lot of rv builders do, I cut out three of the loops and then bent the hinge pin at 90 deg. This allows the hinge pins to each the last loop on either end. 

Not shown here but I took two loops from spare hinge material and will fabricate a bracket that will be screwed to the flap brace. Then repeat the same thing for the other wing. 

Flap hinges

To-do list

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve worked on the project. Family parties and graduations and stuff have been popping up and work has gotten very busy so I haven’t had any time to get to the garage. However, I put together a list of what needs to be done on the wings to close them out. 

  • Remove ailerons/flaps
  • Dimple/surface-prep aileron braces
  • Prep aileron reinforcement brackets for the service bulletin 
  • Dimple top skin for aileron brace flush rivets
  • Dimple/rivet flap hinges to bottom skin
  • Install pvc wiring conduit through lightening holes
  • Dimple/prime/edge finish the remaining left and right bottom skins 
  • Install nutplates for last access panels
  • Rivet aileron brackets
  • Dimple remaining ribs
  • Rivet bottom skin

It seems like a long list but it’s pretty standard stuff. I’m going to hold off on riveting the bottom skin for quite a while, however everything else can probably be completed in a day of solid work. I didn’t include the wingtip work in this list because I’m planning on holding off on that for a long time as well. With the wiring conduit in the wing I should have no issues wiring up my landing/nav/strobe lights later on. 


Here’s the current status of the shop. ‘Till next time! 

To-do list

Right flap and lower wing skin, pitot tube

Today I rigged up the remaining flap and lower wing skin on the right wing. 

Here you can see the flap and aileron are perfectly aligned. The gap between the two is 1/64″ under 1/4″ but with final riveting of the flaps and when I rig the aileron I can increase that gap to at least 1/4″. 

Here’s the shop with the lower wing skin on the right wing it’s been match drilled to the structure. 

Here’s the flap drilled to the structure. It’s perfectly aligned from the inboard to the outboard section of the flap. 

I also rigged up The pitot tube mount. I fabricated a bracket that’s clecoed to the rib. I decided to mount the pitot tube just outboard of the outboard access hatch. Some builders find this could interfere with the tiedown location (the small hole just above the square cutout). As long as I don’t get careless with tieing down the plane it shouldn’t be an issue. 

Here you can see the bracket clecoed to the rib and Lito mount bracket. Here the pitot tube was installed temporarily. 

The pitot tube mount can be removed from the plane with 4 screws that will install in dimples on the skin. This is incredibly strong as it is, but once I rivet the skin on it will be rock solid. 

I also drilled and tapped the pitot tube for #6 screws to mount it flush with pitot tube mast. 

Right flap and lower wing skin, pitot tube

Drilled left flap hinges, lower wing skin

Today I decided to knock out the left flap hinges and rigging. I began by aligning the aileron using the bellcrank jig, and slotting a few bolts in the tooling holes in the main outboard rib. 

Here’s the jig installed along with the lower outboard skin clecoed to the wing. With this installed I was able to then align the flap to the aileron trailing edge. 

Here you can see the flap hinge clecoed to the wing, the mark on the lower right side is a 1/4″ mark along the whole hinge. In order to align the trailing edge of the aileron with the flap I had to raise the hinge and flap about 1/16 of an inch, after it was drilled it’s perfectly aligned with the aileron. 

Here you can see the flap hinge on the left clecoed to the wing, and the flap above. Everything will get final alignment before riveting, and then again when attaching the wings to the fuselage. 

While I had the lower outboard skin clecoed on for the flap installation I decided to match drill the skin to the ribs and spars. There’s a lot of rivets for this one skin. Now all that’s left for this wing is to dimple this skin and the under-structure, but before I can rivet this I need to route a wire conduit for the wingtip lighting. It’s a bundle of 4 shielded wires wth 10 or so wires inside. 

Next up is the right wing. 

Drilled left flap hinges, lower wing skin

Ailerons and pushrods

Today was a busy day, I helped my mom move some old furniture down to her office, so I had to get a uhaul and load it up with everything. Fortunately it also included a bunch of stuff from the garage, so now I have nearly half the garage now cleaned. More room means easier to move around the fuse and wings. 

A few days ago I had my friend help me out by welding the aileron pushrods. The manual calls for two aluminum rivets that hold the threaded steel bung to the steel tube. I didn’t like the way it would have been held together and the aluminum holding the steel together doesn’t bode well in my mind. The welding my buddy did is much much stronger and also looks cleaner than the rivets would have. 


Tonight I decided to rig up the ailerons, so I lined them up with the tooling holes in the end rib, and using the aileron bellcrank jig to line up the pushrods, I adjusted the lengths of the pushrods until everything fit perfectly. I disassembled them and set everything aside for now, I need to prime the pushrods again because the powdercoating had to be removed for welding. 

I also received an order from Aircraft Spruce with some shielded wires and some snap bushings. I finished rigging up the pitot tube plumbing in the wing as well as the wiring for the wingtip lighting. I’m planning on going with full nav/strobe and landing lights in the wing tips with another strobe on the tail. But that’s for much later in the build. 

Ailerons and pushrods

Ailerons and flaps

Tonight I spent some time on the ailerons and flaps. Since I went with the quick build wings the aileron and flaps were all complete except a few things here and there. I started out by attaching the flap braces to the wings, I match drilled and deburred the edges and holes then blind riveted them to the rear spars. 

These will get riveted to the bottom skin wth the flap hinge. Another difference between the slow build and quick build wings is that the flap brace gets blind rivets instead of solid rivets ( it’s hard to get a bucking bar inside a closed up wing). 

Next I got out the aileron attachment subkit and prepped and bolted the aileron attachment brackets to the aileron. I couldn’t help myself but to attach it to the wing. 

It’s cool to see some more control surfaces going onto the plane. I haven’t torqued anything fully because I will remove this several times during the fitting and alignment. 

The aileron adds a nice amount of wing area, once I get some free time I’m going to pull out my old Aerospace Engineering books and see what kind of wing this is from a mathematical stand point. Very exciting to get more pieces together! 

Ailerons and flaps

Wings

Today I spent about 6 hours working on the wings and wing parts. I began by cutting the pushrods to length. I then primed and riveted the pushrod ends to the tubes. 

I then installed them in the wings. The rod end bearings will be adjusted to the final length when everything gets put together. I also put the autopilot servo wiring harness through the wing. Earlier in the day I put two dsub9 connectors on and connected them together. 

I also assembled the aileron attachment brackets. 

Here you can see them clecoed to the wings. The right wing brackets are also mounted to the wing. I’m going to hold off attaching them to the wing permanently so I can perform the latest service bulletin that Vans released. It will require some removal of the rivets, but it will be beneficial for safety. 

Wings

Wing stand

Tonight I spent sometime cleaning up the fuselage crate and cutting the wood into manageable pieces for clean up. I also got my wingstand built. It needs some modifications but it’s done. I’m going to add some casters to it to make it mobile and to raise it up a bit too. 

Wing stand