Fuel Tank Tests and Forward Fuselage Progress

Since the last post, I have been waiting to get my interior fuselage parts painted, so they could be installed.  During that time, I have done all the tasks that could be done without the bottom skin installed.  This includes, installing all the wing guides, the control stick, and a test install of the main gear.  I also started testing the fuel tanks.

There are several ways to test the integrity of your fuel tanks.  The balloon test is one of them and the first one that I have chosen to do.  To do this, you simply attach a balloon to one of the fittings, insert an air induction valve in place of the fuel drain valve, and seal off the fuel cap.  I used Gorilla tape to seal the fuel cap area, a rubber band to hold the balloon on the fuel vent fitting, and a borrowed air valve from one of our RV builders.

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This picture on the left shows the valve and the other shows the balloon attach and the cap seal.

 

 

 

1_1_2016 _ 15_10_10_TankTest_19This shows the full tank with balloon inflated and the tape over the fuel tank.

This tank held the air for over 24 hours, so I deemed it as having passed.  The other tank failed and I have found the culprit, but need to get the material to patch the hole.

 

The next part of this post is much more fun as it shows real progress on finishing the forward fuselage and a major step toward getting the two sections joined.

1_23_2016 _ 11_04_26_InteriorSideAndPocketPainted_03This is the newly painted side panel and map pocket, temporarily installed and posing for the photo.

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This is Dave and I just after completing the bottom skin and associated parts install.  We first installed the gear legs, then sealed each rivet hole for the bottom skin with proseal, dabbed each rivet in proseal, inserted them into the holes and secured the rivet.  Then we installed the control stick and bottom wing guide.

1_23_2016 _ 18_32_52_LookAtBottomSkinInstall_04This is a look at the interior of the painted bottom skin installed.  I did proseal the front row of rivet holes, but chose not to rivet that until I am ready to permanently install the firewall.