Outboard Right Tank Rib Sealed

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Me: “Alright, baby. I’m going to go try to build us a good airplane.”

(a few minutes pass…the the girlfriend peeks her head out the door.)

GF: “What do you mean you’re going to TRY to build us a good airplane. You’re going to take me thousands of feet in the air…”

Me: “MILES into the air!” (I interjected, just being a smartass.)

GF: “…and you’re going to TRY!?”

Me: “Okay, okay. I’ll build you a good airplane.”

Well, I guess I better concentrate then, shouldn’t I. First thing tonight, I wanted to work a little on the inboard rib assembly.

Because I don’t have a 9/16″ drill bit (and neither does Northern Tool and Equipment, Lowe’s, or Home Depot), I broke out the Unibit and taped off the 9/16″ level.

I know I can’t punch all the way through the three pieces near the nose of the inboard rib, but if I at least start the three, I can disassemble, then get the last layer by itself.

I love this unibit. I need to use it more.

After chucking it into the drill press and working a little magic, I ended up with this.

This hole was 1/2", and you can see that I was able to get through the first two layers and start into the third with the 9/16."

Apparently I didn’t take a picture of the finished product, so this will have to do.

I quickly mocked up the flop tube just to see where I stand.

This is upright.

This is inverted. Looks like I'll have good fuel flow while upside down.

$10 says my mom reads this and adds a comment: “INVERTED!?”

Here's the other side, and my amazing edge distances. Booyeah.

Okay, I was planning on sealing rib #4 tonight, but I think I heard snoring from upstairs, so I better stick with something less noisy.

How about the end rib? Well. Van’s says to do all the interior ribs, then the inboard rib, then…well, they don’t really say when to do the outboard rib. The only reason I wouldn’t be able to do this now would be something about the vent line, but I can feed that in from the inboard side and then bend the tip up while it’s in place.

Let’s get to it!

First thing, since the outboard side screws into the joint plate on the leading edge, I carefully applied electrical tape where I didn’t want any sealant.

Hard to see here, I know.

Then, I buttered up the rib and 50% clecoed it in place. There are far more holes in the inboard and outboard ribs than the interior ribs.

Also, I drilled, deburred, cleaned, and sealed the T-410(?) reinforcement plate to the outboard rib. You can see the three #30 clecos here.

After some squeezing (no rivets drilled out, but one sitting a little proud…not going to mess with it), I pulled off the electrical tape and snapped this pic.

Uh oh.

I didn’t realize that I’d have to shoot and buck the three #30 rivets for the reinforcement plate. I’ll have to do that tomorrow.

Anyway, here is a gratuitous fillet shot of the interior side of the outboard rib.

I’m not happy with the fillet at the very front, but instead of mixing another batch of sealant tonight, I’ll redo it when I shoot those three remaining rivets tomorrow.

Other that the fillet up front, I am happy with the rest of it.

The lower skin. (I really hope this “no-MEK” thing pays off with no leaks.)

No leaks! (I think the not-100%-perfect rivet is like the tenth one down.) No one will ever notice.

And the upper skin. NO LEAKS!


43 squeezed rivets.

I think tonight was about 30 minutes on the inboard rib, then 1 hour to seal the outboard rib.

I thought I was getting faster at these ribs. I guess not.

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2 Responses to Outboard Right Tank Rib Sealed

  1. MOM says:

    YEP, I read it. INVERTED? Your’re making me crazy. (MOM)

  2. MOM says:

    Do I get the 10 bucks?

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