Match drilled right tank

So now work begins on the internals of the right tank. Tonight, since the tank was already together (aside from the end ribs and baffle), it seemed like a good time to get everything match drilled. If nothing else, getting the rivet holes out to full size makes it far, far easier to get clecos in and out, which will come in handy as I work on the fuel sender plates and so forth. So on went the end ribs and baffles, out came the reamer, and blah blah blah. After getting all the holes between the skin, ribs, and baffle done, I clecoed the stiffeners in place and match drilled those. Seemed like a good night’s work, so I knocked off for the evening there.

I’m hoping that over this weekend, I can complete all the bits and pieces for the right tank. This tank will be slightly more complicated than the left, thanks to the flop tube. There are a couple of extra bits that go in the inboard bay to ensure the flop tube can move freely and won’t get hung up anywhere. More on that once I actually get to working on things…

In other news, I placed an order with JDAir on Wednesday for some goodies, which came in today. The silver pieces on the right are fairings for the tank drains, and the blue pieces will serve as the ends of the fuel tank vent lines:

IMG 2168

Here are tank drains with and without a fairing:

IMG 2169

The fairings aren’t strictly necessary, but I think they look better than just having the drains sticking out, and I suppose they might reduce drag a bit, though probably not enough that I’d ever notice the difference. The vents just look cleaner than the stock option, which is just raw tubing sticking out of the bottom of the fuse. I’ll probably end up straying from the plans on the vent line routing as well. The plans call for the vent line to enter the cockpit, where they route up near the top of the cockpit rails (the idea being to have their highest point above the top of the tanks) and then out the bottom of the fuse. But a number of builders have been taking a play from the Harmon Rocket book and simply coiling the vent tube where it exits the tank, and having it vent directly out the bottom of the wing (example). Only caveat seems to be that the -8 wings don’t have as much extra room as the RV-4-based Rocket, but it sounds like the lines can simply exit through the gap fairing instead of the wing skin itself.

Anyway, I’m getting way ahead of my self now. More tomorrow…

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