Trevor & Dewey's RV-7 Construction Log

Wings - Fuel Tanks

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Date: 5/30/2010
Task: Riveted left fuel tank together

Back in February we began construction of the fuel tanks.Cutting, fitting, fluting, match-drilling, sanding, dimpling, clecoding together, taking apart,... has all led up to this day! We finally began phase 2 of fuel tank construction (Phase 1 was sealing/riveting the stiffeners). We first put tape just outside of each rib so as to prevent excess ProSeal from getting in places we didn't intend. After mixing the tube of ProSeal we started with the center rib by first removing it, spreading ProSeal along the entire rivet line, clecoing the rib back into place, and then riveting from leading edge to trailing edge.

Once the middle rib was in place, we decided to do 2 at a time, so we removed the rib inboard of center, and outboard of center, laid the ProSeal and then clecod the ribs and riveted in place. All in all, it went pretty fast once we got the hang of it.

After getting about 4 of the ribs riveted in place we created the fillet around both sides of the ribs as well as covering the shop heads of the rivets. Most leaks in fuel tanks come through the rivet heads, so it's extremely important to ensure a seal around each shop head.


Here is the bottom of the fuel tank, the rivets look great!! The bald head would be Dewey, the bucking bar master.

And finally the top of the tank! You'll notice the outboard end rib is not in place yet. Back when we were dimpling the tank skins we had am minor "oops" and added an extra hole. After talking to Van's, they said it was not an issue. I'm intending on drilling the hole completely through the rib, dimpling, and riveting. While it is close to two other rivets, we don't think it will be an issue (nor does Van's).