18-02 Fuel Tank Preparation

Well, Fuel Tanks … here goes! As usual there were several hours spent deburring the ribs.

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I did try and make a little tool to speed up deburring of “nooks & crannies”. I used a Dremel mandrel with a screw thread on the end, screwing it onto a cone shape cut from a small Scotchbrite wheel. It worked reasonably well, but unfortunately didn’t last very long. In the end I decided the time saved didn’t warrant the time spent manufacturing the little cones.


 

Rib Flanges and Dimpling

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The rib flanges had to be fluted and checked for being perpendicular. As for the LE Ribs & Wing ribs, I judged the fluting by laying a ruler along the holes, aiming to align them all.

Prior to dimpling I scuffed the flanges. I’ll do more scuffing just prior to assembly, but at least the dimple cavities will have been scuffed.

I dimpled most rib flange holes with the DRDT2…

 

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…but a hole in each Inboard Rib – FWD had limited access, so I used a Close Quarter Die Set.


Nutplate Attach Holes in Inboard Rib

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Step 6 gets you to dimple the Inboard Rib AFT nutplate attach holes, and says you will need a reduced diameter FEMALE die. After carefully checking the drawings, I think they mean a reduced diameter MALE die, so I ground off the edge of a spare #40 die. This then produced a dimple without distorting the raised area of the rib.

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