Day 32 - Fuel tanks and more      Hours today: 9      Hours so far: 288

Fitting the fuel tanks, making the rear baggage floor panel, starting the turtledeck.

Click on the pictures to enlarge.

First job was putting the fuel tanks in place. I'd already prepared them on Day 25 but had to varnish the ribs before fitting. I glued the top of the tank to the two spars, then cut two plywood strips, and glued them to the bottom of the tank. Because of the shape of the tank, this wedges it in place - you can just see the grey strips of glue and plywood in this picture.

I'm getting ready for covering so thought I would tackle the rear floor panel while I can still get to it. I have cut a hole in it for a lexan 'window' so that the elevator push rod linkage is visible (for daily checks). I will silicone and rivet the window in place after painting the panel. You can see the aluminium cover for the push rod too, I trimmed both ends of it to make it fit neatly.

Thinking about the turtle deck. It is aluminium, and I have two large smoked lexan panels to fit. I've allowed about 3" between the two panels, then cut the lexan into shape. Next I will have to cut the aluminium, allowing at least a half inch overlap with the lexan for rivetting (the lexan still has its white protective covering in the picture).

First job for covering is reading the very informative book written by the Polyfiber people! Then it's calibrating the iron - using some silicone heatsink around the bulb of a thermometer, I calibrated to 225 degrees fahrenheit (roughly 'synthetic') 250 ('silk') 300 ('wool') and 350 ('cotton') - these are rough guides. The book says you can use a regular thermometer so long as it is calibrated.

I'll admit to being apprehensive about the covering. Terry keeps telling me it's not too difficult, and any mistakes are easily fixed. We'll see... Next page