Building, testing and operating an experimental aircraft

Riveting the Fuel Tank Ribs

23 Jul 2011

After installing the stiffeners to the fuel tank skins, Dad and I began sealing and riveting the tank ribs.

Doing the Dirty Work Doing the Dirty Work

Proseal gets literally everywhere during this process, and it’s very difficult to keep tools and the surrounding area clean.

Gooped Clecos Gooped Clecos

We set aside a special batch of clecos for the process, since even though we cleaned them with MEK after each use, you never really get the sealant completely out.

Riveting the Tank Ribs Riveting the Tank Ribs

Sealed Rib Joints Sealed Rib Joints

After each row of rivets was set, I’d go back and apply the remaining sealant to any exposed rivets, smoothing it out along the seam. Meanwhile, Dad would start mixing another batch of sealant for the next row. It’s definitely a two-person job.

Shootin and Buckin Shootin’ and Buckin’

Ribs Sealed Ribs Sealed

Since we were anxious to get up to Oshkosh, we decided to stop on each tank after the interior ribs were riveted and sealed, and we left the end ribs and rear spar for a later date. I’m sure we’ll both be glad when the Prosealing is behind us!

All Interior Ribs Complete All Interior Ribs Complete

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