Archive for Fuel Tank

Plumbing, Plumbing, Plumbing

Posted in Fuselage, Super Stinker X, Tanks with tags , , , , , , , , on September 14, 2012 by mars58

So we have been agonizing over proper placement of the fuel and smoke system pumps, filters, valves and plumbing. It’s amazing how much effort goes into putting what seems to be simple systems together, but when you are thinking about how everything is going to feed in three dimensions, twisting and tumbling through the air, it gets a little more complicated not to mention trying to keep everything out of the way of my feet and the controls. Eventually we were able to fit everything in, in what we think is a pretty clean setup. Have a look…


More Pictures Of The Tacked Up Cabane Struts

Posted in Fuselage, Super Stinker X with tags , , , on March 26, 2010 by mars58

Tonight we moved the fuselage to the table. This weekend we are going to bring the lower wings to Dave’s shop and set them up so we can tack the lower wing attach fittings. I can’t wait to see the lower wings with the fuselage. Here are some more pics of the cabanes and fuselage. Also two pics of the finished Torque Tube, that came out really nice!

Finished Cabanes

Finished Cabanes

Finished Cabanes

Finished Cabanes

Finished Torque Tube

Finished Torque Tube

Fuel Tank Tacked Up

Posted in Fuselage, Super Stinker X with tags , , , , on February 1, 2010 by mars58

Sunday we tacked up the fuel tank. We took the two pieces we cut out to form the ends and screwed a spacer between them so that we could use them as a former to hold everything together. You can see it in the picture below.

Fuel Tank and Jig

Here is the tank, strapped around the jig and the start of tacking the ends on.

Starting to Tack the Fuel Tank

Here is the tank all tacked up. Next steps filler neck and fittings!

Fuel tank Tacked Up

Forming The S-1-11 Fuel Tank

Posted in Super Stinker X with tags , , on January 25, 2010 by mars58

Every time I work with Wayne or Dave I realize how impossible this project would be without them. I never imagined how much I would be learning, about so many things, and today(1/24/08) would be no different.

A quick recap: I spent Saturday morning with Wayne. We finished up drilling and installing the left wing attach plates and angles. We also cut the plywood for the wing tips. Things are progressing along nicely.

So today I met Dave down at his shop. When I walked in, Dave was cutting out the templates we would use to draw, shrink and form the ends of the fuel tank. We traced out the form on the aluminum and added a 3/4 extension to it. We sheared the two tank ends and are ready to rough cut the outside line.

Tank Ends Drawn on Aluminum

Tank Ends on Aluminum Cut Out

One of the nice things about working with Dave and Wayne, beyond their expertise, is that they have all the tools! The right tool makes all the difference. Here’s a pic of Dave using a Beverly Shear. It makes short work out of cutting these out.

Beverly Shear

Tank Ends Cut Out

The next step is to anneal the edges so it is easier to form and shrink the normally very hard aluminum. In essence you need to heat the aluminum to a specific temperature to temporarily soften it. The trick is to get the right heat on it. One way to do this is called the Torch Soot Method. If you have ever put a flame to aluminum or the like you notice it puts a black film on the surface. If you run a torch over the sooted area, the soot will burn off. The heat needed to burn off the soot, just happens to be the right amount to anneal the aluminum. This is a great article explaining it. Here is Dave applying the soot indicator.

Tank Ends Annealing

Tank Ends Annealing carbon

Now he is burning off the soot.

Tank Ends Annealing

Tank Ends Annealing

Tank Ends Annealing

Annealing complete!

Tank Ends Annealed

Next we need to form the end of the tank. We clamped the sheet between the two wood cutouts. One is the former, that we will bend the edges around to give it the shape we need. The other holds it in place while we do this.

Sandwich End

Sandwich End Clamps

With the aluminum sheet tightly in place, we use some persuasion to shrink and form the edges of the tank end. A great analogy Dave told me, was to think of the metal as putty that you hammer into shape. And as you pound the aluminum, shrinking and forming it into the shape that is exactly what it works like. It is amazing how the metal sort of flows into shape.

Starting to Form End

Forming and Shrinking

Forming and Shrinking

With the Edge nicely beat into submission, it is time to take it out of the former.

End Formed

First End Shrunk and Formed

No to shabby! Now Dave will use a hammer and bucking bar to clean up the shape and smooth any imperfections out.

First End Clean Up

First End Shrunk and Formed

After watching Dave, it was my turn to take a whack at it. 😉 Here are the two ends pounded into shape.

Ends Formed Body Cut

Tank Ends Formed

Now we need to add strength to the pieces. This is achieved by rolling a bead into them. Once again, it’s nice to have the right tools for the job!



One Done

And finally here are the two ends and the body of the tank. The next steps are to roll the body into shape and then tack the ends on. Finally, we’ll cut and weld in the filler neck and fittings.

All Done

All Done

This is a similar tank and what ours will look like.

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