Chapter 13/21 – Left tank test fill

I didn’t get much done yesterday.  I ended up helping out a sick friend by watching her daughter for a while.  I did get started on positioning of the aft nose/avionics cover left flange CAMLOC placement though.

I was also able to lay up a ply of BID on the front side of the RIGHT flange on the aft nose/avionics cover…. which I peel plied.

I then laid up a ply of BID each on the aft side of both the right and left side flanges.  I then peel plied those as well.

Today I started out by pulling the peel ply and cleaning up the layups on each side flange.  I then finished drilling and installing the left flange CAMLOC receptacle… again, a lightweight stainless steel SkyBolt receptacle to be more precise.

I then did a final test fit of the CAMLOC stud… all good!

Yesterday I added about 10 gal. of water, with a bit of soap in it to reduce surface tension, to the left fuel tank.  Mainly to test for leaks of course, but I was also very curious about the capacity of the fuel tanks given that I had the inboard GIB elbow room mod and the subsequent added outboard fuel pocket.

I added the water 2.5 gallons at a time (technically 1 gal + 1 gal + 0.5 gal) in order to make my hash marks on the blue tape next to the fuel site gage.  Interestingly enough my fuel sight gage’s max topline indication is at 24 gallons . . .

while I was able to fill up the tank to 26.5 gallons.  My only limiting factor to adding –in my guesstimate– another 1/2 gallon was that the outboard of the tank was filled literally to the brim… or T-hat in this instance.

However, at the BL23/R23 rib I had a good half inch between water top and bottom edge of T-Hat.

At at the far back corner I had about 3/4″ more space to cram in some fuel.

Clearly the minimum max capacity of these tanks –IF the right fills to the same level (which I’ll test next)– is 53 gallons.  Possibly over 54 gallons.  Given the space lost to the GIB elbow room mod, I’m more than happy with that fuel capacity!

Moreover, I’m very pleased that without having even glassed the external bottom strake skin I have ZERO visible leaks!

I threw this video together to provide an overview of the strake and fuel tank build.

And with that, I called it a night!

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