Europa #435 G-RODO Build Journal - 2009 02

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2 Start clearing up accumulated bits and pieces left over from various other jobs, to make a bit more room for working. Take photos of temporarily-assembled fuel valve & selector. Order some 10-32 anchor nuts, both regular and single-lug, from LAS Aerospace. Order 1/2" & 5/8" 10-32 UNF button-head socket screws from Tool Fast Direct. Order from Shesto a lead adaptor to allow using the Minitool jigsaw with my existing Minicraft lead, and a diamond-coated blade.
3 LAS Aerospace order arrives. Realise I should have ordered some rivets too. Order 100 TAPK33BS from Europa. Remove fuel valve and drill selector plate for rivets on 3 out of 4 K2000 single-sided anchor nuts. First one had to be re-positioned as one hole was too close to the boss on the other side. 1184.9
4 Hex button screws arrive from Tool Fast Direct & rivets arrive from Europa. Drill rivet holes for 4th selector flange anchor nut. Remove flange and countersink upper face for rivets. Drill out the holes on the valve to 2.8mm and countersink. Paint rivets with Duralac and fit 4 off K2000 anchor nuts to actuator and 3 off K1000 anchor nuts to valve. 1185.7
5 Shesto order arrives; Minicraft connectors have changed since mine was made and the new one doesn't fit. Re-mount fuel valve on ply and mark up for correct orientation. Remove again ready for glassing the ply. 1185.9
6 Cut 4 off BID and 2 off peel-ply to the size of the fuel valve mounting plate. Abrade ply with fine Perma-Grit sheet. Lay it on a piece of polyethylene sheet. Mix 3 strokes of older epoxy & paint onto 1st side of ply. Lay on 2 layers of BID, wetting out in turn. Apply peel-ply, turn over and repeat layups on other side of ply. Fold polyethylene sheet over to cover both sides and squeeze gently between 2 pieces of chipboard in the vise to get rid of excess epoxy. Take it and the sample cup inside to the airing cupboard to cure. 1186.6
7 Bring fully-cured fuel valve mounting plate down from airing cupboard. Remove polyethylene sheet and peel-ply. Saw off excess BID and file edges to fit in tunnel again. 1186.9
9 Open holes through BID on fuel valve mounting plate. Re-mount fuel selector and valve and check position. Nearly ready to epoxy valve mounting plate into tunnel but first need to cut out the access hole in the starboard side of the tunnel so I can get at the heads of the mounting screws afterwards. Dangle a light in the tunnel to help with marking out. Mark & cut out a D-shaped hole, keeping clear of the tunnel bulkhead flange layup, and leaving a wider area at the aft side for an anchor nut. Offer up valve again and realise I should have profiled the bottom of the hole to follow the mounting plate. Cut and file a piece of the waste from the hole to fit back in the missing area. 1188.4
10 Get baggage bay bulkhead and insert out of trailer. Cut out centre of bulkhead for the insert using the ordinary jigsaw with a tungsten-carbide edged blade (too big a job for the Minitool jigsaw). Abrade the bonding areas and epoxy the fuel selector mount into the tunnel with ordinary Araldite. Epoxy in missing piece of tunnel face and clamp in position with polyethylene sheet as release film. Put baggage-bay bulkhead and insert back in trailer. 1189.6
11 Order Minitool extension lead from Shesto. Remove clamps from access hole patch. Dismount fuel valve and selector. Drill extension extrusion for roll pins. 1190.1
12 Minitool extension lead arrives from Shesto. Fit it to a spare Bulgin plug to fit the 12V supply used with the Minicraft drill. Mark out the shape of the access panel with some overlap onto a piece of polyethylene sheet and trace it onto the piece cut out of the baggage bay bulkhead. Cut out with the diamond blade on the Minitool jigsaw. Smooth edges to final shape with Perma-Grit blocks. 1190.3
13 Clamp tunnel access hole cover in place, with a light inside tunnel to show outline of flange and ensure correct positioning. Drill through 4.8mm in 3 places for fixing screws. Unclamp panel. As no room for the drill inside the tunnel, temporarily fit anchor nuts on wrong side with short screws and washers to avoid entering stiff part of thread. Drill anchor nut mounting holes through 2.8mm for rivets. For each in turn, remove anchor nut, countersink tunnel holes for rivets with Perma-Grit bit, re-fit anchor nut on inside of tunnel, dip rivets in Duralac and squeeze up. Have to bend two of the anchor nut wings slightly to conform to the slope of the tunnel bulkhead flange layup. Check that access cover fits. Remove again and chamfer edges. 1191.6
14 Remove tape from fuel tank filler boss and open it up as far as possible with the hand taper reamer, while running vacuum hose adjacent to pull out as much swarf as possible. It's still well below the 38mm - 45mm specified. While thinking about how o enlarge it to size, start on the other bosses. No 3/4" holesaw in stock, so instead put a 16mm one through each, then open up the mouths to 18mm with step drill. Best idea for finishing seems to be a 3/4" reamer if I can find a cheap one. Back to the filler boss and use a router-style drum cutter in the Dremel to remove the lip flush with the inner bore. This creates a lot of swarf and quite a bit gets into the tank despite the adjacent vacuum hose. Tap the tank on the floor to encourage the swarf toward the accessible corner and use vacuum hose extension to suck out all that's collected there. Tape up all holes again with duct tape. Notice while manoeuvring the tank around that the O-ring on the level sender is out of position. Undo sender to check, but no problem as there are 2 concentric O-rings and only the inner one seems to be doing anything in this installation. 1192.8
16 Order 3/4" hand reamer from Tracy Tools. Find a suitable block of wood and trim it to 63mm wide to act as a limit for the fuel valve mount flange layups. Wrap it in polyethylene and clamp it to mount after abrading bonding areas. Mark a 320mm x 40mm rectangle on polyethylene sheet and mark into 4 80mm sections. Cut 2 pieces 320mm x 40mm BID and place on polyethylene sheet. Mix 3 strokes of the older epoxy and wet out BID. Cut off 80mm lengths and apply to edges of fuel valve mount and tunnel, then peel off polyethylene. Add peel-ply and leave to cure at ambient without heater (14C, 71% RH). 1194.3
17 3/4" reamer arrives from Tracy Tools. Try it out on the port outlet boss. The resulting hole takes the tank fitting OK, but the finish is not quite a nice as I'd hoped for. 1194.5
18 Remove polyethylene-covered block and peel-ply from fuel valve mount flange layups. Trim corners. Untape starboard fuel tank outlet and enlarge it with the reamer to just admit the fitting - no need to go fully through. Tilt and tap swarf to the outlet corner and vacuum it out. Repeat on breather boss. Re-tape holes. 1194.8
19 Tidy all odds and ends off low table to make room for re-positioning cockpit module. Check access for inserting roll pins in fuel selector extension shaft and put in the top one, which is not in line with the access hole. Put the support board on the table and lower cockpit module onto it upside-down with the board between the headrests. Insert fuel tank. 1195.7
20 Cut the previously-selected piece of 20mm chipboard into 2 pieces 200mm x 280mm with the circular saw. Put them under the fuel tank. The cutout for the fuel filler boss is still not quite right when the tank is centred. Mark a new cutting line, remove tank and trim cutout with the Minitool jigsaw and diamond blade. Smooth edges with convex Perma-Grit file. Replace tank and packing. Check dimension between seatback and baggage bay, which seems OK. Start to check where tank support layups will go but the alignment of the tunnel area between tank and baggage bay is not as drawn in the manual. Will need to take advice on that, and also about the size of the layups which seem a bit vague. 1196.2
21 Checking against the manual again, I wonder if I have misinterpreted the dimension given. I had assumed that "2 cm up" was the thickness of the spacer, but it seems as though it meant the distance between the fuselage bottom and the tank bottom, which is exactly the opposite of what I was doing. The PDF is different from my printed manual, showing 5mm as the dimension. Leave that for now and cut the 1" hose into 3 off 40mm pieces. Start with the hacksaw and quickly realise it would be much easier with the bandsaw. Trim a chamfer inside each end of each piece with a scalpel for easier entry. Take the sealing tape off the port outlet boss and apply lubricating jelly to the boss and to the inside of the hose. Press it on with some effort. Press the aluminium fitting into it and check it goes fully home. Repeat for the other 2 bosses. Starboard outlet needs another touch with the reamer to let the fitting go home. Vacuum out the swarf from that with a length of 12mm aluminium tube adapted to the vacuum hose with a rubber bung. Remove hoses (with help from pipe pliers) and fittings and tape up the holes again. 1197.3
23 Phone Europa factory and check position of tank and support layup details. As well as confirming my suspicions that the dimension called out is to be applied to the bottom of the tank when correct-way-up, Roger says I need to isolate the layups from the tank with polyethylene sheet or similar. This is because the gas treatment given to the tank to make it impermeable to fuel also allows the epoxy to adhere to it, which could cause problems later with thermal expansion and contraction. The change of dimension from 2cm to 5mm was apparently dictated by the cross-tie mod. The overhanging part of the tank must still clear the spars, of course. Open trailer and measure depth of spars at the bush next to the root rib. Both are about 150mm deep, and about 67mm from the ID of the bush to the edge of the spar. Mark that distance from each spar bush on the seatback and draw a line between the marks. Insert tank and push in wedges to adjust it away from the headrests. When base of tank is about 5mm inside the base of the baggage bay, the tank is still just clear of the drawn line, so all should be well. Bandsaw a piece of 90mm x 90mm pine to length for supporting baggage bay. Check again alignment of fuel fittings with valve. Still not clear exactly where the rudder cables will go aft of the pulleys - don't want to have the fuel lines fouling them. 1197.8
24 A posting on the Europa e-mail list raises the question of whether the fuel tank ought to be left filled with petrol for a few weeks to let it swell - will need to check again with Roger. Temporarily fit CS10 pitch torque tube to re-check clearance from tank outlets. Appears to be no problem there with the front edge of the tank aligned with the line marked for the top edge of the spar. Make up 4 small wooden wedges for fine adjustment of tank relative to underside of headrests. Find a lath about 20mm x 40mm for support of the layup at the front of the tank and keeping the tank spaced from the seat backrest. Will have to plan carefully the sequence of events to avoid messing up layups already made by the need to move tank to get at others. 1198.8
25 Phone Europa factory; Roger confirms that the current gas-treated tanks do not need to be soaked in fuel. Measure up the layup areas of the tank supports and start to draw up the BID rectangle areas onto polyethylene sheet. 1199.6
26 Finish drawing up the layup outlines onto polyethylene sheet. Make up a cutting list for BID. Move the old tank out of the garage and put the landing-gear frame back into the trailer, to make room for glass cupboard to open fully. Mark out 6 off 950mm x 120mm, 6 off 325mm x 140mm, 6 off 350mm x 100mm, and 2 off 350mm x 130mm. 1201.5
27 Remove tank from cockpit module. Cut a piece of polyethylene sheet and tape it to the front of the tank. Wonder if it should be left in situ after layup or if I should try to make it removable. 1201.8
28 Apply polyethylene sheet to rest of tank (non) bonding areas. Pretty difficult to make the piece on the back face removable, as that face will be close against the baggage bay. Would probably be a good idea to wax the tank edges where the polyethylene sheet might not overlap enough. 1202.2

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