I'm having fits fitting my RV-6 tank. The original was all dented in from a flip-over accident, so I'm rebuilding.
For background on me... I built a 'slow-build' (non-pre-punched anything) RV-4 from 2003-2008 so I thought this wouldn't be that hard. Boy was I wrong.
I [ahem] "winged" the first new tank build referencing the plans for left/righ layout, parts and measurements but really just eye-balled from the broken tank. It all went together as smoothly as pro-seal (bleck)... Fit, drilled, dimpled, cleaned gooped and I was happy enough. The trouble came when I went to fit it to the wing. I was also repairing the outboard leading edge skin and had it off when I fit the tank... <<<< BIG MISTAKE HERE
A rebuilt this tank using the special oversized W-601 skin. They have long flanges (by design) which are there to be trimmed to match the outboard skins. Except... I didn't have them on and I didn't realize that until _AFTER_ I put the outboard skin on at which time the 1/2" gap on the leading edge looked so amateur-built-hour.
For the second attempt; I was fed up making tanks. I gave it to a very RV experienced friend who I have subsequently learned has only worked on and built pre-punched airframes. Yeah... <<< SMALLER MISTAKE HERE
A slow-build airframe is a one of a kind. Think 1960's vintage English car looks beautiful but you can't swap parts.
My kind friend made the cardinal sin of thinking the plans as gospel and the instructions are there to answer any residual quandaries.
I had to let out a good laughed when he said... "The instructions don't say anything about trimming the flang?!" To this I chuckled and replied, "The slow-build instructions are filled with sage advice like 'Attach F-401', That's it... nothing else." If you get this, you built one.
Where modern pre-punched RV kits are like hiking the Appalachian trail with a guide dog, the old builds are more like doing the same with a ratty old miners map from 1904.
So I'm on my third attempt. My first build was closest; we'll do it that way again and now that the outboard skin is on, I will trim the aft tank flang to match the bracket to the fuselage and the tank to the outboard skin. Third time's a charm
Keep the hammer down!