Progress at last, fitting the fuel tank
With the tray made and ready to fit I glued in the runners for the construction to sit on I was now ready for the next stage. Cutting strips of thin birch ply I fixed those with epoxy resin to the leading edges of the foam that form the front of the rear fuselage section. This was then re-enforced with glass fibre tape all as detailed in the tank lowering mod.
As soon as I had fitted an outlet pipe to the drip tray it was all ready to start to come together.
Sliding the tank into place and fixing it with the ever ready epoxy resin I started to make the polythene curtains to line the sides and rear of the foam. This was a weird shape but the third one fitted and epoxy and tape soon had it fitted in place.
The next thing was to get the tank fitted to the front fuselage section and the first piece of that is the rail that holds the shoulder straps of the seat harness. I have several sets of harness so I check them all over, going over the stitching carefully. I am happy that the best set of all is the one that came from SP. Being stored all those years seems to have helped and the webbing and stitches are in good shape with a small amount of rust on the face of the buckle showing as the only blemish.
The top support for the tank bolts to the shoulder harness rail with the webbing that holds the tank between the two alloy sections. This webbing is also in very good shape and I have no hesitation in fitting it and the nicely cleaned tank is hauled into place. With the lower support fitted we are almost ready to unite the fuselage sections. There is a short delay as I have borrowed a “T” piece intended for the fuel drain to use on the other little project, that of tidying up an AX3 for Saxon Microlights and like a clot I’ve not replaced it straight away.
In the meantime I revert to the preparation of the paperwork and spend some time copying the Tiger Cub maintenance manual and the Pilot and operators handbook to disc where they join the Build Manual that I had already sorted. I’ll send copies of this to the Tech office with the Service Bulletins; I’m amazed that they don’t already have this stuff. I cannot see how they have supported the type all these years without, as they seem to have almost no information at all and Tiger Cubs have been around for better than 25 years.
In the midst of this we visited the SPLASH aviation show at the NEC, I must be strange because I enjoyed it, but to hear the whingers after the show it must have been awful. Maybe I went somewhere else? We seemed to meet so many people that we barely got all around the show where I at least found plenty of interest. It was particularly good to see the resurgent interest in single seaters and to see all the younger faces of the hanglider and footlaunch crowds, as wise old Deepak (sorry Deepak, wise but not so old) said, “they are the future microlighters”. One of the special meetings was with the guys running Grass Strip Aviation, the importers of the Fokker Eindekker replica. They turned out to be some of the fellow Tiger Cub restorers that I have been corresponding with for the last couple of years. As a result of this I was able to send one of them a disc containing all my Tiger Cub information. If this helps more of the little beasts back in the air that would be a result as my latest copy of the MF reveals the sad news that none are presently in permit.
That stiffened my resolve and I returned to my spanners once again. Things start to come together the drip tray is completed and has its polythene curtains fitted.
Turning my attention to the front fuselage section I bolt the tank rails up firmly, hang on the tank and the two fuselage sections are ready to unite.