We’ll be installing Vance Atkinson’s very nice lighted fuel gauges, which come with separate instructions to open up about 1/2 holes in the face of the bulkhead and fill it with flox. Then you sand everything up nicely, bond the white backing plate to the bulkhead with flox made from one of the clear epoxies, drill a 1/16″ hole for the top and bottom of the sight gauge. Then stick the float to the viewing cover with some grease, and transparently flox it onto the base, then BID over the whole unit with the clear epoxy. Here is a picture of the gauge in place.

Next we install the fuel drain tubing. This is 3/8″ tubing that comes out from the bottom rear most corner and bends to follow the center section spar. I elected to put a fitting in this line, and to BID it in place for better reliability and maintenance, and to make it easier to work on the sump tank.

And finally I installed a 3″x3″ aluminum hardpoint and a Westach capacitive fuel probe for indication on the instrument panel.

Further, we intend to install a light gauge scale next to the fuel gauges. We originally thought that Superior Panel would make these for us, like they did the overhead switch panel, but after many promises they did not come through. Here is our attempt at a homemade solution that we saw on someone else’s website (Vance’s?) where a plate of acrilic has the markings made with decals. Then the back side is painted white, an the front side painted to match your interior color, such that when a lamp is shined through the acrylic it illuminates the exposed legend. Unfortunately we weren’t satisfied with this first attempt, so we’re exploring other options.

I wasn’t pleased with my fuel gauge calibration (electronic or sight glass), so I recalibrated them before first flight. I jacked the plane into it’s ‘0-degree of incidence’ angle to determine the unusable fuel level. It turns out about 2 gallons are not usable because my pickups are in the back of the tank. The factory now instructs folks to use a side pickup (coming in through the fuselage side wall), and this would get much lower into the tank low spot. I also find that since I had to build my strakes one at a time, my left tank is a little larger than my left tank. This will only be a factor when they’re completely full, which will be very rare. Note that 0 is well above the bottom of the sight glass.

Atkinson Fuel Sight Gauge, Pilot Side

Fuel and Vent Lines

Fuel Drain Line, Bent and with Fitting

Fuel Drain Line BID into Place, Pilot Side

Westach Fuel Sensor, Pilot Side

Calibrating the Fuel Gauge

Making the Fuel Scale



Posted By: Brett Ferrell
Friday November 15th, 2002 at 10:15 PM

Categories: Strakes
Tags: Building Fuselage Strakes

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